World War Two bombing

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

THE residents of Helensburgh were fortunate to escape more or less unscathed from the aerial bombardment in 1940-41, although there were anti-aircraft gun sites on the Blackhill above the town, and at Cardross and Kilcreggan, co-operating with nearby searchlight batteries.

Andrew Jeffrey in his book “This Time of Crisis”, published by Mainstream Publishing Ltd., records that the burgh was on the route of the first German bomber to drop bombs on the West of Scotland, four falling on Mull, near Salen and Torosay, at midnight on Tuesday July 11 1940.

Then, on the afternoon of July 17, a Heinkel 111 from Norway flew over Helensburgh on its way to dropping six bombs on the ICI plant at Ardeer.

The closest the burgh came to being the target was on Thursday October 24 when 13 bombers crossed to Loch Lomond and began scattering bombs and mines over a wide area, with 12 exploding between Luss and Arden, 14 in the Rhu, Shandon and Glen Fruin area, 10 between Cardross and Renton, and 10 between Rosneath and Kilcreggan.

The Clydebank blitz followed in March the next year, then on May 6 63 bombs exploded in and around Cardross, and a mine exploded in a field next to the station. It is believed this was as a result of decoy fires lit in the hills behind the village.