Sunday, 27 February 2011

News - Bells to toll for bomb victims (Newark)

The bell of the second HMS Newark will toll a week today for the 41 factory workers who died when Ransome and Marles was bombed in the second world war.
The 11am chimes from the parish church will be followed by a two-minute silence, before the bell will be rung from the Town Hall steps.

It will sound once for each of the victims as their names are read out as part of the 70th anniversary commemorations of the bombing.

The names will be read by a former Mayor of Newark, Mr Chris Grant, whose father, Robert, was killed.

Ten bombs, five of which exploded, were dropped in two raids on the Northern Road factory on March 7, 1941.

Workers then came under machine-gun fire as they tried to flee.

The tribute on Saturday, March 5, organised by the Friends of Newark Cemetery, is part of three days of commemoration events, culminating, on Monday, March 7, by the unveiling of a permanent memorial to the bombing victims.

In addition to the 41 men and women killed, a further 165 people were injured.

On the Saturday and Sunday, the cemetery chapel interpretation centre will be open to the public from noon until 4.30pm, where there will be an exhibition of artefacts relating to the bombing.

Visitors can also see some of the victims’ graves.

On Monday, March 7, pupils at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Primary School will ring their school bell at 2.24pm —the time of the second raid at the bearings factory.

The children, who have been studying the bombing for a project, will read a roll of honour to remember those who died.

There will be further opportunity for the public, from 3pm to 4.30pm, to view the cemetery chapel exhibition and pay their respects at the grave-sides.

On the Monday night, the town council will honour those who died in what was Newark’s single greatest loss of life.

Relatives of the victims will be at the Town Hall for the unveiling at 6pm of a memorial — made by NSK Europe — the successors of Ransome and Marles.

The memorial, in the staircase entrance to the Town Hall, will feature a large chrome-plated bearing, of the type made at the factory, and an item of memorabilia salvaged from 1941.

The names of the people killed will appear on a plaque on the memorial.

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