This memorial to Civilians killed during the bombing of the city of Southampton may be found in Hollybrook Cemetery. It is not a very imposing monument either, and if you did not know you would assume it is just a seating area.
It seems as if it was recently repainted, and in the repainting they really made the inscription illegible.
The monument has another inscription on it which advises that the rubble stonework was obtained from bomb damaged buildings in the city.
Many of the casualties from the bombing are buried at Hollybrook, and I heard a rumour that there was a mass grave in the cemetery for unidentified bodies, but was never able to confirm it. I used to stay in East Street, next door to the Debenhams store which used to be Edwin Jones & Co., and there is an inscription on the building that states it is a replacement for the original building that was destroyed in the bombing.
Over the road from Debenhams, in Houndwell Park, there is another plinth with an inscription that very few people are aware of.
And finally, just outside the Bargate there is another memorial to those who died in the city during the bombing.
The bombing also damaged a lot of buildings, and one of the most obvious signs of the damage may be seen on the corner of St Bernard (St Michael’s), and High Street where the ruins of the Holyrood Church stand.
Across the River Itchen in Woolston, the Supermarine factory used to be and it was targeted by the Luftwaffe, and large parts of the area were devastated too. A plaque commemorates the demise of the community known as “Itchen Ferry”.
Up in South Stoneham Cemetery near Southampton Airport is the a Roll of Honour commemorating the men and women killed in a bombing raid on 11 September 1940 at the Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft Ltd works nearby. 52 People were killed and 92 injured.
Photographing war graves I often forget that amongst the many graves in some of these cemeteries there are many civilians who lost their lives in the cities due to the enemy bombing, and I find it sad that there is no real way to tell them apart from normal deaths. Southampton is a city rich with history, and I often used to walk amongst the old buildings and wonder what it must have looked like before the bombers came. Sadly, the result of the bombers did not necessarily result in a better city, if anything development was stifled somewhat because so much had been destroyed, and the results were missing the unique touch of old Southampton.
DRW © 2015 – 2021. Created 13/03/2015, moved to Musings 31/01/2021