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Shrapnel from Dudley

By Black Country Bugle User  |  Posted: August 21, 2008

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OVER recent weeks a number of Bugle readers have written in with their recollections of bomb damage to the region during the Second World War and the so-called 'Hitler's calling cards'. This correspondence was originally prompted by an article by Dianne Pye and interest in the subject was further fuelled by photographs printed in Bugle 828 of bomb damage to Dudley Top Church in 1940. A furniture shop opposite the church took a direct hit and shrapnel from the bomb peppered the facade of the church, which still bears the marks today.

Calvin Tonks of Kingswinford brought to the Bugle office a piece of that very bomb. It was collected by his mother Evelyn and has been kept by the family ever since. The shard from the bomb casing is about two and a half inches long and the machined finish to the outer surface is still distinguishable. Calvin's mother worked for the Chief Inspector of Armaments and she toured the region inspecting gas masks, kit bags and the like.

In Bugle 832 we printed a letter from Margaret Baxter of Halesowen in which she recounted her memories of another of Hitler's calling cards that fell on the Grace Mary Estate, Tividale. In response we have received this from Alan Dawes of Willenhall:

"From an old newspaper I can give some details which may interest your reader Margaret Baxter. The bombs were dropped on 20th November, 1940. They were two massive land mines which floated down by parachute. One land mine fell into a field, the other ripped into a row of houses. Two families were killed and about 13 people perished in the incident."

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