I turned eleven years old a month after the start of The Blitz. We knew the West End of London had been heavily bombed. Living south the river (Thames) didn’t mean the bombs weren’t dropping nearby; some of us kids saw the devastation on our way to school when a land mine flattened a row of houses right around the corner.
Our nightly refuge under a metal table, fitted with very uncomfortable slats to resemble a bed, was often crowded when my grandmother stayed with us. I realized how lucky we were after sharing a night with a friend in her space in the tube (underground) station. I remember walking by the town hall the morning after it had a direct; we had spent a night or two there.
We were fortunate that we did not lose any family members although I missed some friends at school. Many families were not so lucky. Buildings, some landmarks of my childhood, were affected.
Here’s an account of one of them:
The Queen’s Hall, Langham Place, W1 was completely destroyed in the heavy Luftwaffe night raid of May 10-11, 1941.
By dawn, the auditorium had been completely burnt out, along with all the London Philharmonic’s instruments. Only the blackened supporting walls were left. No casualties were reported but one eyewitness likened the Hall’s devastated appearance to the remains of ‘a Roman arena’.
Read more about what happened in my home town 70 years ago on this web site: