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uk speedbird

The night of Dec 12th & 13th, please help!

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Hi There,

I’m new to the forum and would like to know if there is anyone out there that can help me in my quest to find out about the house and indeed the street that I lived in.

Ok the story; myself and my brother and sister grew up at 119 Rock Street in the 60’s and 70’s. We knew that their had been some bomb damage to the house during the war because apparently a bomb had dropped in the garden of 117 next door and killed a young mother and her four children.

For many years whilst young we would occasionally dig up bones and run to show our parents thinking they were animal bones, of course our parents knew what they were and just told us to go and bury them back in garden.

We eventually moved from Rock Street in the early 80’s, then in our teens and early twenties. After recently visiting the library to do some investigating about our current house, my sister and I decided to have a brief look at the history of our old house on Rock Street. To cut a long story short we found out that not only did the bomb drop in our garden and not next-door, but also that there were nine people in total that died associated with our house! The names of the people were Cooper, Neal, and Thurtle.

The Coopers were sheltering in the Fox Street shelter and died December 12th whilst the Neal’s and Mr Thurtle (who incidentally was Mrs Coopers Father) died at 119 Rock Street (I take it that would be a garden shelter) on December 13th.

Myself and my family have really taken to the idea of finding out as much as possible about that night on Rock Street, and would love to know if anyone has any information at all regarding the people involved and anything else to do with our house. If anyone has any old photographs maps or just memories it would be greatly appreciated. We lived at 119 for 25 years and in that time we never knew of those who died so tragically in our home and it would be good to finally pay our respects for those we never knew.

All the best, James.

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tsavo    1

Interesting post James. I seem to remember the Rock St bomb being mentioned somewhere else on the site. Will have a scout round and try and find it. Meanwhile, welcome to Sheffield History.

Laurence

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Thanks for the reply Guy's, the survey map is very interesting, especially seenig how I don't remember ANY of the streets accross the road from when I was little! (1970+)

D you happen to know where the Fox street shelter was?

Jim. :rolleyes:

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And a crude map from the Star showing where bombs fell (the black dots)

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ceegee    0

Hello UK Speedbird

There is a page on the following site about the Civilian War Dead of Pitsmoor

http://www.chrishobbs.com/sheffield/pitsmoorwardead.htm

According to the article, 90 civilians in the Pitsmoor area were killed on the night in question - 8% of the overall total which I suppose gives an indication of the intensity of the Luftwaffe attack, and the UK's preparedness for such attacks

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Big thanks to everyone who's looked round for stuff for me. I've been really busy these last two days at work so have'nt been able to check back. I'm going to have a look through the attachments this weekend when I've got some time.

I'm going back to the library as well when I'm off in two weeks to see if I can find anything else out.

It looks as though it's going to be pretty hard to find much more than you may have found but I'd really like to know as much as possible.

Anyway, thanks for the help so far and the warm welcome lol

Jim.

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siren    0

UK Speedbird

I lived on Helen Terrace in the 50's which is just off Rock St on the other side from your house at 119 Rock St. I knew about the people killed but was always told they lived at 109 Rock St, which, when I was there was inhabited by a Polish Family called Scott (Anglisized). All the records say the people killed lived at 119 so I dont know if my memory is correct. I have pondered for yrs where the Fox St shelter was and I think it was near to the junction of Fox St and Grey St, near to the top of Fox Hill.

If you look at the attached pic taken after WW2 you can see that the footpath across what was known as the old gardens finishes in what looks like a crater,at the bottom of the pic, very like the known crater opposite Pye Bank school in the upper part of the pic.

At that point the raised footpath which ran up Fox St from Pitsmoor Rd also ended abruptly.

What I think was a crater was used for many yrs as a parking place for lorries. I have not found any evidence to support my theory but neither have I found any better site for the shelter. Its very name, Fox St Shelter, suggests to me it was a public stand alone shelter, similar to the ones in Pye Bank School playground which had not been demolished in the late 50's when I was there, and not a strengthened part of an existing building.

Love to hear from anybody with the definitive answer.

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siren    0

Uk Speedbird

Sorry can't get the pic to attach send me your e mail and I'll send it to you.

Dennis

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tsavo    1

Hi Dennis, doenload problems are usually due to the size of the image. The download limit is 2MB and the format is

usually JPG with compression. Hope this helps.

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siren    0

The crater at Pye Bank is a definite bomb hit and you can see the similarities around the crater edges. Just off the pic at the bottom, you can just see the flattened area was the Holy Trinity Vicarage, which was also destroyed. The 3 hits are in a straight line which may suggest a stick of bombs, but thats a guess.

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SteveHB    9

Thank You for the photo siren, you're above post is now updated.

We can work wonders on here lol

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Dennis you are indeed the man! I had the whole family round to see your picture of the bomb craters on Fox Street and Pye bank. It’s the first time that we have seen any sort of photographic bomb damage in the immediate area around our house from that period! I would agree with you that the crater on the junction of Grey Street and Fox Street is indeed a true crater and could be the site of the Fox Street shelter. It's amazing that no one actually knows where it is! Ok, how’s this for an idea. The line of bombs heading exactly due north from Grey St to Pye Bank suggest they may have been dropped from a separate aircraft to the one that flew just east of north, and took out the vicarage, 95 Rock Street, the shelter in 119 Rock Streets garden, and 159 Rock Street. My idea behind this is that if you measure the distance between the latter bomb hits it comes out at roughly 300 feet or so. But if you measure the distance from Grey/Fox Street to Pye Bank it works to 450 feet.

