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Memorial to 1939 Broadgate bombing

A memorial stone dedicated to the five victims of the 1939 Broadgate bombing was unveiled on Coventry Cathedral’s Unity Lawn on Wednesday 14 October 2015.

On 25 August 1939, just nine days before the outbreak of WWII, at around 2.30pm a bomb went off in Broadgate, one of Coventry’s main shopping streets, killing five people and injuring 70. The bomb had been planted into the carrier basket of a bicycle by the IRA.

The five victims were Elsie Ansell, 21, Rex Gentle, 30, James Clay, 82, Gwilym Rowlands, 50 and John Arnott, who was just 15 years old.

The families and relatives of the victims were invited to the unveiling and dedication of the memorial stone in a service organised by Coventry Cathedral and Coventry City Council.

A white rose was laid on the memorial stone by a representative of each of the victims to honour their memory.

The Very Reverend John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry and the Lord Mayor of the City of Coventry, Councillor Michael Hammon both also laid a rose as a mark of respect.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Michael Hammon, said “As a city promoting peace and reconciliation it is most fitting that we honour the loss by unveiling and dedicating this memorial stone to remember the five people who sadly lost their lives 76 years ago.”

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