Map reveals how Lynn was hit by wartime bombing

Luke Shackell with the Kings Lynn bomb map at Lynn town hall
Luke Shackell with the Kings Lynn bomb map at Lynn town hall

A record of the bombs that fell on Lynn during the Second World War can now be studied in the town.

A map recording all the locations that were hit by enemy bombs during the conflict is being made available at the borough archives for schools, community groups and historians to see.

Luke Shackell with the Kings Lynn bomb map at Lynn town hall

Luke Shackell with the Kings Lynn bomb map at Lynn town hall

The map, which is around two metres long and almost three metres wide, was transferred to the archives 15 years ago, but is only now being archived, among a series of other documents.

Records of where bombs fell began to be collected in the autumn of 1940, initially covering major cities.

The scheme, known as a bomb census, was then extended to the rest of the country by the autumn of 1941.

Trainee archivist Luke Shackell said: “The purpose was to collect a complete picture as possible of air raid patterns, types of weapons used and the damage caused.

“Particular attention was paid to strategic sites such as railways, shipyards and factories.”

Although Lynn was not heavily bombed during the conflict, with fewer than 100 bombs striking the town, it shows the locations that were hit.

They include the site of the Eagle Hotel in Norfolk Street, which was hit in a raid in June 1942, in which 42 people were killed.

A colour code, rather than the pins that were placed in it during wartime, distinguishes between high explosive bombs and smaller, incendiary devices.

Mr Shackell said: “We would be delighted to get the map out and talk people through the key points, the history surrounding it and its links to other record held by the National Archives. It really is quite fascinating.”

The map is available to view by appointment only, because of its size. To arrange a session, email norfrec@norfolk.gov.uk.