the online A-Z of Southampton's history.

Winston Churchill doffs his cap to a waving crowd.
(Associated British Ports, 1941)

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31 January 1941

“SURPRISE CALL TODAY. VERY FEW KNEW THAT THE PREMIER WAS COMING.” (Southern Daily Echo 31 January 1941.)

Late in the morning passers-by spotted civil defence services on parade in the Civic Centre forecourt, and hung around to see what might be happening. At 11 o’clock, a car pulled up, and out stepped the unmistakable figure of Winston Churchill, with his wife and President Roosevelt’s special envoy, Harry Hopkins. The crowd cheered, and Churchill doffed his cap and smiled. Officials in Eastleigh had already had a chance to greet him as he passed through the station to where the car was waiting to take him to Southampton. After exchanging warm handshakes with the Mayor, W Lewis; Sheriff, T A Ponsford; and ARP Controller, F J Phillips on the steps of the Municipal Offices he inspected the parade amid loud cheers. On his way in to the building, he turned and called to the crowd: “Are we downhearted?” and “back came a tremendous ‘No!’”

A meeting with dignitaries in the Mayor’s parlour was followed by a tour of the town by car.

“At the docks he was greeted by Mr R P Boddle JP, Docks and Marine Manager. Following his inspection of the docks Mr Churchill left the town by train.”

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EIGHTY YEARS AGO

Remembering the Southampton blitz day by day

See Air Raids, World War 2

19 January 1941
"Another raid concentrated on Southampton. Many incendiaries and HE bombs dropped. Fires started in all directions but controlled immediately. Eastleigh suffered somewhat. Raid more widespread but less intense than previously." (Walter Kingston)

21 January 1941
Edwin Harold Barfoot, of Butts Road, Sholing, died at the Borough Hospital of injuries received on 19 January 1941.

22 January 1941: "Planes over, probably patrols" (Walter Kingston.)
23 January 1941: "All quiet"
24 January 1941: "All quiet except patrols"
28 January 1941: "All quiet"
31 January 1941: "Planes over. Bombs dropped Fawley District."
2 February 1941: "All quiet"
4 February 1941: "Planes over. Some gunfire. (After 15 nights without an alert.)"
5-20 February 1941: "All quiet"

JANUARY 2021

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Sotonopedia last updated 29 January 2021



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