Langdale Avenue and London Road, Mitcham

Langdale Avenue and London Road, Mitcham

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Partial / Incomplete Date c.1940
Area Mitcham
Picture Reference Mit_​War_​2-7
Original Format Photo
Notes / History The attack that razed to the ground properties near the junction of Langdale Avenue and London Road, Mitcham is not recorded on the local bomb map from World War II. However Mr. Douglas Neale recalls that damage to this area and the Methodist Church on Fair Green resulted from one of two parachute mines dropped towards the end of 1940. The second destroyed another church on the other side of Fair Green. Douglas, his parents, an aunt and cousin were in an Anderson shelter in the back garden of 1 Langdale Avenue at the the time.

Despite the damage, local people took comfort from the fact that Hitler's bombs still failed to dislodge the ancient tree whose trunk is visible at the centre of this photo. It is said to have stood in this part of Mitcham since the days of King Charles II.

Mitcham was also badly affected by V1 flying bombs or doodlebugs, launched from mainland Europe between June 1944 and March 1945. Powered by a jet engine, they detonated soon after the engine cut out, causing blast damage over a wide area. Many were shot down before reaching their targets, however those that did reach London killed 8938 people and seriously injured 25,000. Flying bombs also destroyed thousands of buildings across London and the South East. Some 43 V1s fell on Mitcham alone - this area was targeted due its wartime industry and proximity to Croydon aerodrome.

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