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?