Daylight raid on Aircraft Works kills 53

The bombs from just one aircraft killed 53 people at the Parnall Aircraft Works at Yate near Bristol.

The Parnall Aircraft Works at Yate, Bristol, were hit on the 27th February and considerable damage was done to buildings. Full production will be restored in about a month’s time.

From the Home Security Situation report for the week.

Dorothy Wall was with her parents who ran the Railway Hotel, where many workers from Parnall’s had just finished their lunch break:

We had just closed, it must have been about 2 o’clock. The siren went off and immediately, before it had stopped, the bombs were dropping. It was a single aircraft. Some bombs dropped on the factory, but some dropped on a gunnery school which probably tested the gun turrets, a number of them were killed during the air-raid. In that first raid a number of factory workers were killed.The German aircraft came in so low that you could see the pilot, a large part of the factory was very badly damaged so they evacuated some departments and then scattered them where they could.

Her full account is at BBC People’s War.

For much more on Parnall’s see Flickr.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

J LAWS February 20, 2015 at 7:28 pm

Seeking data on Percy J LAWS who died 27 Feb 1941 Air raid on Parnell Aircraft Company Yate Airfield Bristol

A Cameron-Johnson January 29, 2015 at 12:16 pm

Did Ridley Dowding referred to above go on to work at Sir Roy Fedden in Cheltenham in the 1940s? If so, I knew him and his Morgan three-wheeler. We both worked on the Flat-6 sleeve valve engine, and I wonder where he moved on to when the firm closed in 1947.

A Cameron-Johnson January 29, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Did Ridley Dowding referred to above go on to work with Sir Roy Fedden in Cheltenham. If so, I knew him and his Morgan three wheeler, and I wonder where he went from there when the company closed in 1947.

martin dowding March 6, 2014 at 2:38 am

My uncle, Marcus Dowding, survived the bombing. My father, Ridley Dowding who designed aircraft parts, was not there that day. Marcus, bloodied and covered with glass, went to my Auntie’s house in Yate. He was in great shock.

Sandra Matthews February 27, 2014 at 7:08 pm

My grandfather, Mother and Aunt were working at Parnalls when the bomb dropped. They were all very lucky and survived. My Mother was in the next section to the dropped bomb and my grandfather really though he would find her dead when he went looking for her. They were all extremely fortunate to survive.

robert john slocombe January 28, 2014 at 3:01 pm

My Aunty was killed in the raid her name wass Betty D Parkman, she was married to my mums brother – he was killed in France around the same time

robert john slocombe January 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

My dad worked at Parnells during that period – his name is Len Slocombe, we lived in Moorland Road.

Antony Baxby May 28, 2013 at 11:25 am

My father, Edward Thomas Baxby was works manager at the time of the raid. Immediately after the raid he ran back inside the factory to look for his boss, Tim Healey. Mr. Healey, however, was already outside. My father’s car, a new Rover was among those destroyed. I was a young boy at the time, but I remember very well the “telling off” my mother gave my father when he told her of runnin back into the factory.

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