The Blitz on Britain continues

25th June 1941: Not all of the Luftwaffe had been diverted to the Eastern Front

The Blitz had not ended in Britain, even if there had been very little activity over London since 10th May:

Bombing throughout the week was on a minor scale except on the nights of the 21st/22nd and 25th/26th June, when slightly heavier bombing occurred at Southampton and the surrounding district. The feature of these two nights was the greater number of parachute mines dropped.

On other nights, slight bombing occurred over widely scattered places, amongst which were Merseyside, Gorleston near Yarmouth, Margate and in the London Region.

Damage. Southampton, 21st/22nd June.

In the Dock area there was serious damage to a shed and a leak was caused in King George V Dry Dock. At the Southern Railway’s Central Station the down-line platform was practically demolished and the main lines were blocked by debris. Normal traffic was resumed on the 23rd June. The damage to house property was heavy.

Elsewhere. At Gorleston damage received by the gas works has temporarily stopped supplies, and at Birkenhead the entrance to the Mersey tunnel was damaged. At other places only minor damage occurred.

Casualties. Casualties for the week ending 0600 hours, the 25th June, are estimated at 39 killed, 116 seriously injured. There were no casualties in London.

From the Home Security Situation report for the week see TNA CAB 66/17/19.

An unexploded German Parachute Mine. These were Naval mines originally intended to be used against shipping but many were dropped on land from 1940 onwards, a clockwork mechanism usually detonated them 25 seconds after they landed, causing enormous damage from the blast.

Amongst those who experienced the bombing of Southampton was Doris Lowdon.

During WW2, one evening, my husband and I went to the cinema. It was the Rialto on Shirley High street. Dennis was on leave from the RAF and we thought we would have a night out as we had not seen each other for sometime. While we sat watching the film an air raid had started, the Germans were bombing Southampton docks.

Suddenly the lights came on and the manager said that the raid was getting worse and anyone wishing to leave could do so, well most of us went into the foyer but incendary bombs started raining through the ceiling. I panicked and took to my heels and out through the front glass door of the cinema, a tram car had been blown up to smithereens, it was terrible, I thought my end was up. I bolted up the High street, my husband flying after me, ambulance bells were ringing everywhere.

There was an ARP Warden at his post and he was yelling to us to get down. Then we heard a SWISH of air and I went down, my husband on top of me and the Warden on top of him. None of us moved for a minute or two then the warden said, now get down to the shelter!

But across the road from us had been the Co-op Dairy and Bakery, well that was gone, and the poor horses that had been stabled there were blown to bits, their bodies and heads were strewn across the road, it was horrific to see.

Well the Lord was really with us that night as that bomb was only yards away from us. Shirley High street was all ablaze nearly, all the shops were burning and the firemen were doing a grand job, it was really chaos everywhere. Finally we got to the shelter and did not come out until the "All Clear" sire had sounded.

It was morning before we came out of the shelter, we saw the High street shops were gutted, there was hardly anything left standing. But it didn't deter some of the people, wardens were handing out big mugs of hot tea to warm us up from the shock of the night before, which some of us will never forget.

From BBC Peoples War, this account is undated.