Remembering victims of terrifying WW2 air raid in South Yorkshire 80 years ago

It was one of the darkest days of World War Two in South Yorkshire – a terrifying German bombing raid that caused devastation and death in a quiet suburb.

By Darren Burke
Monday, 9th May 2022, 10:25 am

On May 8, 1941 Hitler’s bombers brought terror to Doncaster, land mines on parachutes raining down from the skies over Weston Road, Balby.

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Between 16 and 21 people died on that fateful night, with more than 70 injured.

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The devastating German bombing raid which destroyed homes in Balby more than 80 years ago.

And while families suffered unimaginable devastation, there were also miraculous tales of survival in what became known as The Battle of Woodfield.

Scott Seiber said: “After having her tea, my mum fell asleep on the settee at her grandparents house.

“Later that night and in the early hours of May 9, the air raid sirens sounded.

The same area of Weston Road as it looks today.

“Fortunately, when the landmine exploded in the back garden, the settee on which my mum was sleeping, flipped over with her underneath.

“Shielded by the ‘A-frame’ of the settee, she was protected from any debris that landed on top. She came out of this bombing with only a scratch.”

Entire families were lost with homes wiped off the map, while other nearby properties had windows blown out.

Remembering the raid, another said: “My mother lived across the road and could remember running to their Anderson shelter.

“My dad lived in one of the semi detached houses that had the roof blown off so I guess my sister and I are lucky to exist.”

Eighty years on from the tragedy, remnants remain, with some houses in the area still equipped with air raid shelters.

The victims of the raid are buried together, in Rose Hill Cemetery.