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Find blitz bomb damage in your street with new online archive
THE LUFTWAFFE may not have targeted Buckinghamshire during the blitz but the county suffered devastation nevertheless.
Thirty three people died and 77 were seriously injured during the second half of 1940 alone when more than 1700 high explosive bombs and 7,200 incendiaries were dropped on the county.
In Chesham for example two people were rushed to hospital with serious injuries when four high explosive bombs fell on and close to Germain Street on September 21st 1940.
This Saturday, seventy years after the start of the blitz, Buckinghamshire County Council will be marking the occasion with the launch of a new on-line database recording enemy action and wartime incidents in the county throughout the Second World War.
Named Bombs Over Bucks, it will give the public unique access to detailed reports of incidents made at the time by ARP (Air Raid Precautions).
One report seen by the Advertiser details the rescue of a woman trapped under rubble after the collapse of a house in Chesham Bois after a direct hit by a flying bomb on July 2 1944.
RE Harris, in charge of the rescue operation, describes organising 150 men to shift the fallen debris by hand until the casualty was found, alive, an hour later, with serious injuries. She was able to tell them that a second person was also trapped in the house, and seven minutes later he was also pulled out, dead.
Sarah Charlton, archivist at the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies in Aylesbury, said: "During the blitz, when German aircraft were returning from cities such as Coventry and London they released remaining bombs as they returned to Germany or France, in order to lighten the aircraft, and many of these fell over Buckinghamshire.
"Towards the end of the war when the Germans were using the dreaded V1 and V2 flying bombs, although aimed principally at London, some landed here. Flying bombs caused devastation in Bucks."
She added that damage was also caused by British aircraft based at airfields in the county and more in neighbouring counties, which either dropped bombs accidentally or crashed during training.
Professor Ian Beckett, a specialist in Buckinghamshire Military History, will give a talk entitled Buckinghamshire and the Second World War at the launch of the Bombs over Bucks database at the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies on Saturday following its official opening by BCC cabinet member Patricia Birchley at 11am. For more information ring 01296 382587 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To view the database visit http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bombs
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