Bombs dropped in the ward of: Bounds Green
Total number of bombs dropped from 7th October 1940 to 6th June 1941 in Bounds Green:
- High Explosive Bomb
Number of bombs dropped during the week of 7th October 1940 to 14th of October:
Number of bombs dropped during the first 24h of the Blitz:
No bombs were registered in this area
Memories in Bounds Green
Read people's stories relating to this area:
Contributed originally by eric heathfield (BBC WW2 People's War)
As I said previously after May 1941 enemy activity diminished considerably, we had a few raids usually around xmas time or just after.Also a few fighter bomber daylight raids in 1943/4. Then in the early part of 1944 the germans made a series of rather heavy raids. They dropped what were known at the time as oil bombs. These did a great deal of damage, I remember one fell on Priors dept store near the Tally ho North Finchley this was a modern concrete building it was completely destroyed apart from the steel girder frame work!There was very little damage locally although I think it was around this time that a large bomb fell on Cat hill East Barnet demolishing several houses. One point i will make we always knew when a raid was coming because the BBC would stop broacasting when a raid was imminent so that the enemy could not use them as a method of navigation and take bearings from them.When the radio went dead we would move into our morrrison shelter and put up the wire screens. Then later would come the gut wrenching sound of the sirens.These raids in 1944 cost the enemy heavy casualties and as the nights shortened they stopped.Then on the 6th June 1944 I was woken early in the morning by the sound of many aircraft flying over.We were used to seeing American flying fortresses in large formations most days but it was too early for them as they always flew over during assembly at school.I got out of bed and went to the window which had a good view of the sky to the east.I had heard people say the sky was black with planes but this day it really was hundreds of planes towing gliders and squadron upon squadron of Boston and Marauder light bombers all heading east!Also Spitfire squadrons were airbourne to all planes had white stripes round the fuselage to identify them as allied aircraft. This was D day!When we listened to the 8 o'clock news the landings were announced.THe next few days were euphoric we were all excited and the standing joke repeated ad nauseum was " Do you know where the landing is- at the top of the stairs" very corny by the 3rd day! Then in the following week on the thursday night we found that "Jerry" had a nasty joke of his own up his sleeve! Went to bed about 9-30 as usual when it was school tomorrow. Then about 1 am the sirens sounde and I made my sleepy way down to the dining room and the morrison shelter.It was soon evident this was a heavy raid constant gunfire and low flying aircraft and machine gun fire. This continued for about 2 hours then all was quiet,the all clear didnt sound but aftre a while Dad said we might as well go back to bed its over! The following morning I went to school as usual and asked my friends if they had heard the all clear?None of them had -very strange then later in the day we were all made to go down to the cloakrooms which served as a shelter the ceiling being strengthened with beams and the windows covered with sandbags.When we were sent home at noon we heard that this was hitlers secre weapon a pilotless aircraft packed with a ton of explosives.These kept coming over for the next 3 months at odd intervals.The next day which was a Saturday I went with my dad to chesthunt Resouvoir for a days fishing it was very civilised there we had a small hut where we could cook and sahelter from the weather and could even sleep there as we had 2 naval hammocks slung.It was a rather dull overcast day,we heard a few flying bombs in the distance, suddenly I heard a strange sound unlike any other aircraft noise I ha ever heard I was by this time as most of my friends were an expert areoplane spotter. Then suddenly there it wa at about 500 feet flying west a Gloster Meteor thogh of course I didn't know that at the time although the radio had reported about jet aircraft about a week earlier.A wonderful sight ! Well as I said the attacks continued,one night a V1 fell in Grange Ave East Barnet in the next road to my sister Grace.I dont think anyone was killed. Then one lunchtime at school I was in the wash room in the cloakrooms when we heard a V1 coming Mr Zissell our headmaster rushed in from the playground roarinng "Everyone down on the floor" we didn't need telling twicethe bomb slid over the school down church hill rd clipped the flagstaff on St marys Church and exploded in Oakhill park near the bridge near Rushdene ave luckily not killing anyone! Some of my friends from the East barnet grammer school had a narrow squeak as they were in the park at the point of impact but saw it coming and just made into a surface shelter they were badley shaken but unhurt. Then in late august we had our worst tradegy of the war. I did not witness this personally as we had gone away for a couple of weeks fishing in Dorset as was my fathers custom whenever he could snatch a few days away from the Times I think this helped to keep him sane! these were stressful times as they were not only publishing theTimes but also the American paper The Stars and Stripes for the troops.Anyway on or about the 21st August about 7-45 in the morning the Standard telephone factory which was about 200 yds from the end of our street was hit by a flying bomb causing horrendous casualties in fact the highest ever casualties in a single incident.several hundred dead and many many severely injured . One young girl aged about 15 in her firsat week at work lost both legs,luckily she made a full recovery and 11 years later was in victoria maternity hospital having a baby at the same time as my late wife.Ou house had all the windows blown out and the ceilings down.The last flying bommmb to land near us was sometime in the autumn, it was my most scary moment of my 71 years! We were in the morrison because the bombs came at any time it was