SOUTHAMPTON AIR RAIDS
1940 - 1944

The following information was taken from A DIARY OF AIR RAIDS ON SOUTHAMPTON 6.06.1940 TO 27.06.1944. Mr Walter Kingston, who lived in Pound Street Bitterne, compiled the diary. Mr Dennis Kingston presented a copy to THE BITTERNE LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY and it is now held in the Society archives.

THIS EXTRACT LISTS ONLY THOSE AIR RAID ALERTS THAT RESULTED IN ACTUAL BOMBING IN THE SOUTHAMPTON AREA

The diary lists all the dates, duration and times of the air raid warnings that were sounded in Southampton from June 1940 to October 1944

There were one thousand five hundred and forty nine air raid alerts during the period most of which would have resulted in some activity locally and, where the diary reports ALL QUIET during a period of alert there would have been some enemy activity in the near vicinity possibly at Portsmouth. The alert was sounded when enemy planes were reported flying over any part of our area. No one could be certain that we were not the target.

Inevitably all the local defence services were required to stand by during all of the hours of alert. The diary records that there were a total of one thousand six hundred and seventy eight hours and twenty-five minutes of alert between the sounding of the alarm and the all clear. The population lost many hours of sleep waiting for the All Clear signal and quite often people were unable to sleep at night in anticipation of another night of activity.

The extract listed here includes all those entries where Mr Kingston has reported that any bombs were dropped in and around Southampton and we have also included which part of the town was affected.

For those of us who can remember a particular incident it is a reminder of the date. For anyone who now lives in a house that was rebuilt after the war they may learn when the original house was damaged or destroyed.

Date Time Duration District or Roads Affected
Hrs mins
19-6-40 2330-2340 3 50 Bombs at Millbrook & Redbridge fires Dibden Purlieu
Church destroyed
13-08-40 1540-1715 1 35 Docks lower part of town Cold storage demolished
14-08-40 1645-1850 2 5 Bombs derailed train and caused other damage
St Denys district
21-08-40 1438-1525 47 Woolston near Thornycrofts dredger sunk
21-08-40 1715-1745 30 Damage at airport and Gaters Mill
25-08.40 2120-0215 4 15 Woolston Damage in Radstock Road & West Road
27-08-40 2115-0320 5 35 Outlying district bombs dropped
31-08-40 2140-0300 5 20 Hamble & Salisbury bombs dropped
01-09-40 2245-2345 1 Bombs dropped Eastleigh Mayors House hit
Mayoress died later
10-09-40 2040-0310 6 30 Heavy gunfire Bombs dropped Bath Road
11-09-40 1650-1810 2 7 Heavy gunfire Bombs dropped Cunliffe Owen Swathling
Heavy Casualties
13-09-40 2040-0205 5 25 Slight Gunfire Bombs dropped outlying districts
14-09-40 1530-1700 1 30 Heavy Gunfire Bombs dropped Newtown District
15-09-40 1745-1825 40 Terrific Gunfire Sighted 18 German planes Many bombs dropped
Woolston Station near miss Business premises demolished
and houses in many streets damaged Few casualities
15-09-40 2045-0315 6 30 Heavy gunfire Bombs dropped in town Bernard Street and district
23-08-40 1330-1418 48 Whites yard Supermarine (shelter hit) Northam & Woolston hit
St Barnabys Church destroyed
24-08-40 1625-1800 1 45 Second wave of bombers hit Peartree Woolston and Northam
26-08-40 1500-1710 2 10 Supermarine Whites yard Peartree Avenue Gas works Marne
& Balaclava Roads at Bitterne
11-10-40 1935-0130 5 55 Bombs on Portsmouth Road and district
15-10-40 2010-2065 45 Bombs at Bursledon
23-10-40 1540-1555 15 Bombs dropped outlying district
29-10-40 1425-1525 1 0 Many planes overhead Dog fights Bombs at Portsmouth
29-10-40 1550-1610 1 8 Second wave as above
29-10-40 1650-1758 5 30 Third wave as above
01-11-40 2020-2245 2 25 Planes above Heavy gunfire Bombs dropped at Swathling
17-11-40 1835-0745 13 10 One continuous raid Bombs dropped in all parts of Southampton
and district including Northam, St Denys Bitterne Park
Swathling Highfield Bitterne Thornhill Sholing Many incendiaries
Our worst raid to date
18-11-40 2010-0530 9 20 Planes above Bombs dropped on Prices Bakery Northam
20-11-40 1830-0300 8 30 Bevois Town and Shirley
22-11-40 2000-0600 11 45 Bombs outlying districts
23-11-40 1815-2330 5 15 Whole town and suburbs severely damaged. Houses shops
gutted (Germans claimed to have used 250 planes 250 tons of
bombs 12,000 incendiary bombs )
30-11-40 1810-0230 8 20 Mostly docks and town areas Whole town ablaze
1-12-40 1810-0045 6 35 Southampton again hit with fire and HE bombs
9-01-41 1855-0220 6 35 Raid on Southampton several areas hit with incendiary and HE bombs
19-01-41 1810-2325 5 15 Southampton and Eastleigh bombs and incendiaries
26-02-41 1908-2200 2 52 Fairoak fire bombed
01-03-41 1943-2230 2 47 Portswood bus station hit mostly incendiaries around Newton district
11-03-41 2000-0105 5 5 Docks, Town, Shirley, Portswood and Woolston hit
mainly fire bombs
12-03-41 1954-0050 4 56 Bombs on Southampton
13-3-41 1956-0315 7 19 Heavy gunfire many bombs dropped on Southampton
14-3-41 2007-0245 6 38 Bitterne Church institute burnt out Incendiary through church roof.
Other bombs in town
15-3-41 2130-0135 4 5 Bombs on Southampton
18-3-41 2005-2120 1 15 Bombs near Northam Bridge and Southampton Common
19-3-41 2020-2320 3 0 Bombs at Portswood
28-3-41 1040-1351 3 11 Totton Bursledon hit Overton Mill and many bungalows damaged
7-4 -41 2037-0400 7 23 Bombs at Chandlers Ford
10-4-41 2107-0450 7 43 Land mines dropped Woolston Town Midanbury Severe damage caused
12-4-41 2135-2320 1 45 Bombs in Docks area
15-4-41 2220-0520 7 Enemy plane brought down fell on Padwell Road Bevois Town
18-4-41 1750-1818 28 Bombs on Athelston Road Rownhams district Portsmouth
main target this night
23-4-41 0105-0500 3 20 Bombs at Hursley
5-5-41 0220-0500 2 40 Bombs Bursledon, Marchwood
15-5-41 1644-1725 41 Bombs Woolston and Southampton
22-6-41 0150-0450 3 5 Estimated 54 mines dropped plus H E bombs & incendiaries
Romsey to Hedge End Soton Station had direct hit
25-6-41 0110-0420 3 10 Mines bombs on Southampton & Hedge End Raid on Portsmouth
8-7-41 0040-0310 2 30 All districts of Southampton had bombs and incendiaries
20-8-41 0952-0010 2 18 Bombs in and around Southampton
18-4-42 0220-0350 1 30 Some bombs on Southampton
22-6-42 0045-0205 1 20 Widespread raid Brook Road Bitterne Brewery West End Road
Peartree Ave Mousehole Lane Bitt Park Merry Oak
24-8-42 0947-1010 23 1 bomb dropped on Sholing
22-6-43 0305-0350 45 Bombs dropped at Portswood
24-2-44 0940-2300 2 20 Bombs dropped on Southampton