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Raid remembered

12 October 2012

IT WAS 70 years ago, in August 1942, that the inhabitants of the village of Redwick, near the coast of Monmouth diocese, were woken in the small hours by four German bombs. They destroyed one cottage, and damaged 20 more, together with the school and the medieval church in the middle of the village.

By great good fortune, nobody was killed. It may have been that a German pilot had suffered damage in a raid over Bristol or Cardiff, and was jettisoning his bombs before trying to make it safely home.

St Thomas's lost most of its roof and windows, and the ancient rood loft and screen were left in a dangerous condition and had to be taken down. The church had to be closed - as far as it is known, it was the only church in Monmouth diocese to be closed because of enemy action - and was not opened again until 1949.

The raid is still remembered in the village, and this year it marked the 70th anniversary. The Team Vicar, the Revd Jeremy Harris, who has ten churches in his benefice, held a commemoration service, followed by tea and cakes and an exhibition of wartime memorabilia (above). People who had been children living in Redwick at the time were able to recount their memories of that night.

The anniversary was further marked over the weekend at the Rose Inn, which was festooned with patriotic bunting, and played 1940s music.

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