Memorial plaque for Metropole Hotel bombing victims unveiled

A MEMORIAL plaque commemorating one of the worst wartime bombing strikes to hit Bournemouth has been unveiled today, the 70th anniversary of the tragic day.

Metropole Hotel Bombing site 1943
The bomb destroyed the Metropole hotel and many buildings in the surrounding area – Photography courtesy of Bournemouth Grant

The bombing strike killed an estimated 131 people, including allied airmen from Australia and Canada who had been dispatched to Bournemouth prior to being sent to war. As well as destroying 22 buildings and damaged a further 3,000.

Councillor David Kelsey, from East Cliff and Springbourne, could not believe the devastating strike hit Bournemouth only 70 years ago and believes many in the community still remember the event.

The impact of these air raids would have been devastating to the town’s residents. It’s really important that we never forget those who lost their lives protecting this country and this memorial is a very fitting tribute.”

The site of the former Metropole Hotel, situated on the Lansdowne roundabout, now hosts the Royal London House  and KFC. Workers of whom could be seen observing the service from windows several storeys up.

View Metropole Hotel Bombing raid 1943 in a larger map

More than 200 people gathered for the event, which featured speakers from current British, Canadian and Australian armed forces all gathered to commemorate the losses of May 23rd 1943.

Our reporter Joshua Saunders, was at the ceremony and spoke of the poignant scenes unfolding at the touching ceremony, listen to coverage below:

Were you at the ceremony or can you remember the bombing strike 70 years ago today? If so, tweet in your thoughts and opinions to @BUzz_Bmth to have them featured below…




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