Categories 1941

Bombing of London resumes

Some of London’s Railway arches had now been adopted as public air raid shelters. With the basic provision of beds and toilets, they were more comfortable than many other air raid shelters.
But very few shelters were safe from a direct hit.

Damage. London.

Eighteen key points were hit in London during raids on the nights of the 17th/18th and 19th/20th, each lasting for some four hours. Damage was slight, and no factory has reported a loss of production greater than four days. The chief cause of such loss was the interruption of night work through damage to roofs and windows. The key points affected were three in the London docks, thirteen factories, a gas works and the Royal Arsenal. A large number of incendiary bombs were dropped and many fires were started, all of which were quickly extinguished.

On the 17th/18th an archway shelter at London Bridge Station was hit. Rescue work is still in progress and final casualty figures may amount to some 90 persons killed.


For the week ending 0600, 19th February, the estimated casualties are 231 people killed and 495 injured.

From the Home Security Situation Report for the week ending 19th February 1941.

It is now thought that 68 people died and 175 people were injured in the Stainer Street archway bomb on the 17th. It seems that not all the bodies were recovered. A Blue Memorial Plaque has now been placed at the site, see BBC local news.

A female shelterer sleeps under a pile of blankets in the air raid shelter under the railway arches, somewhere in South East London. This part of the shelter looks more like a proper room than a section of space under a railway arch, partly because of the vase of flowers which has been added to brighten up the area. In the background, however, the gentleman’s lavatories can be seen, reminding us that this is a communal shelter.
Nine members of the eleven-strong O’Rourke family of St James’s Road, Bermondsey, sleep under a blanket in an air raid shelter under the railway arches, probably at Dockley Road, Bermondsey in November 1940. St James’s Road joins onto Dockley Road at right angles, so the shelter is very close to the family home. November 1940.

3 thoughts on “Bombing of London resumes”

  1. Ellenor and Charles Radley were my great grandparents. My father was also called Charles Radley. And without me knowing until now I named my son Freddie Charles .

  2. Eleanor Radley nee Rickets was my great- great grandmother. My grandmother Ellen (Nell) Rosina Saunders nee Radley born 1919, daughter of her son Charles Frederick Radley was in her early 20’s in 1941 and remembered the bombing of Stainer Street railway arch vividly. There were some members of the family who were lucky enough not to be killed and my grandmother told my stories of people running through the streets with their clothes blown off them. She told me there were two bombs that hit the arch. The first hit it directly and that nurses and doctors came out from Guys hospital to tend to the wounded. As they were doing this, Stainer Street railway arch took a second hit injuring and killing many of the doctors and nurses that came out. Also remember Druid street Arch that took a hit as well as Southwark Park road arch that took a hit both arches were used also as shelters too.

  3. Eleanor Radley nee Ricketts was sheltering in the Stainer Street Archway that night, born in 1861 she had married Charles David Radley in 1880. The couple had many children including Emily who married Samuel Rolfe. The night of the Bomb Eleanor was with at least 4 of her Grandchildren James (18), Emily(19) and Charles David Rolfe (11) and Joseph Charles Radley (16). All died. The Radleys were Tanners.

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