Forgotten heroine of the Blitz remembered - The Evesham Observer

Forgotten heroine of the Blitz remembered

Evesham Editorial 1st Dec, 2023   0

A FORGOTTEN Fladbury air raid warden who was compared to Florence Nightingale and who died while ushering residents to safety during the Coventry Blitz has finally been remembered.

Doris Lampitt was just 44 when she made the ultimate sacrifice as the bombs rained down on Coventry on the evening of November 14, 1940.

More than 500 German bombers from the Luftwaffe raided the city which was one of the leading munitions centres in the UK and where 25 per cent of all military aircraft were manufactured.

Over a 24-hour period 500 tons of high explosive bombs were dropped killing an estimated 568 people with 863 seriously injured during the notorious raid.

Doris was working as an Air Raid Precautions (ARP) Warden ushering people to the safety of the Campers Field air raid shelter, a role she had held since September 1939.

Fladbury historian Roger Fielder established Doris was born on September 24, 1896, the youngest of 11 children to Henry and Mary Lampitt who lived in the village where Henry was the station master.

Doris was a milliner by occupation and started as an apprentice at Hamilton and Ball in Evesham.

In 1929 Doris spent three years in the USA working as a governess for a wealthy family in Atlanta, Georgia.

She kept in touch with Fladbury sending wool and material to the Fladbury sewing club in memory of her mother who had been a member.

After returning to England Doris settled in Coventry where she set up her wool and millinery shop at 12 Campers Fields in Radford.

Following her death the Tewkesbury Register reported Coventry residents contacted the Lampitt family to tell them of her ‘really marvellous work who acted like Florence Nightingale and deserved the VC (Victoria Cross) for her actions’.

She was buried on November 21 in the churchyard of St John the Baptist in Fladbury in a service conducted by the Rector, the Rev DK Sylvester and over her coffin was draped the Union flag.

In addition to Mr Fielder’s research, local resident Ian Baldry discovered her ‘sad and neglected’ grave and brought it back to its former glory ahead of a wreath-laying on Monday (November 27).

“I have lived in Fladbury for more than 30 years and was totally oblivious to the fact that Doris was buried in the Fladbury churchyard,” Mr Baldry said.

“I felt it was only right we gave this lady some recognition for having made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War.”

“It’s my intention to get her name inscribed on the Fladbury war memorial along with the others killed during the war.”

Monday’s service was led by Rev Sarah Dangerfield who offered a prayer after the Last Post before Simon Dudfield, chairman of Pershore Royal British Legion, laid a wreath in her memory.

“It’s been an absolute privilege to lay a wreath in memory of this lady who made the ultimate sacrifice whilst serving her country,” Mr Dudfield said.


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