Woolwich & Districts
Blast From The Past!
of War' certificate was given to every school-child.
I was born in 1935 and spent the wartime years collecting incendiary
in Flaxton Road at the junction with Raymere Gardens.
We lost the roof off our house three times, but never moved
The first blast I am aware of was in Barden Street on 17th
October 1940. This was alongside the Church of the Ascension
and was about 300 yards from our house, it killed three people.
the corner in Alabama Street on 20 March 1941 2000 hrs, a High
Explosive Land Mine exploded, killing 27 people. This was the
first bomb I remember to blast damage doors ceilings and remove
tiles off the roof of the house.
in the early 1940's a German plane, probably a bomber, crash
landed on Plumstead Common, near the Links RACS stores. You
could sit in the cockpit for a fee, 6d ? Does anybody else remember
On 23 June
1944 a V1 doodlebug fell around the corner destroying Numbers
8-14 Duncroft and again taking the tiles off our house and bringing
down ceilings, doors and windows. This killed 5 people.
February 1945, at 0910 hours, a V2 rocket fell on 42-44 Duncroft
Road. This killed 13 and injured 87. I was blown through the
fence of Timbercroft School, from the blast of a V2 rocket.
I was not seriously injured, so I ran back home to find all
the windows broken, doors blown off and the roof damaged again.
My sister was waiting at No 157 for her school friend, John,
who was getting ready for school, when the V2 exploded. John
was blown over in the kitchen before he heard the blast from
the rocket. Again, they also was not seriously hurt.
My father had just turned into Duncroft Road; he was blown to
the ground. He was on his way to visit two of his workman who
was repairing war damage from the V1, on number 42 Duncroft.
Unfortunately both the workmen were killed. They were:
Parvin and Thomas Alfred Thynne.
that at least one them came from Scotland. I remember being
shown a Scottish newspaper which had full page of cartoon strips,
the first I had seen..
we going to school ten minutes past nine?
remember leaving home because of the damage.
Here is a list of those killed in the incidents mentioned
in this story.
October 1940, Barden Street.
Henry Daniel BATTY
Henry William BATTY
March 1941, Alabama Street, at 2000 hrs, a High Explosive Land
Alfred BILLINGHURST aged 61.
Elizabeth BILLINGHURST, his wife, aged 60.
James BILLINGHURST, their son, aged26.
May BILLINGHURST, their daughter, aged 29.
Elizabeth DENNISON, their elder daughter, aged 31 married
- Ann Kilby
June 1944, 8-14 Duncroft Road, at 0655 hrs, a V1 Doodlebug exploded
kiling 5 including:
February 1945, 40-45 Duncroft Road, at 0910 hrs, a V2 Rocket
exploded, 13 killed, 87 injured.
Cyril George EDMONDS, Police Constable
Maude EDMONDS, his wife
George Bert EDMONDS
Hanton LUSH (nee LUDLOW)
Walter LUSH, aged 11, a pupil of Timbercroft School.
PARVIN, building labourer
Alfred THYNME, building labourer
Hannah Harris who was researching her family history come across
her Great Uncle Phillip John Terrell's, death certificate, which
stated that he had died on 23rd June 1944 at 8 Duncroft due
to 'war operations'. So this was another victim's name to be
added to the list of those killed. He was 46 at the time and
worked at the Royal Arsenal as an examiner of ammunition.
Here is a
photo of Timbercroft School taken in July 1946.
photo for larger view)
Top row 2nd from the right - Valerie Huddy.
Bottom row (left to right) 3 - Anderson, 5
- Ken Costin, 7 - P. Watling, 11 - Susan Hedges, 12 - David
Here is a photo of Anaconda School taken in 1946.
(Click on photo for a larger view)
I am seated in the front row, third from the right.
Click on photo or a larger view.
Dig for victory certificate from show at club grounds in Swingate
(Click on image for a larger view)