WWII bomb explosion leaves Exeter University students without home

The detonation of a World War Two bomb forced hundreds of Exeter students to evacuate their accommodation, reports Meg Howe

Meg Howe
22nd March 2021
Image: Wikimedia Commons
On 27 February 2021, a World War Two bomb detonated near the University of Exeter.

As a result, hundreds of University students were evacuated from their accommodation's safety, with many being told they will be unable to return until the start of April.

While not all of the people evacuated were student, these events' impact on the university students has been paramount. Many citizens were able to stay with family and friends, as allowed in such circumstances under the COVID-19 regulations.

Still, many Exeter University students have been left feeling as though they now have no place to call their home.

While it was a controlled explosion, the detonation was heard up to five miles away and caused significant damage to buildings on the University’s campus. As a result, blocks of halls were damaged by the blast, leaving roughly 250 students without access to their allocated homes.

This bomb is one of the hundreds that were dropped on Britain by the Luftwaffe during World War Two. The city of Exeter was attacked heavily during May of 1942, during the Baedecker Raids, where more than 7,000 bombs were dropped.

Many bombs across the UK went unexploded, and therefore it is not a surprise to still be finding them 74 years after the end of the conflict. The bomb was discovered on a building site on private land, just outside of the Exeter University campus.

Initially, the designated area for the detonation was 100 metres. However, upon request of the Royal Navy disposal team, this distance increased to a cordon of 400 metres.

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AUTHOR: Meg Howe
Passionate History student and Educator

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