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.

DateTimeDurationDistrict or Roads Affected
Hrs mins
19-6-402330-23403 50Bombs at Millbrook & Redbridge fires Dibden Purlieu
Church destroyed
13-08-401540-17151 35Docks lower part of town Cold storage demolished
14-08-401645-18502 5Bombs derailed train and caused other damage
St Denys district
21-08-401438-152547Woolston near Thornycrofts dredger sunk
21-08-401715-174530Damage at airport and Gaters Mill
25-08.402120-02154 15Woolston Damage in Radstock Road & West Road
27-08-402115-03205 35Outlying district bombs dropped
31-08-402140-03005 20Hamble & Salisbury bombs dropped
01-09-402245-23451Bombs dropped Eastleigh Mayors House hit
Mayoress died later
10-09-402040-03106 30Heavy gunfire Bombs dropped Bath Road
11-09-401650-18102 7Heavy gunfire Bombs dropped Cunliffe Owen Swathling
Heavy Casualties
13-09-402040-02055 25Slight Gunfire Bombs dropped outlying districts
14-09-401530-17001 30Heavy Gunfire Bombs dropped Newtown District
15-09-401745-182540Terrific Gunfire Sighted 18 German planes Many bombs dropped
Woolston Station near miss Business premises demolished
and houses in many streets damaged Few casualities
15-09-402045-03156 30Heavy gunfire Bombs dropped in town Bernard Street and district
23-09-401330-141848Whites yard Supermarine (shelter hit) Northam & Woolston hit
St Barnabys Church destroyed
24-09-401625-18001 45Second wave of bombers hit Peartree Woolston and Northam
26-09-401500-17102 10Supermarine Whites yard Peartree Avenue Gas works Marne
& Balaclava Roads at Bitterne
11-10-401935-01305 55Bombs on Portsmouth Road and district
15-10-402010-206545Bombs at Bursledon
23-10-401540-155515Bombs dropped outlying district
29-10-401425-15251 0Many planes overhead Dog fights Bombs at Portsmouth
29-10-401550-16101 8Second wave as above
29-10-401650-17585 30Third wave as above
01-11-402020-22452 25Planes above Heavy gunfire Bombs dropped at Swathling
17-11-401835-074513 10One 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
18-11-402010-05309 20Planes above Bombs dropped on Prices Bakery Northam
20-11-401830-03008 30Bevois Town and Shirley
22-11-402000-060011 45Bombs outlying districts
23-11-401815-23305 15Whole town and suburbs severely damaged. Houses shops
gutted (Germans claimed to have used 250 planes 250 tons of
bombs 12,000 incendiary bombs )
30-11-401810-02308 20Mostly docks and town areas Whole town ablaze
1-12-401810-00456 35Southampton again hit with fire and HE bombs
9-01-411855-02206 35Raid on Southampton several areas hit with incendiary and HE bombs
19-01-411810-23255 15Southampton and Eastleigh bombs and incendiaries
26-02-411908-22002 52Fairoak fire bombed
01-03-411943-22302 47Portswood bus station hit mostly incendiaries around Newton district
11-03-412000-01055 5Docks, Town, Shirley, Portswood and Woolston hit
mainly fire bombs
12-03-411954-00504 56Bombs on Southampton
13-3-411956-03157 19Heavy gunfire many bombs dropped on Southampton
14-3-412007-02456 38Bitterne Church institute burnt out Incendiary through church roof.
Other bombs in town
15-3-412130-01354 5Bombs on Southampton
18-3-412005-21201 15Bombs near Northam Bridge and Southampton Common
19-3-412020-23203 0Bombs at Portswood
28-3-411040-13513 11Totton Bursledon hit Overton Mill and many bungalows damaged
7-4 -412037-04007 23Bombs at Chandlers Ford
10-4-412107-04507 43Land mines dropped Woolston Town Midanbury Severe damage caused
12-4-412135-23201 45Bombs in Docks area
15-4-412220-05207Enemy plane brought down fell on Padwell Road Bevois Town
18-4-411750-181828Bombs on Athelston Road Rownhams district Portsmouth
main target this night
23-4-410105-05003 20Bombs at Hursley
5-5-410220-05002 40Bombs Bursledon, Marchwood
15-5-411644-172541Bombs Woolston and Southampton
22-6-410150-04503 5Estimated 54 mines dropped plus H E bombs & incendiaries
Romsey to Hedge End Soton Station had direct hit
25-6-410110-04203 10Mines bombs on Southampton & Hedge End Raid on Portsmouth
8-7-410040-03102 30All districts of Southampton had bombs and incendiaries
20-8-410952-00102 18Bombs in and around Southampton
18-4-420220-03501 30Some bombs on Southampton
22-6-420045-02051 20Widespread raid Brook Road Bitterne Brewery West End Road
Peartree Ave Mousehole Lane Bitt Park Merry Oak
24-8-420947-1010231 bomb dropped on Sholing
22-6-430305-035045Bombs dropped at Portswood
24-2-440940-23002 20Bombs dropped on Southampton