Bombs dropped in the ward of: St Mark's
Total number of bombs dropped from 7th October 1940 to 6th June 1941 in St Mark's:
- High Explosive Bomb
Number of bombs dropped during the week of 7th October 1940 to 14th of October:
No bombs were registered in this area
Number of bombs dropped during the first 24h of the Blitz:
No bombs were registered in this area
Memories in St Mark's
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Contributed originally by epsomandewelllhc (BBC WW2 People's War)
When the war started my brother and I had just come out of Sunday school and were passing the local off licence when we heard on the radio that war had been declared and then the siren sounded. We ran for home as fast as we could expecting the Germans to come round the corner at any minute. Then we entered the phony war when nothing happened. We were issued with gas masks and I was very upset because I was just too old to have one with a Donald duck quacker front, my father who had joined the civil defence had a military type one. In the event the only time we used them was when we all sat around a tin bath and prepared onions and shallots for pickling.
The lounge had its windows criss crossed with black tape to prevent flying glass and the chimney blocked up against gas attacks. A large bed placed against the wall was for sleeping under not in! As the youngest I went to bed first and the other five crawled in after me. Then we were issued with an Anderson Shelter in the garden and were constantly being waken and taken down there in the night. Finally it was organised so that we all slept down there. A hole on one corner was the sump for water drainage. The planks were laid down and a bed made up for my two brothers. Bunks either side above them were made up for my parent and planks placed over the middle gap for my eldest sister. Across the far end was my bunk that I shared with the dog. One day when the siren sounded the dog was missing and we hunted everywhere for him As the raid got worse we retreated to the shelter and there was the dog curled up fast asleep.
The garden was dug up for food and we had an allotment at the end. Mother was most ingenious in making sure we had a decent diet. All sorts of leaves were chopped up for salad including dandelion leaves, nasturtium leaves and turnip tops, all neatly arranged in a bowl in patterns with grated carrot to form a contrast.
Anything that could be preserved was; eggs in isinglass, beans in salt; cabbage, onions and shallots pickled. Fruit from the garden and hedgerows preserved and jam made. A wonderful day was the arrival of a food parcel from relations in Canada. Sausage meat in a tin with a lot of fat and apricot jam packed with fruit. Nothing has tasted so good since. The butter and margarine rations were beaten together with corn flour sauce to make them go further.
We spent a lot of out school time in air raid shelters where we played games and our education suffered seriously. Many children were evacuated and our friends went to Australia and Canada. We were booked to go to an aunt in Canada until a ship carrying refugees was sunk and so we stayed in Surbiton. Life was very exciting with something always happening. Houses were destroyed and some of friends who like us had stayed were killed. For a long period the school was closed completely and we wandered the fields looking for shrapnel or explored ruined buildings. A great deal of our time was spent in queues. Mother would say ‘ Join that queue while I see what it’s for’. We played Spitfires and Heinkels rather than cow boys and Indians.
One day an incendiary bomb landed at the bottom of the garden and we had to move out. We went to the house of my mother’s cousin. They were both working. My bed was made up behind a pulled out wardrobe and my parents in the bed. On the way round there the dog had raided a pig bin and no sooner were we settled in bed than he decided to eat it under my parents bed. My father muttering imprecations seized it and hurled it down the garden. The bomb was dug up and for years we had the cap which sparked when struck.
One day my brother and I were playing at the end of Ferry Road in Thames Ditton when a number of very serious men came down and prepared small pleasure craft for sailing. As they set off the atmosphere was so serious that we stopped playing and went home. We were told afterwards that they had gone to Dunkirk to rescue our soldiers.
The arrival of the ‘Doodle bugs’ changed things. One cracked the walls in our house and as children we were quite pleased that we could shake hands through crack in the wall. One of my brothers was a messenger, just fifteen years old, for the civil defence and came home one day looking very white. He had helped rescue people from a bombed building and pulled out dead baby.
My parents decided to send me to Bedford to an aunt and this brother was deputed to take me into London and on to Bedford through the air raids. I was there for a year.
Just before ‘D’ day we were in Droxford Hampshire on holiday with my grandparents and there was a group of Canadian soldiers billeted in the village. They gave us rides in their bren gun carriers through the river. A few weeks later they were invading France. One of my Canadian cousins was on that beach head and was wounded in the first five minutes.
On ‘D’ day we stood in the garden and watched wave after wave of aircraft going over. It was obvious that something serous was going on. Later in the school field a Spitfire in flames went over. The pilot stayed on board to avoid crashing in a built up area. He died .
V.E. Day was celebrated with a large street bonfire for all. A radio played from the porch rood and we danced and cheered. At mid night the search lights which had been sweeping back and forwards across the sky focussed over central London.. We ate potatoes baked in the ashes in the early hours of the morning.
Images in St Mark's
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