Contact Birmingham Air Raids Remembrance Association (BARRA)

History of BARRA

Our association evolved from a service held in December 2000 hosted by Dr. Carl Chinn (now Professor) and who is Birmingham's Community Historian based at Birmingham University. From this very stirring occasion was born the desire to establish a memorial to the civilians of Birmingham who were killed in the years of bombing raids endured in World War II and to publicise the fact that the Security 'D' Notice passed by the Government and lifted on other towns and cities upon the cessation of war had inadvertently remained on Birmingham for a further thirty years thus denying our city the rightful recognition of it's vital role during the war and of all the suffering of those concerned.

Marjorie Ashby.jpg

During this thirty year period a lady named Marjorie Ashby fought ceaselessly for the removal of this 'D' Notice, finally succeeding and then spent her remaining years seeking interest in a memorial, taken up by Carl Chinn and commented upon at the 2000 service.

From this a nucleus of 13 members formed our Association with Jean and John Purser as Chair and Treasurer respectively. Interest and membership grew speedily with fundraising a priority.

Professor Carl Chinn agreed to be President, Alex Henshaw (Chief Test Pilot) when approached agreed to be Patron and The Very Reverend Peter Berry DD (Provost Emeritus of Birmingham) agreed to be Vice President.

With the structure and committee of the Association established, efforts were then concentrated on choosing and funding a fitting permanent memorial, as was Marjorie's dream