MacLeod Launches Record of Clydebank Blitz

A civic reception on Friday marked the publication of a book – by journalist, John MacLeod – about the the bombing of Clydebank by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War.

Says a statement publicising the book: “MacLeod, an award-winning writer and controversial newspaper columnist, pulls no punches about the way local government officials and politicians handled the aftermath of the Luftwaffe blitz which killed hundreds, injured thousands and left people homeless in vast numbers.

“The first-hand accounts, which MacLeod has recorded, tell the people’s own story of how they felt, feared, floundered and finally coped in the mayhem and chaos. The names and addresses of the dead are listed at the back of this priceless historical record. It contains a comprehensive index of people and places involved in the Blitz and incidents connected with it, including heart-rending lists of families who were wiped out entirely.”

MacLeod is quoted, saying: “Typing out every single name over four days has brought home to me the scale of tragedy and loss as nothing else: at points, recording yet another infant or, yet again, an entire family, it has been so harrowing I have had to abandon my desk for some minutes.”

River of Fire: The Clydebank Blitz was launched at Clydebank Town Hall.

The statement adds: ”Readers cannot fail to be moved by this or by MacLeod’s description of the mass burial of victims which took place at Dalnottar Cemetery on St Patrick’s Day, 1941. Nor by the subsequent stories of evacuation to 'safer' landward areas, where some survivors were used and abused by people who viewed them not as neighbours and fellow countrymen but treated them coldly as servants and skivvies.”

The book, published by Birlinn, is priced £16.99.

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