Cardiff Blitzed

A rescue party at work in the aftermath of the Cardiff Blitz

Leonard Attwell was a schoolboy in Cardiff when the city was bombed on the night of 2nd/3rd January 1941:

I remember vividly the night in January 1941 when Cardiff was bombed. I lived in Jubilee Street, Grangetown, which was adjacent to the Canton Loco Sheds the target sought by the bombers. It was the early hours of January 3rd (my brother’s birthday) that bombs and Landmines rained down on us. I was eight years old.

We were in the Anderson Shelter which my father had built half submerged in the back garden, with several feet of soil over the top. He had also built bunks in the shelter and fitted a sand-bag shielded door to the front of the shelter. It was a bitterly cold January night that my mother, father, brother and I huddled together in the shelter. Just thinking of that night brings back the whistle of the bombs falling and the terrible explosions that followed.

It was in the midst of this that my father went back into the house to get some blankets despite the screams from my mother for him to return. He did return with an armful of blankets just in time, for a nearby bomb blew off the sand-bag shielded door of the shelter, and the blast lifted the shelter a few inches, then it dropped back into place.

See BBC People’s War to read his full story. For much more on the Cardiff Blitz and the history of the city see Discover the Past.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Green July 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Does anyone have any information regarding a ww2 submarine being displayed in Cardiff centre, during ww2

Iolo James January 4, 2013 at 10:59 am

Another great post. I thoroughly enjoy visiting the site, the best WWII blog in my book!

I run a history blog myself called Discover the Past about the history of Cardiff and Wales. I’ve just written a post about Cardiff and the Blitz using some of the BBC’s great material. You can visit it here:

Peter L. Griffiths March 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm

In all the surviving accounts of the blitz, very little seems to said about the location of the airfields of the German bombers. These airfields were mostly in Northern France and had been handed over to the Luftwaffe as a result of the French capitulation in June 1940. Without this capitulation there would have been no bombing of Cardiff or any of the other British cities.

Auron Renius February 16, 2011 at 6:13 pm

My city and my birthday, great post.

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