after midnight because Dad had come home from the office.Something woke me and I heard the bomb coming then suddenly the engine cut! When that happened your heart stood still and you could hear a pin drop.Then to my utter horror I heard a sound it was the sound of the V1 gliding! I could literally hear the air over the flying surfaces Dad swore then came the explosion the solid steel shelter lifted with the blast.The bomb had landed further up the hill in Russell Road causing several deaths including a friend of my mothers and her twin sons aged about 13.This was the last f lying bommb in the district.In September 44 one saturday morning I was lying in bed just having woken up when there was a tremendous explosion followed by what sounded like a roll of thunderwe were to get to know that sound all too well over the next few months hitlers second secret weapon was up and running the V2 rocket hurtling in at supersonic speed devastating wherever it hit. This one was at Bounds Green many of these landed in London and you could hear them for miles the only other one in our area was at New Barnet killing several people and burying others for a couple of days (this was always one of my worst nightmares the thought of being buried alive)One poor chap held a beam up over his Brother but sadly his brother was dead, later he lost his mind and used to wander the streets shouting and talking to hiself the children in later years used to make fun of him not knowing his story unless someone told them.Personally the V2's worried me less than aircraft attacks which always seemed directly aimed at one or flying bombs which were nerve wracking.With the v2 if you heard it go off you were alive and that was that,I am sad to say we were mostly pretty callous by this time well you had to grow a hard shell or you wouldn't have been able to stand it!Well by March 45 the raids and rockets peterd out then suddenly it was all over I was then nearly 13 going on 30.Would like to say a couple of final things clear up a couple of myths.Firstly despite many documentary 's Londoners on the whole did NOT shelter in the underground in fact people who did were rather despised, any way they were not very safe as was the case at Bounds green station when a bomb penetrated to the platform ripped all the tiles from the walls killing a number of Poles who used it to shelter.Most people had there Morrisons and Anderson shelters and prefered to take their chance above ground.Also I get very angry when i hear people talking about soft southeners as we were bombed throughout the war not just a few nights as were plymouth and southhampton the blitz lasted from Sept7 40 to May 10th 41 almost every night so I don't think we were soft If you would like any more information please don't hesitate to ask.How ever I am suffering from Chronic renal failure at the moment so if you want to know anything better ask soon All the best Eric Heathfield
Contributed originally by Blanchenay (BBC WW2 People's War)
My name is Eileen Blancenay aged 14 years, I lived with my mother and sister Joyce in an old fashioned, gas-lit three roomed flat at 106 Bury Road, Wood Green, London N.22. We had been given this flat in February 1941 after being bombed out of our house in September 1940 in which father was killed.
I left school at Easter and worked as an office junior for a firm in Holborn Hall, Gray's Inn Road, London WC1 treavelling to the City every day by tube from Turnpike Lane.
The first time I heard a "Doodlebug" was one night during early June. I was in bed when I heard what I thought was an aeroplane. It woke me up but the siren hadn't gone. It seemed very loud and then the engine stopped and a short time after there was an explosion and I just thought the plance ahd been dameged and just come down. I heard nothing else and went back to sleep.
This then st the pattern. I still went up to London every day. We were on the top floor of our building and when we hear a "Doodlebug" coming we all used to go out in the corridor, we never had time to go down to the basement. When I used to come out of the tube station at night on my way home, you could be sure that the siren would go on the corner opposite andthen it was a toss-up whether I stayed in the station or went home. I sued to run the gauntlett along the High Road, Wood Green passed the shops, downa samll road and then down my road which was at the back of the High Roadshops and our flat was the last one at the end of the road. Opposite our flat, under some trees, was a brick-built surface shelter. One night the siren was just going as I came out toe the tube but I decided to chance the run. I ran along the High Road just as the siren was dying away and I could hear the "Doodlebug" coming, m y heart was thumping, nobody else was around. I turned into my road, the 'thing' was overhead but I couldn't look up at it. The silence was terrible all I could hear were my footsteps and as it exploded I went straight into the shelter wall instead of the doorway but at lease I was in one piece.
The shelter was our home for about three months. It was full every night. My married sisster Ivy and her three children came to stay with us as her husband was in the Army. The "Doodlebug" never stopped me going to the pictures, which I did about threee nights a week with my friedn Pam. We'd rather have died watching our favourite film stars than stay at home. They used to put up a notice in the cinema to say the the siren had gone but nobody ever left.
Pam, my friend, lived in Westbeech Road the next road to where I lived. When we left each other on the corner after the pictures we used to say see you later in the shelter. First of all when I got home I would change into my shelter clothes, these were old clothes kept especially for this purpose because we couldn't undress into night clothes, except for the small children, because of all the people who slept in the shlter and anyway it kept us warmer also we had differenct clothes to wear during the day. We used to put our hair in curlers and then put on a "snood" (it was a crocheted hair net made with wool) which al the girls wore, especially in the factories.
