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Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Friday, 10 December 2010
Bombing anniversary remembered in Cheltenham
Brian Chaplin
Brian Chaplin was at primary school in Cheltenham in 1941

A former mayor of Cheltenham says not enough has been done to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the town's bombing for the first time in World War II.

Twenty people were killed in the raid on December 11, 1940.

Others were injured and 600 people lost their homes.

Brian Chaplin said: "Considering that a lot of people did lose their lives and were injured and made homeless it's a shame that Cheltenham Borough Council could not have marked the occasion."

'Huge orange cloud'

Brian, who was five-years-old at the time, said he remembers the events of 70 years ago very clearly:

"I was just 200 yards from the bomb that dropped on the gas holder, which is now JJB Sports, in Gloucester Road.

It blew the doors open and there was a huge orange cloud.
Brian Chaplin

"I was in the stoke hole of the Gloucester Road primary school at the time. It blew the doors open and there was a huge orange cloud."

The bombs were dropped on Cheltenham as Nazi planes made their way back from a raid on Coventry.

Several parts of the town were hit, including Stoneville Street where several people were killed, injured and made homeless.

Remembrance

"I went along there, I remember, the next morning to see the devastation," said Brian.

"It wasn't a happy experience at all."

Brian said he is disappointed the council hasn't organised any sort of ceremony, but he said he was still able to mark the occasion in his own way:

"I went along to the Remembrance Day service [in November 2010] and that was part of my remembrance for those people who died, were injured and were made homeless in Cheltenham," he said.

Later in the war Cheltenham was hit by German bombs again. Brunswick Street was hit on 27 July 1942 and 11 people were killed.




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