Friday, 16 January 2015

The Mayflower Hotel, The Barbican, Plymouth - 21st March, 1941

nb This post does not relate to any building/business currently called The Mayflower Hotel. 
This post started from this story on the BBC Peoples’ War website:
Contributed by 
People in story: 
great great granda Glanville
Location of story: 
Plymouth,Devon,England
Article ID: 
A2359208
Contributed on: 
27 February 2004
Well my great granda was standing on Plymouth hoe when he heard the drone of engines. He thought it was just the spitfires coming back from France. As they drew closer he saw they were Stuka bombers! He ran to the shelters as fast as he could. His father,my great great granda, who owned the Mayflower Hotel, though they would fly over and bomb the big cities. He was wrong and he was killed along with 14 people who were staying at the hotel. As for my great great granda he was ok and he was one of the two survivers and he was rushed to hospital and had to have his kidney removed . my great great granda got the ditingused red cross for his part in WW1.

The Mayflower Hotel was bombed in one of the great raids on Plymouth, on Friday 21st March 1941  It was certainly near to Plymouth Hoe, as the following map shows:


Plymouth Hoe is bottom left, and the Hotel was right by the Mayflower Steps, on the left hand side of the harbour and level with the Hoe.
Before its destruction, it looked like this:


It was totally destroyed in the bombing:


Today, the site is occupied by a new Tourist Information office, but the decoration above the door on the building to the left of the photo is the same:


The CWGC list of civilian war dead records seven people dying here; there may have been servicemen as well.  The great, great granda, with the medal from the last war, would have been Philip Pascoe Glanville, aged 62.  One of his sons died with him, Albert Francis Glanville, aged 33.
James and Florence Andrews, a married couple aged 67 and 66 had come from just round the corner in Stokes Lane.  As they walked to the hotel that evening, they might have called in at 77 New Street for Anna Maria Foster, 77 and a widow.
From a little further away came Bertie James Davis, a Cornishman aged 25, from Egerton Crescent to the east of the city centre, and Charles Samuel Harris, 27, from Vauxhall Street. Both were single.
The survivors of the bombing probably included the contributor’s great granda and his mother, Camilla Glanville, wife of Philip and mother of Albert.

While Stukas may have bombed Plymouth, this would have been in daylight and earlier in the war, probably in August 1940.  The contributor is thus probably confusing two incidents, the Stuka attack and the night-time raid that caused the destruction of the hotel.

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