A Victim of a Baedeker Raid - John Edward Chambers (1905 - 1942)

The following cutting is from the Derby Evening Telegraph dated 4th May 1952 and refers to the death of a Rolls-Royce employee in an air raid on York the previous week.

He was a victim of what came to be known as the Baedeker Blitz or Baedeker Raids. The  bombing raids by the Luftwaffe were were intended to demoralise and disrupt civilian life. Targets were chosen for their cultural and historical significance, rather than for any military value. The main set of raids began late April 1942, and ended by the end of May 1942, though towns and cities continued to be targeted for their cultural value for the next two years.

The raid on York was unusual in as much as damage to the target was localised and intense but the number of fatalities was high - John was one of 109 persons who lost the lives of the night of the Wednesday 29th April 1942. The house he was lodging in - 20 Queen Anne's Road received a direct hit and he was killed together with his colleague 24 year old Leslie Munn.

Details from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission state

Civilian CHAMBERS, JOHN EDWARD

Died 29/04/1942 Aged 36

Civilian War Dead - 
Son of John and Angela Veronica Chambers, of 17 Thorncliffe Lane, Chapeltown, Sheffield; husband of Patricia Angela Chambers, of 18 Sinfin Lane, Normanton, Derby. Died at 20 Queen Anne's Road.

 

 

I had a bit of trouble finding "Jack" but eventually I did confirm that he was born in Sheffield and that his parents John and Angela were still living at Thorncliffe Lane Chapeltown. Although he was married (in 1930) to Patricia and had three daughters, one of which was only six months old, his body was brought back to Sheffield and not Derby the town where he had lived for the last six years. High Mass was said for John at the local Roman Catholic Church on Monday 4th May 1942 and he was interred the following  day in the churchyard.

But I am unsure about the name and location of the church. As far as I can ascertain there was no Roman Catholic Church in Chapeltown but there was one in the neighbouring district of High Green - St Marys . But I am sure the latter does not have a churchyard. 

Probate was granted to his widow Patricia in June 1942 - Patricia remained a widow until her death in Derby in 1985. She was 80 years old and had been a widow for 43 years.

Sources

UK CENSUS

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Derby Evening Telegraph dated Monday 4th May 1942

National Probate Register

Military Histories - York

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