Fri, 09 Feb 2018
A COMMEMORATIVE service will be held at St John’s Church on Sunday to mark the 75th anniversary of the Newbury bombing during the Second World War.
The service, organised by Newbury Town Council and the church, will hear eyewitness accounts of the raid, during which 15 people were killed, including that of resident Tony Wheeler.
Following the service, there will be a procession from the church to the Memorial Stone in St John’s Gardens, where flowers will be laid.
The mayor of Newbury, David Fenn, said the event remains very clear in the memories of a large number of Newbury residents, many of whom witnessed the destruction, which was the main damage sustained by the town during the course of the Second World War.
He added: “It has been very moving to hear the reminiscences of some of the people who witnessed the bombing and it is a miracle that more people were not killed.
“Had the bomb dropped prior to the school finishing time, who knows how many more people could have been killed and injured.”
Chair of the council’s civic pride, arts and leisure committee, Margo Payne, will separately be laying flowers at the town’s memorial in the gardens opposite the church on Saturday – exactly 75 years since the bombing.
She said: “It’s an important part of Newbury history.
“The response we’ve had from people who were there has been amazing.
“People in their 80s, 90s – and we’ve even had a lady come forward who is 102 years old.”
The service on Sunday will begin at 3pm at St John’s Church, after which there will be a reception with tea and coffee at the Fair Close Centre in Newbury.