Thursday 22 May 2008

When Hampstead Borough was bombed in WWII

For the London Borough of Hampstead the war was pretty eventful and some of the consequences can still be seen in gaps in lines of terraces, new blocks (relatively) amongst older ones..

When I pass Sidney Boyd Court on West End Lane now I now understand that it was a matching terrace but was bombed out and so later re-built.

But some numbers to think on:

From September 3rd 1939 to May 11th 1941
560 alerts were sounded

During the period August 15th 1940 to end of June 1941
569 alerts lasting 1427 hours 13 minutes
The alert in this period sounded in 237 days
During 80 of those alerts 466 incidents of damage or injury occurred in the Borough

From August 30th 1940 to May 11th 1941
310 high explosive bombs (34 unexploded)
8 parachute mines (3 unexploded)
41 oil bombs
53 anti-aircraft shells (34 unexploded)
approx 4,000 incendiary bombs were reported

The first casualty was on September 9th 1940.
Between then and April 17th 1941, 141 persosn were killed or died in hospital, 161 received hospital treatment and 259 attended first-aid posts

330 houses were destroyed or so damaged that they had to be destroyed
474 houses and flats had to be evacuated
10,611 houses were recorded as receiving some damage

This was just phase one of the bombing!

Yep, I'm reading Hampstead at War, Hampstead 1939-1945 by Camden History Society, first published in 1946 and re-printed in 1977, 1979 and 1995.


Anonymous said...

A particularly awful bombing happened on the corner of West End Lane where that restaurant down from the Sushi place is.
A V2 fell on the corner on a Saturday morning as a wedding was being celebrated. I think the whole family was wiped out.
Maybe others will have more details.

Ed Fordham said...

I'm interested in this and wondered if you get a socialogical effect of the bombing on the type of housing that came afterwards

there was a talk on the bombings in west hampstead library a while back that unfortuntely i missed...