University of Oxford
8 files

A Coventry Childhood During the Blitz

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 20:12 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

The contributor was born on 6th March 1936 and was baptised in Old Cathedral on 19th April of the same year. He was five years old during the war. His mother's name was Edith May and she worked as a cleaner. His father was Peter Barber and he worked as a boilerman in the military. Kenneth was in the Royal Navy in 1953. He had six siblings, and he was the second oldest among them.

In April 1941, there was an air raid he remembers. Two-third of the people in Coventry left their homes. The contributor's house was bombed. The bomb touched the kitchen. Kenneth and his elder brother Jim were in the house upstairs; they were evacuated a week later. Coventry was burning on 15th November 1941. Dead bodies were everywhere. Kenneth lived in a closeknit society. Although they were poor, the communities helped one another. "We were poor, but happy", he says. He later became a blitz guide at the Coventry Cathedral in 1999.


Item list and details

1. War ID card 2. Coventry Cathedral Blitz Guide ID

Person the story/items relate to

Kenneth Gordon Barber

Person who shared the story/items

Kenneth Gordon Barber

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor


Type of submission

Shared at Coventry Cathedral, Warwickshire on 9 September 2023.

Record ID

97862 | COV006