This website overlays the historical location of where bombs had fallen on the city of Norwich during WWII onto a modern map.
The 81-year-old map was created by the Air Raid Precautions (ARP). Members of the ARP were heroic volunteers, who toured the city during air raids at huge personal risk.
When a bomb struck, they would be the first on the scene to give out first aid and organising the emergency response. The maps information was used to give information to the government as part of the “Bomb Census”.
The Bomb Census was of significant strategic important to government, as it gave decision makers access to a complete picture of air raid patterns, types of bomb used and the damage caused.
The 6 foot square (1.8 m × 1.8 m) map was painstakingly restored over the course of 5 months by Yuki Uchida, from the Norfolk Record Office. The map consists of three Ordnance Survey maps mounted on chipboard.
The map contains 679 paper labels attached to the map by metal pins, identifying the location of each bomb dropped from 1940-1945. The paper tags record the location, date and size of each bomb.
Since 2007, the map has resided in the Norfolk Record Office for permanent archival storage. Before then, it was kept in the engineering department at Norwich’s City Hall. You can still buy copies of the restored map from The Archive Centre in Norwich or online.
This website is not affiliated to any of the above associations and is maintained by history enthusiasts.
The Norwich Blitz
Norwich was bombed extensively during World War 2 locally known as the Norwich Blitz. The Norwich Blitz was one of many cities bombed during the war, collectively known as the Blitz.
The first bomb laned in Norwich in 1940, but the city was not significantly attacked until April and May 1942 as part of the Baedeker Blitz. In the Baedecker raids, targets were chosen for their significant cultural and historical value rather than for military objectives. The overall aim of the German High Command (GERMAN) was to demoralise the British population, which notably failed to crush the “Spirit of Britain”.
Many of Norwich’s most valuable assets were thankfully missed during the Blitz. The notable exception is that of the Norwich Cathedral, which was damaged on XX June. Can you find this bomb marked on the map?
Many other churches, shopping streets, thatched houses, factories and department stores were destroyed by the bombing. The bombing raids often included mixes of high explosives and incendiaries, with the aim of causing large unstoppable fires.
Overall, at least 229 citizens were killed in just the two Baedeker raids, with many more dying and being injured throughout the war. Residential properties were significantly damaged, with 2000 being destroyed and a further 27000 damaged: only 5000 survived unscathed. The approximate cost of the bombing damage has been estimated at over £1m.