Wartime Bombing of Commerce Street
Fraserburgh was a prosperous place and had developed in to an attractive and vibrant town, right up until the First World War. When war broke out in Europe in 1914 the significant loss of life in conjunction with a decline in the herring trade saw a turn in fortunes for the town.
Photo – Commerce Street showing the extensive gardens (foreground) of the bank building
The town went on to suffer greatly in the Second World War. The factories of the Consolidated Pneumatic Tool, as well as passing merchant convoys, were targeted by German bombers between July 1940 and April 1943, during 17 raids, 53 people were killed and over 300 injured.
Extensive damage occurred to buildings in the town, including some along School Street, Castle Street, Commerce Street. The worst single attack was a direct hit on the Commercial Bar on Broad Street, next to the Parish Church (now Iceland) in which 34 people were killed, the Glover family home was one of those destroyed.
“at 02.18 hrs on Thursday 26th June, 1941 a low level attack was made on Fraserburgh by a single German aeroplane….…two HE bombs believed to be about 500kg were dropped.
A crater of 51 feet in diameter 20 feet deep was formed in the garden at Union Bank Premises…. the buildings of which were partly demolished.
Another…. in the garden at rear of house, 17 Commerce Street, demolishing that house and also number 19.
Buildings in the vicinity were also badly damaged. Three people were trapped in the wrecked houses and others were injured, several by stones penetrating the roofs of their houses.
The casualties consisted of 2 killed and 14 injured.”
A transcript of Police Sargent Thomson’s notes taken from Air Raids In Fraserburgh 1940-43
Map – sites hit by bombing raids during the war
Photo – Commerce Street showing 15 -19 completely destroyed
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