The Blitz, 70 years on

You might have seen the amazing footage released yesterday of the West End in the Blitz, collected by a former mayor of St Marylebone and to be released later today by Westminster City Council on a new website, The West End At War.

The Guardian’s data blog has listed all the bombs that in the old London County Council area
on that first day of attacks, 70 years ago – all 843 reports, from midnight to midnight on 7 September 1940.

In the early hours, an entire Rotherhithe street – Verney Road – was destroyed, as the bombers concentrated their efforts on the Surrey Docks, with horrific results around Surrey Docks, Lewisham and Catford. Later in the day 49 men were killed at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, while two were killed by explosives and incendiary bombs at Lakedale Road in Plumstead.

The Guardian’s list, reproduced with errors and all, sets out the horrors of that day in cold hard print – homes destroyed, roads damaged, railways blocked, incendiary bombs ready to cause more havoc. This is what you call chaos and confusion – and there was more to come. It’s worth a look – and, as Fleet Street Blues points out, it puts the moaning and wailing about today’s Tube strike into its proper perspective.

Meanwhile, Peter Watts asks – why is there no London monument to the Blitz?

One comment

  1. London monument to the Blitz – throughout the 1900s the Civilians Remembered Campaign worked in Wapping to get the last little bit of unyuppified Wapping riverside kept as parkland as a memorial to the Blitz. They were an impressive group – they signed up Cher at one point. Various people however pointed to a number of other existing monuments – I think the trees on the embankment might have been one. In the end the site owners, Berkeley Homes, offered a site in the Arsenal but that seemed a bit incongruous. I don’t know what has happened to the campaign now since I left my job in Wapping. There a flats on the site – Marianne Fredericks who had led the campaign brilliantly had, last I heard, got herself on Common Council (which I thought was impressive!). Might be worth contacting her to find out. She wasn’t one to give up.

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