Forgotten Friday – York Air Raid – 28-29th April 1942


The York Air Raid refers to a significant event during World War II when the city of York in England was bombed by German aircraft. The raid took place on the night of 28th – 19th April, 1942, and it resulted in considerable damage to the city and loss of life.

City of York Baedeker Map showing locations of bombs, c. April 1942. IMAGE York Explore Libraries & Archive.

During the raid, German bombers targeted several areas of York, including the historic city centre and residential areas. The objective was likely to disrupt industrial production, as York was home to various factories and railway infrastructure crucial to the war effort. They aimed to cause as much damage to any landmarks through their ideology of Baedeker Raids.

Mr McGregor stands amidst the debris of his house, following a Baedeker Raid on York. IWM (Q(HS) 256)

York’s famous Air Raid caused extensive destruction, damaging, or destroying many buildings, including historic landmarks such as York Minster and the Railway Station. 115 Civilians were also killed and many more injured during the bombing. The city’s infrastructure suffered significant damage and morale was struck at a low.


The York air raid was part of the broader bombing campaign conducted by the German Luftwaffe against cities and towns across the United Kingdom during the Blitz, which lasted from 1940 to 1941, this was known as the Baedeker Raids. While cities like London, Coventry, and Liverpool experienced some of the heaviest bombing, smaller cities and towns like York were also targeted during the conflict.

Platforms 1, 2 and 3 at York Railway Station after the raid. IMAGE NRMSSPL

Despite the devastation caused by the raid, York, like many other British cities, demonstrated resilience and resolve in the face of adversity. Reconstruction efforts began soon after the bombing, and the city eventually recovered from the damage inflicted during the war. Today, York stands as a testament to its rich history and enduring spirit, attracting visitors from around the world to its medieval streets, historic sites, and cultural attractions.