Today marks the 77th anniversary of the Coventry Blitz. On the night of November 14, 1940 at around 7pm, the first of over 1,200 bombs were dropped by the German Luftwaffe. The ‘Raiders Past’ signal was finally heard at 6.16am on the morning of November 15.
The 11 hour reign of terror over Coventry saw the loss of 568 of it’s people and injuries to over 1,000 more.
The Germans targeted Coventry knowing it had a strong manufacturing background with most of the factories being used during WWI to build munitions based products.
Images that were taken after the harrowing event show the devastation that was caused and the amount of work the people of Coventry were faced with to get their fair city back to its former glory.
Once Coventry had re-established itself, and with the original St Michael’s Cathedral sustaining massive damage during the raid, it was decided to build a new Cathedral.
In 1950 Basil Spence was appointed as the architect for the new Cathedral which would sit alongside the ruins of the original. Work started in 1956 when Queen Elizabeth II laid the foundation stone, and was completed in 1962 when Wing Commander, John Dowling, used a helicopter to lower the unconventional spire onto the roof .
With the birth of the new Cathedral and the impending Gibson redevelopment of the city centre, like the Phoenix, Coventry had firmly risen from the ashes.