The Coventry Blitz, Nov 1940, April 1941
Born in 1943, I grew up in austerity in post-war Coventry. My playgrounds were bomb sites, the remains of wartime shadow factories and the canals. As a gas engineer, my father was in a reserved occupation, as was my maternal grandfather building armoured cars and other equipment for the war effort. My parent’s pre-war home had been bombed during the Coventry Blitz and they had been re-housed in a terraced house elsewhere in the city. This was the first home I remember.

Whilst clearing my mother’s bungalow after her death, I came across several black and white photographs and newspapers from the 1940s, some of which depicted the loss of their own home as well as some images of damage to the school that I was destined to attend. It was these images that led me to research further the Coventry blitz and to both reflect on my early childhood in Coventry and on the profound similarity those black and white photographs shared with contemporary images of the suffering of the towns and cities of eastern and southern Ukraine today.

It was these thoughts and reflections that formed the starting point for the small series of paintings exhibited here. The exhibition’s title refers to the code name “Moonlight Sonata” given by the German Luftwaffe to the bombing raid on Coventry in November 1940.