Categories 1941

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.

The aftermath of bombing in 1940-41. Collecting water at a standpipe ‘somewhere in England’.

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


Piles of rubble and timber are all that remains of this building on the corner of Grant Street in Birmingham, after an air raid, c 1940/1941.
Bomb damage in early 1941.



2 thoughts on “British housing destroyed or damaged”

  1. The West Hendon Community have always used York Memorial Park to full advantage until the Regeneration project started by Barnet Council.
    After the bomb had done its deadly devistation it was agreed by all that this would remain a green open common as a mark of respect to all who lost their lives because of the bomb designating a War Memorial.

    Barnet Council with the full blessing of the current Mayor of London Boris Johnson have been given York Memorial Park for nothing to Barretts allow them to build luxury flats targeted at rich investors while systematically evicting the local community form their homes many have lived in this area for well over 50 years.
    Barretts are currently building a 26 story and a 29 story buildings on our community green burying our War Memorial under tons of concrete forever lost.

  2. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.