THE 7th – 9th MAY 1941 saw heaviest bombing raids on Hull during the second world war. During three nights of bombing, there were 1,200 casualties and 420 people killed.
Hedon was also bombed and on the night of 8th May 1941 two houses, Ashley Villas and Daisy Villas, on Magdalen Lane were destroyed and twelve people killed, seven of them from the same family.
Those killed in the bombing raid that night, were:
Ellen Pricilla Ellerton age 54
Josephine Mary Ellerton age 26
Muriel French age 38
John Richard French age 9
Lucy Jubilee Lear age 44
Ernest John Spicer age 45
Vida May Spicer age 44
Lance Corporal Norman Spicer age 23
Joan Spicer age 22
Delma Spicer age 14
Geoffrey Spicer age 10
Edward Spicer age 6
The tragic fate of the Spicer family is perhaps one of the worst ever recorded of any family in the town. Two of the family members Norman and Delma were not at the family home, Daisy Villas, the night before the Magdalen Lane bombing. Norman, who was on leave from the Royal Engineers, was visiting his friend in Preston. Apparently, Norman had been invited to stop another night but opted to go home and so was caught up in the tragedy. Delma had also spent the night before the bombing at a friend’s house.
There was one survivor of the bombing, Jack Spicer who was away working driving a lorry when his home was hit. On the family grave however it is reported that Jack too died only two years later in February 1943 aged 22.
The family was buried in their town of origin Scunthorpe at Crosby Cemetery. This picture of the gravestone was taken in 2012 by Peter Batty. At that point it was obviously in a state of neglect and had even been vandalised.
The family is, however, commemorated in a Memorial Tribute created by Muriel Scudamore and Julie Marshall which is currently hung in the Hedon Town Hall. This follows a campaign by Mr Don Faley supported by Jim Lindop to commemorate all those Hedon residents killed by enemy action in the town during World War II.
The Hedon Blog has tried to capture information on this tragic incident from several sources, we have linked together the Blog entries under the heading Memorial Tribute. The comments in Memorial Tribute to Hedon’s air raid victims, are especially interesting.
But we have also received many emails and telephone calls over the last three years about this issue for which we are extremely grateful. They have given much additional information and also memories of that time in 1941.
With thanks in particular to Peter Batty, Geoff Ducker, Peter Robson, Jim Uney and James Bagnall.