The other thing that may support this is that the records say the Coopers died on the 12th at the Fox Street shelter, whilst the Neals and Mr Thrutle died on the 13th in 119’s back garden. This may suggest that two different aircraft did separate damage. That’s my idea, but I guess we’ll never know. I’m pretty sure one of the aircraft used during the blitz was the He 111 and I think the other was the Dornier 217. I would assume that these two aircraft would have separate release mechanisms to drop their bombs and this would account from the different bomb hits. Of course there are many other factors to add into that like wind speed, aircraft airspeed etc but that’s my theory.

Looking at your photograph just now Dennis, do you think there could be another bomb hit on Pitsmoor Road? I’ve marked it on the map with a red square, and I don’t know if it’s the angle or what but it looks like half the building to the north of the area is missing. I know people did perish on Pitsmoor Road maybe we found another bomb site?

The photo does stop tantalizingly close to our house though! Do you have any more of this photo continuing onto the east Dennis? If not do you have an idea where I can start looking for more wartime aerial photos of Sheffield?

The more I’m finding out the more intriguing it’s becoming.

Thanks again guys for your help so far it’s greatly appreciated!

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As you go up Rock Street, from the Neepsend side, between Fox Hill and Andover Street, there is a new-ish (25 year old?) semi-detached house in the middle of the old Victorian properties. A friend of mine lived in the one nearest Andover street in the eighties. I wonder if these properties are on the site of the bomb damage? (there are also some "new" properties, of the same age, between Andover Street and Nottingham St.)

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Yes you're right plain talker, the new house between Fox Hill and Andover Street is on the site of 95 Rock Street where the the West family died (4) If you look on the survey map above you can see the gap in the 1950's between 87 & 97 Rock Street. Also the new house between Andover Street and Nottigham Street is on the site of 159 Rock Street where the Cox & Dunn families died. Incidentally an uncle (friend of the family we called uncle) of ours passed by 159 Rock street shortly after the air raid and herd a child crying from within the property. He tried to gain access but was stopped by a fire warden who said it was too dangerous for a civilian to try and enter. He said that it sounded like a girl crying, but looking through the records it was probably 6-year-old Peter Dunn as he was the only child in the house of the age my uncle said was crying. In the end no one from the property survived and ended up on the list of the many dead in Rock Street. :(

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Yes you're right plain talker, the new house between Fox Hill and Andover Street is on the site of 95 Rock Street where the the West family died (4) If you look on the survey map above you can see the gap in the 1950's between 87 & 97 Rock Street. Also the new house between Andover Street and Nottigham Street is on the site of 159 Rock Street where the Cox & Dunn families died. Incidentally an uncle (friend of the family we called uncle) of ours passed by 159 Rock street shortly after the air raid and herd a child crying from within the property. He tried to gain access but was stopped by a fire warden who said it was too dangerous for a civilian to try and enter. He said that it sounded like a girl crying, but looking through the records it was probably 6-year-old Peter Dunn as he was the only child in the house of the age my uncle said was crying. In the end no one from the property survived and ended up on the list of the many dead in Rock Street. :(

crikey, you can't imagine folk having to live through that, can you?.

I lived round the corner on Andover Drive for a time in the early eighties, and I remember the new houses further up toward Nottingham Street being built (and the housing association properties on the corner of Andover Street and Gray Street being built. We lived opposite the old school-board school

I related my grandma's story of the dead-body of the beautiful young man, being brought out of the ruins of the Marples, looking like there was not a mark on him, elsewhere on this site.

I can't remember if I've related the story of my father as a tot, during the blitz.

My grandparents were bombed out of their home at the top of Broomhall street (coincidentally, the site of which is bang- outside my current office window!!!!!!)

My father tells of his memories of being carried as a small child, in my Grandpa's arms, through the city centre, to the safety of my great grandparents' (intact!) house on the Arbourthorne.

My father describes his very clear memories of seeing the bomb damage, and being carried past the ruins of the Marples.

(I wonder... *she muses, because it has all-of-a-sudden occurred to her...* - whether the two incidents mentioned {by my Gran, and by my father} happened in parallel, and whether the three of them were walking together, past the marples, after the bombing...)

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A larger image wouldn't go amiss on this one.

This may be the wrong place to raise this question, but as it is war related I will ask. I had an aunt who was knocked down and killed by a tram during the blackout in Jan 1942. It happened outside or near her home at Templeborough. The tram was either coming from or going to Sheffield. I am afraid I do not know her married name, but she was Elsie Jackson before she married, and she was 32 when she died.

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Yggdrasil    0

I don't suppose there's a similar photo out there showing the bomb damage done to the Neepsend Picture Palace at the bottom of Rutland Road?

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Canada    0

Hi everyone, this is my first post and a reply to UK Speedbirds post from 2008. He wanted to know about the occupants of 119 Rock St killed on the night of Dec 13 1940, so here is the information that I was told by my mother. Her name was Dorothy Edna Noble (nee Neale ) born 27 August 1937, and her parents were Ernest and Edna Neale, the adults in question. Her brother was Tony Neale, the child in the house who was killed. Mom should have been home that evening , but due to a problem she thought was measles, she was sent to stay with her Aunt Gladys so as to not pass this on to her brother.  After the raid she was left an orphan, and her Grand mother Mrs Dorothy Agnes Davy of 9 Kilton Lane , and the aunt Gladys who had custody of her applied to adopt her. Mom was told that the courts at the time awarded custody to her Aunt Gladys. They reasoned that the younger of the two would be a better choice due to Moms tender age of 3. All of this information was told to Mom when she was 16, and was difficult for her to take it all in.    Mr Thurtle who was also killed at 119 Rock St was not related to her as far as I know, and a mystery to why he was there . It is possible he took shelter from the bombing. I would like to find anyone related to us on the Neale / Davy side if possible. Thanks in advance to anyone who can advise me.   Neil

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