Hedon Homes destroyed during Blitz – Have you any information?

CAN YOU HELP? The Hedon Blog has been contacted by Mr James Bagnall who has asked for any information readers may have about two Hedon homes destroyed in the Blitz on Hull during World War II in 1941. We reproduce his letter here:

I have for some time been interested in the history of my house on Magdalen Lane in Hedon and particularly bomb damage that occurred on the street during the blitz on Hull in 1941. I understand that there were two houses that suffered direct hits on the evening on 8th May 1941 – Daisy Villas and Ashley Villas in Hedon.

A neighbour has a keystone block in his garage that reads ‘Daisy Villas – 1934’ so assume that our properties were those that were destroyed. The four houses that stand on this site were built circa 1947, so the timing fits in perfectly.

One entire family were killed (the Spicers) and another decimated, losing two members (the Ellertons). It was reported in the Hull Daily Mail at the time and featured briefly in the recent reprint that they published on the blitz on Hull (page 2).

From Recent Hull Daily Mail Blitz Special

I wonder if any of your readers have any more information about the incident, what type of houses Daisy Villa and Ashley Villa were and the situation around the bombing, clearance and rebuild. I would be particularly interested in any photo, although I realise that this is probably unlikely!

So far, the only other information I have been able to gather is an entry on a website republishing incidents that simply reads “Yorkshire.. Hedon.. Eleven people were killed in an incident centred around Ashley Villas, where six members of the same family died, and Daisy Villas. Hedon is situated six miles E of Hull” see North East Diary

I have also found the entries for the families lost in ‘the index to the civilian war dead roll of honour’ online for the Ellertons and for the Spicers.

Finally, there is a short piece (very short!) in Bob Cochran’s book ‘Ten O’Clock Scholars: Wartime Reminiscences and Records of Pupils and Staff of Hedon School’ talking about the bomb, but nothing else.

Any other information, eye witness accounts or other detail would be very much appreciated.

Best wishes,

James Bagnall.

12 replies »

  1. Very interesting reading my maiden name spicer just researching my family tree I know I had descendants in lincon n Scunthorpe area will let you know

  2. FAO of Ray,

    I must apologise for the delay in getting back to you about the grave in Scunthorpe, been working!
    I have now managed to visit the grave, and have taken several photos.
    I can’t attach photos on this site, so what do you want do about getting the details and or the photos.
    Peter – Scunthorpe

    • That’s great! Thanks Pete. You can e-mail the photos to me at hedonblog@gmx.com.

      You can try uploading the photos from your computer over at our What’s On page (the Choose File option on the form at the bottom) although it won’t work if the photo file is too big.

      Any problems let me know,

  3. I may have some info on this inasmuch there is grave in Crosby Cem in Scunthorpe to a family killed in the blitz on Hedon.
    Please contact me if this helps


    • Peter – Do you know the name on the grave in Crosby Cemetery and what the inscription actually says?

      It would be interesting to find out what the link with Scunthorpe actually was.
      I’m assuming that the grave is of one of the 12 casualties killed in one of the raids on Hedon mentioned by Richard Pinder (see below)?

      • To Ray Duff,
        Sorry for the delay in replying to you, I will be that area shortly, note the names and probably take some photos.
        Then I’ll get back to you, just give me a few days.
        Kindest regards,


  4. This is a great page, thank you. It’s important that the past should not be forgotten. I have recently moved back to Hedon after moving away as a child. The blitz on Hull has always interested me greatly, chiefly as a result of my grandparents’ stories of the war and that the evidence is still here around us; though gradually disappearing.
    I was intrigued to read some months ago of the incident at Daisy Villas when researching some months ago but could never discover their exact location. Where exactly on Magdalen Lane was this? Opposite Watson Drive or further along towards Burstwick?

  5. On reading Richard’s comments and quotes from Paul Brights book Air War over East Yorkshire in WW2, people of a younger generation than myself may possibly under estimate the frequency and intensity of air raids in the area during this period.

