Jun 4th, 2018
My Mum has related to me the story of what happened during the Clydebank/Dumbarton blitz. This always seems to me to get missed out of the story of the Second World War suffering of civilians, with all the emphasis being on London, Coventry etc.
Anyway, the story is that on 9th May 1941 my Mum’s uncle George, her grandfather David and various other relatives were at 82 Glasgow Road Dumbarton. My grandfather James Jennings was not there, only because he was out performing his duties as a special constable. My Mum was a young child at the time. It was the night of George’s wedding, and all the presents were in the house, still unwrapped. Suddenly there was a devastating German raid and a lot of the houses in the road were wiped out. My grandfather turned up there and wanted to go in to try to save lives, but the buildings were so much on fire that it was not possible.
Everyone in the house was killed. I got the records from the registers of death at the time and it just says “Due to war operations, blast and falling masonry”. When you look at the register of deaths it is so sad to see how many other people were killed that night.
The site was levelled, but apparently years later when they went to build on it again, they found all the wedding presents, still in the original wrappers.
Very sad. It is amazing what men get up to – I don’t think there have been many wars started by women. There is an interesting article about the attacks on Dumbarton here – https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/leisure-parks-events/museums-and-galleries/collections/war-and-military/world-war-ii
The picture is of George’s grave in Cardross where my grandparents are also buried.
My Mum was also telling me that during the war they lit fires on Dumbuck hill just outside Dumbarton to fool the German bombers into thinking it was the town itself and dropping their bombs in the wrong place.