Hereford & Worcester

Hereford street named after Rotherwas WW2 bomb deaths

(Back left to right) Brother Ernest, father Ernest, brother Ron, (front) mother Bertha and Ken Image copyright KEN HURSEY
Image caption Three Hursey family members photographed here were killed in the bombing

A road in Hereford has been named after five family members killed when a munitions factory was bombed in World War Two.

The new road, on the site of the former Rotherwas Munitions Factory in Skylon Park, is called Hursey Road.

Ken Hursey was 16 when two bombs were dropped on the factory on 27 July 1942 and "bounced" into their home.

He was the only survivor in the demolished house and will be at the ceremony later to unveil the road name.

Mr Hursey's father, Ernest, was in charge of factory security in 1942 and the family lived on site.

When their home was bombed it killed Mr Hursey's parents, brother, sister-in-law and mother-in-law, but he "just had a couple of little scratches".

He recalled being dug out of the less-damaged back of the house, where he was staying because his brother's visiting family were in his usual front bedroom.

Image copyright Skylon Park
Image caption The Rotherwas Munitions Factory opened in 1916 and part of it remains on the Hereford site

He said: "While [time has] healed, it hasn't really stopped the picture of the aircraft coming over and dropping its bombs.

"I saw the bomb bays were open and two bombs dropped out... It will always remain very prominent in my mind."

A further 17 people died in the factory, including munitions workers.

After the bombing Mr Hursey went to live with his uncle and aunt, before joining the Fleet Air Arm and the police.

He has three children and four grandchildren, with his wife Margaret.

Some of the former factory remains on the Skylon Park site and could be restored in a proposed heritage project.

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