Exhibition: ”One Afternoon in February 1941”

Newmarket Town Council and Newmarket Local History Society invite you to attend an exciting joint project of interest to the whole local community of Newmarket.

2021, is the 80th anniversary of the year that Newmarket High Street was bombed by a lone Nazi bomber in broad daylight, on 18th February 1941, with many civilian casualties.  As these casualties have never been publicly commemorated by name, it is proposed not only to do this but also to place a small memorial to remember them within the town. This will involve a larger commemorative event for the whole community.

This will also be the first public recognition of the heroic service which a trainee RAF Wellington bomber crew did for Newmarket. They risked their lives to chase off the bomber and prevent a possible second attack on the High Street and the loss of more lives from the RAF base at Newmarket, on the Racecourse, was part of Bomber Command. This narrative was put together from actual eye witness accounts.

Due to wartime secrecy, the whole story of this devastating attack on Newmarket, and the names of the casualties, was shrouded in mystery until Newmarket Local History researched the episode decades later and many unknown and surprising stories came to light, not least the stories of the ordinary townspeople who lost their lives.

This “secret” bombing attack was also significant in the life of our nation. A meeting of senior military personnel was taking place in the Memorial Hall at the time. The bombs did not touch the Hall, falling nearby instead. However, a direct hit could have changed the course of the whole of WWII for Britain.

 

Details about the 2021 exhibition and the commemorative event will be announced in due course.

 

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