Map showing areas of Wimbledon hit by flying bombs during World War II
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|Date Photo Taken||1st January 0001|
|Partial / Incomplete Date||c.1944|
|Copyright 1||Evening News|
|Notes / History||This “Evening News” map, compiled with the assistance of the local authorities, shows where flying bombs fell in Wimbledon from June to September, 1944. Each dot on the map indicates a site that was hit by a flying bomb (Based on the Ordnance Survey map). The V1 flying bombs – also known as ‘doodlebugs’ or ‘buzz bombs’ on account of the distinctive sound they made when in flight – were 1000kg unmanned warheads powered by jet engines and launched from a ramp.
The first V1 fell in Wimbledon on Saturday 17th June, killing no less than 16 people and injuring 53 in and around Cliveden Road. On the night of July1st/2nd a V1 landed in Cannon Hill Lane and the residents of nearby 19, Springfield Avenue had a lucky escape. Margaret Leake (nee Hobbs) recalls that she and her brothers were asleep in bed when their father heard a doodlebug cut out. The bomb dived soundlessly to earth while “we covered our heads as the ceilings came down and I remember the lath and plaster and the glass from the windows all over my bed in the box room at the front of the house. The boys shared the back bedroom and got more of the blast, but they were not injured.” Fortunately Margaret’s parents weren’t injured either but a 16 year old was killed in a house which received a direct hit in Cannon Hill Lane (BBC Archive: World War Two People’s War)
A total of 295 flying bombs fell in Surrey during these four months. 36 people were killed and 252 injured in Wimbledon alone, with a further 360 suffering minor injuries (Safe as Houses: Wimbledon 1939-1945 by Norman Plastow)