18th Oct, 2017

Archive of Blitz material goes under the hammer

Steve Carpenter 5th Dec, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A REMARKABLE archive of material kept from the Coventry Blitz in 1940 provoked national interest after going on sale at an auction.

The archive was put together during the immediate aftermath of the Blitz and includes a German incendiary bomb fin which was found in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral, together with parts of old Coventry tramway retrieved from the devastation.

A remarkable collection of shrunken, hardened, parchment scrolls which are 19th century indentures were recovered from the safe of a solicitors office despite the building being razed to the ground.

The most expensive item sold to a bidder from Coventry for £310 and included a chilling Luftwaffe aerial map from the year before the raid showing the Daimler works outlined in red, already marked for destruction.

A collection of orginal newspapers following the raid were sold to buyers from America and Dubai for £260 and £200 respectively.

Other items that were on sale included gas masks, a wardens steel helmet and an oil painting of Coventry Cathedral on fire.

“The collection would rival that of any archive held by institutions local or national,” said Hansons Militaria expert Mr Adrian Stevenson.

“The scrapbook, which was compiled from 1941 onwards, comprises press cuttings from the period and is a truly unique snapshot of the time of the raid. Several tangible artefacts are very poignant reminders of the smouldering remains of the city.”

The auction took place at Hansons Militaria in Etwall.

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