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Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain
E3 of 4
Series 1 - Episode 3
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This superb series comes from the makers of Who Do You Think You Are? and it shows the same meticulous care in tracing the emotional detail of family history.
This week we’re in Clydebank, west of Glasgow. On 13 March 1941 the Luftwaffe began an aerial assault that virtually wiped the town out. At ten to midnight a single high explosive bomb fell through the skylight of one tenement block and killed 31 people inside.
We hear how one man had taken on his son’s night shift at the Royal Ordnance factory and returned from work to find the bomb had killed his mother-in-law, his wife, his six sons, his daughter, his daughter-in-law and five of his grandchildren. His home and all his possessions were destroyed, a pattern repeated across the area where, of 12,000 houses, eight were undamaged. It’s a devastating story.
The story of a tight-knit community of ship builders and factory workers in the Scottish town of Clydebank, and how their lives were changed by the bombings of March 1941. The documentary focuses on the after-effects of one particular explosive, which destroyed number 78 Jellicoe Street, killing 15 members of the Rocks family. Surviving relatives and friends recall how they were deeply affected by the events, and how the return of the bombers led to a mass exodus from the town.
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