Memorial service for victims of Nazi air raid

Pupils from Balby Carr Community Sports College help to lay wreaths at Rose Hill cemetery, to commemorate the victims of the Balby air raid in 1941. Back L-R are Brad Cooper, Travis Taylor, Thomas Nixon, Aaron Watson, Fox Riley, Tom Houseman, all 13, Daniel Frost, 12, and Brad Parks, 13. Front L-R are Amber Hunter, 13, and Charlotte Smith, 12. Picture: Liz Mockler D9064LM

Pupils from Balby Carr Community Sports College help to lay wreaths at Rose Hill cemetery, to commemorate the victims of the Balby air raid in 1941. Back L-R are Brad Cooper, Travis Taylor, Thomas Nixon, Aaron Watson, Fox Riley, Tom Houseman, all 13, Daniel Frost, 12, and Brad Parks, 13. Front L-R are Amber Hunter, 13, and Charlotte Smith, 12. Picture: Liz Mockler D9064LM

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DOZENS of people turned out to remember civilians who lost their lives in Doncaster’s worst bombing raid of the Second World War.

A service was held at the Rose Hill Cemetery chapel to mark the 70th anniversary of the attack on May 9, 1941, which killed 16 people in Weston Road, Balby, and Ellers Avenue, Bessacarr. Seventy three were also injured.

The service had special resonance for Cantley pensioner Margery White, who lost relatives in the blast from a parachute mine.

Mrs White, 78, had campaigned for Monday’s event to be held and wrote to elected mayor Peter Davies to seek greater official recognition of their sacrifice.

She was only eight when the bomb claimed the lives of her teenage uncles, Arthur and Alfred Nortrop.

Another member of their family, Ray Nortrop, also attended the service.

The bodies of those killed that night were buried in a single row at Rose Hill.

Jack Archer, 82, survived the blast, but his dad Eric, a member of the Local Defence Volunteers, died after rushing to the scene having mistaken the bomb for a German parachutist.

He said: “Time blurs the actual incident but it certainly doesn’t lessen the pain of losing someone you love”.

The service was led by the Rev Canon Dr Paul Shackerley, from Doncaster Minster, and attended by civic dignitaries and Balby Carr College pupils.