The Kirby Muxloe village website

The Kirby Muxloe village website header image 3

Wartime Kirby

“Wikipedia” has us listed as the village “most bombed in England” in 1941, but it was November 19th 1940 at approximately 8:20 pm that it is thought spare bombs were dropped by enemy aircraft on their return from a raid in Coventry. A garden on the corner of Main street and Church road, alongside of the Free Church was the victim of the parachute mines.

Due to the approximate early hour the bombs fell, 8:20 pm, there were astonishingly no fatalities excepting that of an old person that subsequently died of shock. Had the drop occured an hour or so later when the population of Kirby had been upstairs in their beds it may have resulted in a heavy death-toll. The homeless were firstly given in the schoolrooms and then in the Golf Club house where emergency supplies were stored. 87 homes were inhabitable on their return the following morning, 7 had to be demolished and the rebuilding did not occur for 7 or 8 years.

Kirby Free Church after the Blitz

The Free Church, Chemist and St. Bartholomews west window were among the buildings suffering damage, along with one small gas main explosion. Blaby Council soon had damaged properties boarded and secure with the aid of 120 builders and plumbers from a makeshift headquarters in the village.

Three Kirby people were decorated for their service in the village during the blitz. Despite the door being wrenched off and the switchboard being showered in glass, With her terrier dog on her knee, Miss May Ellen White, O.B.E. remained at her post of the telephone exchange on Barwell Road. After the telephone failed, Clarence Frederick Russell, O.B.E. cycled many miles over the area to maintain communications as an A.R.P. and released an injured man. Billeting and Welfare Officer, Mrs. Jennie Burnham Cameron, B.E.M. provided shelter with the support of the Womens Voluntary Services mobile unit, food for the homeless.