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WW2 bomb damage


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#1 Kurt

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 10:53 AM

Hi, I would like to find out whether there used to be a house across the road from me (potentially blown up in WW2) - as there is now an open space with garages. Does anyone know how I could find this information? I live on Dulwich Wood Avenue.

#2 NickJ

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 11:00 AM

Ask in the local history section of your library if they have pre-war maps? This part of south London was badly hit during the war, for a variety of reasons, and anything built in the Fifties or Sixties is often a good indication of a bomb site.

#3 jamal

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 11:23 AM

Hi, I would like to find out whether there used to be a house across the road from me (potentially blown up in WW2) - as there is now an open space with garages. Does anyone know how I could find this information? I live on Dulwich Wood Avenue.

I lived in West Norwood 1961-1970 and have no recollection of war-ridden housing lots. Bill Wyman, however, came from Penge and has a few pictures of bombed houses in Penge High Street in his Autobiography. According to his description the area was very badly hit in the "Blitz" and many classmates were killed! Perhaps the Penge Borough authorities might help?

#4 hellnick

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 12:19 PM

There is a very interesting site here showing V1 hits in SE19 - there was one on 4th August, 1944, on Dulwich Wood Avenue. Is that the site you mean? Of course, these are only rocket strikes - I suppose that the site you're interested in may have been flattened earlier in the war.

The whole of South London is still littered with shrapnel - I was bought a metal detecter when I was a lad and I spent days and days digging up huge jagged chunks of iron from wasteland around South Norwood. I was looking for money or gold, so this was rather disappointing. But then the "Danger UXB" TV series started and I realised that I might just find a whole bomb.

Edited by hellnick, 08 June 2009 - 12:20 PM.


#5 Kurt

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 12:48 PM

Thanks all.

"This part of south London was badly hit during the war, for a variety of reasons, and anything built in the Fifties or Sixties is often a good indication of a bomb site."

-is this because CP/Norwood is "on the way" to central London and the German planes used it as a corridor? Was there a mast on the hill at that time?

"There is a very interesting site here showing V1 hits in SE19 - there was one on 4th August, 1944, on Dulwich Wood Avenue. Is that the site you mean? "

That's a very informative site! The part of Dulwich Wood Avenue is not the same bit that I'm on but it is possible that collateral damage reached that far. I am going to keep looking into it.

Part of the reason I'm curious is because when I renovated my house last year, the walls and ceilings came off and I was able to see the exposed beams. The house seemed to have experienced some large degree of heat/fire from the front, as the mains beams were blackened and there was some evidence of old damage. The original lead windows also seem to buckle in slightly. All of which made me think there might have been a bomb outside, across the road.

#6 hellnick

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 03:12 PM

Some more useful information at this blog (the site runs like a dog in Firefox 3.5 beta 4, but it's fine in IE). The blogger has taken some photos of bomb census maps in the national archives and posted them to his/her flickr account. Most are pretty blurred but they're still useful.

#7 NickJ

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 04:01 PM

"This part of south London was badly hit during the war, for a variety of reasons, and anything built in the Fifties or Sixties is often a good indication of a bomb site."
-is this because CP/Norwood is "on the way" to central London and the German planes used it as a corridor? Was there a mast on the hill at that time?


Yes, as I understand it, planes flew home over south east London, dropping any unused bombs along the way. Also, it was on the flying bomb route into central London, and the ones that fell short dropped all around the area.

There wasn't a mast on the hill, but the water towers that remained after the Crystal Palace fire were demolished during the war, apparently because they could be used as a navigational aid by German bombers (the ones that weren't equipped with maps and compasses, I suppose).

#8 hild

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 06:34 PM

I did come across a really good site a couple of years back with lots of details from the Air Wardens reports, if only I could find it again! Sadly I didn't make a note of it at the time... Will report back if I manage to stumble across it again. It was very interesting and I found the details of the bomb strike which is the reason for our house not having a single ninety-degree angle in it!

Ooops - notice I should have actually followed the link above myself before replying - this looks very much like the site I remember! D'oh! I will definitely bookmark it now - thank you!

#9 Clarity

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 09:50 AM

The local studies part of Croydon town centre Library has maps compiled by air raid wardens showing where bombs fell each day together with reports on the extent of damage. The staff are very helpful!

#10 Acharn

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 04:29 PM

Yes, Nickj. The tower was a landmark for German bombers and was demolished for that reason I was born in Palace Rd in 1940. We were, as a community, evacuated to Whimslow near Manchester. An immense amount of damage was caused in and around that area. Our famimly were eventually re-located in St. Hughs Rd Anerley. There the area behind the Anerley Arms was flattened as was the patch opposite, behind the PO sorting office.

Regards

Acharn

#11 keitha

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:47 PM

Although there was a lot of bomb damage during the war, the uneven streetscapes in the area are just as much to do with 1950s and 1960s re-development. A lot of large properties in the area were pulled down in the 1950s and 1960s because the leases were nearing their end and it was more profitable to pull down large houses that no one expected to be desirable in the future, than to maintain them either as single dwellings or rooming houses (which is what Lambeth council had encouraged in the 1930s). In my immediate neighbourhood, for example, the bomb damage maps do not explain the pattern of development at all: bombs fell in a few places, but the most substantial 1960s redevelopment was someone's back garden during the war. Although it may be dramatic to ascribe the streetscape of modern Crystal Palace to bomb damage, far more houses were pulled down during the 1950s than as a result of bomb damage.