War Memorial & Milk Factory
Looking across Market Square from the Buttercross, you can see the War Memorial. This was errected in 1921 and is carved in Portland stone to commemorate the many citizens of Somerton who died in World War 1. Subsequently were added the names of those who died in World War 2 and the unexpected bombing of the Milk Factory.
It may come as a surprise to hear that a small town, the size of Somerton was bombed during the 2nd World War. On the morning of the 29th of September 1942, at approximately 8.20am, one of the largest industries in the town was bombed.
The Milk Factory was built in 1927 at the western end of Somerton and catered for milk producers all around the parish. Most of the milk was processed and dispatched to milk centres, while the rest was made into powdered form.
But in 1942, an enemy aircraft flew over at roof top height and dropped its bombs completely destroying the factory, killing 11 employees and injuring many others. At the time there were about 40 workers and so the survivors were very lucky to live through the attack.
The tall chimney of the factory actually remained standing for many years after the bombing, but was finally demolished in 1963 to make space for part of the new Infants’ school, a fire station, and a park in memory of the 11 workers who were killed.
In the early 21st century money was raised by public subscription to restore it to its original glory