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Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Southampton Blitz: Ordnance Survey map of bomb sites
OS Blitz map

The sites of over 700 bombs dropped on Southampton during the Blitz have been plotted by the Ordnance Survey (OS).

The town was targeted by German raids because of its importance as a military port and the home of Spitfire production.

The map shows 712 locations from the heaviest raids on the town, on 30 November and 1 December, 1940.

The new clickable map also records first-hand accounts of people living in Southampton at the time.

Severe bombing

The worst clustering of bombs on the map can been seen on the southern side of Northam Bridge.

OS operations manager, Danny Hyam said: "There's about 29 bombs in a cluster there - they were trying to hit the Spitfire factory.

"If you look at the modern mapping the bombs stop at the top, around Maybush because it wasn't built on at the time - they didn't bother bombing where there weren't houses," said Mr Hyam.

Residents can find out if they live where a World War II bomb fell - and compare Southampton now to 70 years ago, revealing the impact the Blitz has had on the city.

The interactive Blitz map uses the OS web-map builder application and can zoom in to street level showing the sites of severe bombing overlaid onto a modern-day map.

Clickable markers give first hand accounts of what happened during Southampton's darkest hour from some of the people who lived through it.

Devotion to duty

Ordnance Survey London road
The mapping agency's complex in London Road was severely hit

During Southampton's Blitz, the Ordnance Survey's own headquarters at London Road - now the courthouse buildings - was extensively damaged.

The mapping agency had a large complex of buildings in the centre of the town, made up of around seven large and eight smaller outbuildings.

The 1,500 wartime staff were a mix of Royal Engineers and civilians. When the bombing raids intensified at the end of November they had to turn their hands to anything.

The staff, who were under great pressure and stress in the difficult conditions were given shovels to clear the rubble from the Georgian buildings and get them back into operation.

Ordnance Survey's Phil Watts said: "There was a great deal of stoicism.

"Each morning after the raids the cleaners turned up ready for work, regardless of what had gone on over night."

The heroic work at Ordnance Survey resulted in the award of two George medals - to Royal Engineer, Lieutenant Jack Keleher and boy soldier NS Thompson for their bravery, initiative and devotion to duty.

Ordnance Survey produced 342 million maps in support of the war effort between 1939-45.

The agency, which dates back 219 years, is currently moving to a new £40m head office on the outskirts of Southampton.

Listen to Southampton's Darkest Hour at 1900 GMT on Tuesday, 30 November on 96.1FM BBC Radio Solent and BBC iPlayer - available for 7 days.

Audio slideshow: Blitz memories
24 Nov 10 |  History
Southampton remembers Blitz bombs
30 Nov 10 |  History


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