Moderator to preach at first ever service at Westminster to commemorate Clydebank Blitz

This photograph of a defused, German 1,000kg Luftmine (Parachute mine) dropped on Clydebank was taken by War Office photographer Lt. W T Lockeyear in Glasgow on 18 March 1941. (Imperial War Museums H 8281)

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is preaching at the first ever service to commemorate the Clydebank Blitz at the Palace of Westminster today.

The Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison will deliver a sermon at the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft to remember the people killed and those badly injured in the devastating two-day air raid on March 13-14, 1941.

The town suffered the most concentrated bomb damage of any part of Britain during the Second World War after the Luftwaffe attacked military targets including the John Brown shipyard and the Singer sewing machine factory.

A total of 528 civilians were killed, more than 617 were severely injured and around 12,000 homes were damaged, leaving around 50,000 people homeless.

Dr Morrison was invited to mark the 75th anniversary by West Dunbartonshire MP Martin Docherty-Hughes who has secured permission to host a service and reception at Westminster - the first time that the House of Commons has commemorated the air raids on Clydebank.

ModeratorBlitz The Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison

The Moderator said: "It will be a privilege to preach in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft at a service to mark the 75th anniversary of the Clydebank Blitz.

"Over two nights in March 1941 the town was pummelled by the German Luftwaffe, resulting in 528 fatalities and about 617 people seriously injured.

"As during the London Blitz, the spirit of the people of Clydebank was unbroken despite the ferocity of the Luftwaffe's repeated bombing attacks.

"Far from being cowed and panicked, their resolution to resist so great an evil was only intensified.

"The suffering, resilience and courage of the citizens of Clydebank has not always been adequately acknowledged.

"It is appropriate on this 75th anniversary that we remember and honour the people of Clydebank, past and present, and pray for the future of this remarkable community." A debate on the Clydebank Blitz is being held in the House of Commons later today.

Mr Docherty-Hughes grew up in the town where the events of those terrible two days were commemorated at church services on Sunday.

"The Clydebank Blitz was a tragedy on a huge scale and a great many of the men, women and children, who survived drew strength from their faith to help them cope with such a catastrophic loss and horrific trauma," he said.

"To commemorate such a catastrophe, the largest loss of Scottish civilian life in contemporary history, it was important that Scotland's religious leaders were represented and led us in remembrance.

"This will be the first time in the 75 years since the Clydebank Blitz that the House of Commons has formally remembered those nights and days.

"That the Church of Scotland Moderator himself will be joining us will give his parishioners great comfort and serves to give this commemoration the stature befitting such an historic occasion."