The shelter had three tiered wooden bunks and Pam and I had the op ones next to each other. We brought our blankets and pillows and we really enjoyed it and we talked and laughted until we were told to go to sleep by everybody else. The light was kept on all night but we got used to sleeping like that but the bunks were hard and often we longed for our own beds. One night when we'd been sleeping like this for some time, much to my mother's horror, I decided to stay home and sleep in my own bed and although it was a bad night, I let through it but I ached so much the next morning I could harley get out of bed, so back to the shelter.
There was a "ddoodlebug" dropped in Hornsey which wasn't far away and Pam and I were jokingly saying it would be our turn next. A few nights later early in the evening, a beautiful sunny evening, I was standing outside our flat with Ivy my sister just looking down the road and I remarked to her that the road looked so nice with not a window broken and all the houses intact.
That night we were al asleep in the shelter, the siren had gone and it must have gone 12am when all of a sudden this "doodlebug" was coming and it was so loud and very near and when it seemed overheadthe engine cut-out and that long silence whcih always made me hold by breath. The explosion was very near, the shelfter shook and a pebble fell of f the ceiling. Nobody moved for quite a few minutes, we all seemed frighttened to go outside. One of the women in the shelter accused Pam and I of making it happen buecause of our joiking a few days before but I suppose she was shocked and it couldn't possibly have been true. Anyway I said to my Mum give me the key and I'll go over to see if the flat was alreight. She had a jot to find the key but eventually I went outside. The whole street was covered in broken glass and grey slats off the roofs. I got to the flat and went throught the gateway which was covered in glass and found the font door was laying in the passage so I din't need the key. I wondered where our cat Tibby was. He usually slept on my bed but the wardrobe was lying across the bed and Tibby was nowhere to be seen. The only windows not broken were in my bedroom at the back of the flat as they had been open a bit. I left the flat and walked down the road and by then two great big lights had been erected on the roof of Marks and Spencers to shin on the appalling mess of the houses opposite. The Manager's of Marks and Spencers and Woolworths were soon down as they had there back doors blown off and were frightened their goods would have disappeared. People were too busy for that. It was the most eerie sight you could imagine, the centres of tow roads had been lasted. The "ddodlebug" had fallen in the back gardens between Bury Road and Westbeech Road and blasted ouwards on both sides of each road. The two spot lights lit up a scene of terrible devistation. There was a little boy of three killed. Hed had fair curly hair and I used to watch him ride his three-wheeled bike around the block. Other people were killeed and injured and two girls I knew had black eyes and bruises and also their mother was injured as their house was next to the demolished ones adn eventually had to be taken down because it was beyond repair. They were taken to a rest centre.
When the morning came at last we were so busy clearing up that we forgot about my sister's children who we'd left in the shelter and it wasn't until they came toddling out that we remebered them. My old grandad, agaed 89 years, lived in Westbeech Road and his house was very badly damaged and they had to take him to a rest centre but he protested so much because he didn't want to leave his house and within a week he died. We don't know whether it was shock or fear of not being allowed to go home again because of his age.
I was coming home from work three days later when I found my road cordoned off again and a policeman on duty there. He asked me where I was going and I said I lived there and he told me to hurry pass the demolished house as they had just found another two bodies in the wreckage and were just going to get them out. Nobody knew they were there. It was a widow and her son og about twelve, I'd seen them about and I always felt sorry for them as they seemed alone just the two of them and thats how they were found clasped in each others arms. They han't lived in our road long so nobody knew them.
At the end of the first day all the damaged houses in the two roads had temporary repairs. Our house has a tarpaulin on the roof and we had black carboard material in the bottom half of the window and sort of white muslin at the top but is didn't give us much light unless we opened our windows.
The cat came back after a couple of days, he must have been hiding somewhere, he wan't injured nor were his paws cut by glass.
One of the last "doodlebugs" to fall in Wood Green was on a Saturday afternoon in the Autumn. I fell in Farrant Aveneu, where my Aunt Flo and Uncle Andrew lived. Theire daughter Joan managed to dive in the table shelter which saved her from serious injury as they lived a few doors along from the devastated houses. My Aunt was in the little corner sub-Post Office in Salisbury Road when the "doodlebug" was coming and the postmaster invited her the other side of the counter so they could shelter underneath it. Good job he did as the windows got blasted. We gave shelter to Aunt and Unclea and Joan in our flat for a few months while there house was extensively repaired.
A V." rocket fell in Gladstone Avenue in the Autumn of 1944 a few streets away and I think if we'd had a lot more of these things, I think our morale would have broken. We got used to the "doodlebugs" which at least you could hear and take appropriate action but the rockets were silent and this made them more terrifying. The rockets seemed to cause more devistation and windows were broken over a wider area.
Fortunately, the victory in Europe came before too many of these things were launched.
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