British housing destroyed or damaged

The original caption for this official image was entitled 'The Sun Still Shines' - images of wartime damage were carefully controlled and every effort was made to present a story of cheerful defiance.

The Home Security Situation report for the week records that:

Up to the 15th February, 1941, the following damage to domestic house property in London and elsewhere has been reported ::—

Destroyed and damaged beyond repair—

In London 33,595
Elsewhere* 60,290

Seriously damaged but repairable—

In London 123,395
Elsewhere* 175,520

*excluding Scotland

In just one incident on the 13th February:

at Hendon 366 houses were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable and a further 400 suffered damage by a single large-calibre bomb. Seventy-five people were killed and 145 seriously injured.

On the 15th February 1941 Vere Hodgson recorded what she had learnt of the incident in her diary:

Saturday, 15th

Heard the news of Thursday night’s damage today in the Mercury. I could not understand why one bomb should cause such a considerable amount of damage.

A lady explained to me that her son was on Hendon aerodrome with two W.R.A.F.s, and they saw the thing come down. It is a new kind of bomb. Had a flare attached to it. It fell on High St. before the Warning.

People were out and so did not stand a chance. It destroyed five streets of houses and spread damage for three miles – so the lady said. Many killed and injured and made homeless. It was a working class district of Hendon. The three young people on the roof found themselves tied in knots, and did not know if they were dead or alive.

See Vere Hodgson: Few Eggs and No Oranges

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Barry March 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I lived for a time in Orpington, south of the river, and a massive bomb landed in the school playing fields at the back of the house. It made a huge crater which as far as I know is still there. The house holders in Moon Avenue managed to find a few pieces of the bomb and used them for house name plates etc until people started to steal them for souvenirs.

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