Site 4. Bank Row Bombing

On the 1st of July 1940, a lone German Junkers Ju88 bomber was approaching Wick from the west, concealed by thick cloud cover.

It was late in the afternoon and as the aircraft approached it completely caught the town off guard. No RAF fighters were scrambled to intercept it, no anti-aircraft guns opened fire on it, and no air raid siren was sounded to warn of it.

The people of Wick were going about their daily business, as well as children playing happily outside in the streets. As the bomber approached from the direction of the Carnegie Library, and down Union Street, it headed straight for the strategically important harbour. At approximately 4.30pm it released two bombs before banking away to make a hasty retreat.

The bomber had released its bomb load too early, and the two 50kg (110lb) bombs landed amongst the shops and houses of Bank Row, exploding instantly. The resulting blast caused massive damage to the street and buildings, causing over 30 casualties. Tragically 15 people died, either instantly from the explosion, or later as a result of their injuries. Of the 15 killed, 8 were children and 7 were adults. Their names and ages are remembered on this panel.

The attack on the 1st of July 1940 was the first recorded daylight bombing raid against civilians on mainland Britain during the war. This was a full 2 months before the Blitz started against London.

In 2010 a Memorial Garden was opened in remembrance of the 15 who were killed, as well as 3 other civilians killed in Hill Avenue during a bombing raid on October 26th 1940 against the RAF airfield at Wick.

Bank Row Bombing

In remembrance of those killed on the 1st July 1940

Eric Blackstock, Aged 5
John Wares, Aged 5
Betha Miller, Aged 5
Isobel Bruce, Aged 7
James Flett, Aged 7
Kenneth MacGregor, Aged 8
Amy Miller, Aged 9
Donald Thomson, Aged 16
Isobel Mackenzie, Aged 25
Pte Robert Mackenzie, Aged 30
Mary MacTavish, Aged 44
Mary Steven, Aged 44
Donald Waters, Aged 50
Bill Smith, Aged 63
Robert Mackenzie, Aged 71

Bank Row Bombing 2