    With Hull being the second most bombed city in Britain, (after London) there were a large number of overspill incidents in outlying areas such as Hedon, many times greater than the four events described, one of which led to the tragic deaths of Hedon people. Four air raids during the six years of the war gives a totally different impression of what air warfare at home was really like during this time. Nothing like the vivid reality which I remember. It doesn’t stop and start at a predetermined point!

    I can only relate to enemy action incidents in the village of Paull during my schooldays, frequent anti-aircraft fire from 4.5 and 3.7 guns sited at Don camp, Mobile Bofors guns, parked anywhere, Rocket batteries on Hedon aerodrome, and armed shipping on the river were not fussy about whose air space it happened to be, explosive armoury of vast amounts were sent up regardless, which unfortunately had to come back down again! A expended rocket casing of about one metre length x 100mm dia with fins on could cause danger to life and limb when it landed. All this resulted in many sleepless nights.

    Don camp site (well known to the Luftwaffe,and revealed on captured documents as Fliegerabwehr) was across the nine acre field on Back Lane which took two HE bombs, a landmine exploded roughly where the Lagoons at Paull-holme are now, (a Orie-al Torpedo, accordiing to a leading ARP warden) exploded at low water mark opposite the Old Lighthouse; a Coastguard House was destroyed by bombing further up towards the Battery with residents believed to have been saved in an underground shelter opposite the house; a landmine failed to explode at the entrance to Hedon Haven, and a container full of incendiary bombs failed to explode due to landing in soft and wet soil to the rear of the Humber bank, these were gathered up by pupils of the primary school and stacked against the school wall for easy collection, we had tail fins for mantle piece decoration!

    During one daylight raid, my sister and a schoolgirl pal were machine gunned by a low flying attacker, luckily causing no injuries to either. A sea mine was exploded by firing party in the shipping lane to the rear of The Royal Oak, and the School roof was removed by an exploding Barrage Balloon, just after finishing All Things Bright and Beautiful, at least giving us an extended holiday.

    There was also the near miss situation of an American Mustang fighter plane crashing down Turpitts lane with the tragic death of the pilot, added to these incidents was the first ever Daylight raid on mainland Britain on July 1st 1940, see BBC ww2 Peoples War “Don’t blame me”. Hull was the site of the last piloted raid on Saturday the 17th of March 1945, so all in all this area was a dangerous place to reside!
    Jim Uney, Hedon Via Paull.

    • Excellent piece you have written here, Jim!

      We can glean lots from books and second-hand reports – but the recollections of those with actual memories of the events give a far clearer picture of what it was really like!

      I think James Bagnall has prompted some really valuable and interesting comments to emerge here.

  6. The book Air War over East Yorkshire in World War II by Paul Bright says that there where four air raids on Hedon with 12 dead. The first was between 00.00 & 03.45 on the 25th August 1940 with no casualties. The second was between 00.35 & 02.41 on the 8th May 1941 with eleven casualties, the Spicer’s and Ellerton’s and three others John & Muriel French of Daisy Villas and Lucy Lear of Ashley Villas. The third raid was between 00.00 & 01.15 on the 20th May 1942 with no casualties and the fourth and last raid was between 00.02 & 00.55 on the 18th August 1943 with only one casualty, David Mckee of Burstwick Road.

  7. James have you spoken to anyone at the Hedon Museum? See if you can get in touch with Dr Martin Craven who knows a tremendous amount about the History of Hedon.
    I know of a gentleman in his 90’s who has a vast collection of Hedon photographs so I will get in touch with him for you.
    I didn’t realise Hedon suffered any bomb damage during the war and I think what you have uncovered so far is fascinating!
    Keep me posted!

  8. I remember those two houses being blown up it was a land mine I believe, my Dad had to pass by the remains to get to work on a farm just outside Burstwick.

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