Casualties on 27th July 1942

A Rescue Party exercise, 1943

According to Mr J Cliff in 'Solihull in Wartime' (attached right), a bomb was dropped on the gas works drive around 6am and it bounced over trees and a field into Cornyx Lane.  

A diary entry by Mrs Kathleen Roger of Alston Road for Monday 27th July reads: “lying in bed about 6-30 in morning after sirens had gone off for warning.  Hear plane approaching. Think it is English.  Heard a rumbling, rolled out of bed onto floor.  It was bombs dropped further up the road.  The Pinder family all killed, also Mrs Johnson and her mother, of Alston Road. Mrs Myat killed, also Betty Pearce of Cornyx Lane. Lots of houses damaged.”

All six members of the Pinder family at number 25 Cornyx Lane were killed.  Edgar Pinder, a former tool maker, aged 55, (see casualty sheet 22, attached above right), his wife Alice Lizzie Pinder, aged 54, (see casualty sheet 30, attached above right) and their children, Edith Mary Pinder, shop assistant, aged 24 (see casualty sheet 25 attached above right), Doris Muriel Pinder, shop assistant, aged 21, (see casualty sheet 24, attached above right), 18-year old Home Guard member and rivetter at the Gas Works, Ralph Pinder (see casualty sheet 28, attached above right), and 16-year old ATC cadet and plumber's apprentice, Neville Pinder (see casualty sheet 23, attached above right) were all found shortly after 7am.

Also killed in nearby Alston Road were widow Jane Miller, aged 78, (see casualty sheet 26, attached above right) and her widowed daughter Violet Johnson, aged 48 (see casualty sheet 27, attached above right).  Both were killed at 6 Alston Road.  At 8 Alston Road, 40-year old Beatrice May Myatt also died (see casualty sheet 29, attached above right), as did 30-year old Mary Elizabeth Pearse, who lived at 19 Cornyx Lane but died at 8 Alston Road.

The following silent film footage of the bomb damage was captured by Councillor H.T. Lavender.

This raid is likely to be the same one that Stephanie Cole refers to in her opening chapter of her autobiography, A Passionate Life (available from Solihull Libraries - see the library catalogue).  She was 9 months old and living with her mother and great-aunt at 1 Cornyx Lane, above her aunt’s grocery shop.  She and her mother had just got up to go to the shelter when the bomb exploded near their back garden.  The blast blew out all the windows, sending huge shards of glass into the bed where they had been moments before.  The staircase was blown out and the family was forced to return to Stephanie Cole’s grandparents’ house in Broad Oaks Road while the damage was repaired.

The map below, from 1938, shows the location of Cornyx Lane and Alston Road in relation to the Gas Works at Solihull Wharf.

Map from 1938, showing the location of Cornyx Lane and Alston Road in relation to the Gas Works at Solihull Wharf

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