Plaque to be unveiled on 75th anniversary of bombing which killed four people in Rushden

The devastation in Roberts Street, Rushden, after it was bombed
The devastation in Roberts Street, Rushden, after it was bombed

The grandson of one of the four victims killed by a bomb is to unveil a plaque in the street where it hit 75 years ago.

Four civilians lost their lives in the bombing of Roberts Street, Rushden, 75 years ago in November 1940.

The devastation in Roberts Street, Rushden

The devastation in Roberts Street, Rushden

The raid destroyed four houses and caused superficial damage to the rest of the street.

In memory of those who died, a blue plaque is to be unveiled tomorrow (Thursday) on the site of the disaster by the grandson of one of the victims before members of Rushden & District History Society lay flowers on their graves at Rushden Cemetery.

Society chairman Geoff Wiggins said: “The Germans were returning from a raid in Coventry.

“They had been to Coventry where there had been a lot of bombing taking place and on the way back they had some spare bombs so dropped them on Rushden.”

It was a Tuesday night when a single bomb of heavy type caused blast damage to a large number of houses and shops in several streets, which also put a large elementary school temporarily out of commission.

The bomb exploded in back gardens between two streets and the four nearest houses were almost wrecked.

It was in this street that the principal casualties occurred, with hardly any houses escaping damage to roofs, windows and doors.

The victims were Harriett Elmer, 53, and her 15-year-old daughter Betty, Charles Smith, 70, and Emma Furness, 79.

As well as those killed, it is understood that a number of other people were injured and taken to hospital.

Society members will be joined by relations of the victims and some who lived in the street at the time for tomorrow’s event to mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing.

Mr Wiggins said: “They were only young children at the time, but they were very keen to come along.”

The bombing happened just weeks after a bomb dropped on Alfred Street School in Rushden on October 3, 1940, killing seven children.

A plaque listing their names was unveiled at the school on the 70th anniversary.

Anyone interested in attending the ceremony at 2pm tomorrow at 25, Roberts Street will be welcome.

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