Demolition of gun site on Mitcham Common

Demolition of gun site on Mitcham Common

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Date Photo Taken 1st January 0001
Partial / Incomplete Date c.1963/4
Area Mitcham
Picture Reference Mit_​War_​5-3
Original Format Photo
Notes / History This was one of a number of anti-aircraft gun sites placed strategically around London as part of the city’s defence during World War Two. The London Borough of Merton was particularly vulnerable to enemy attack as it was close to Croydon Airport. During the war the airport was closed to civil aviation but played a vital role as a fighter station during the Battle of Britain.

‘Land south of Mitcham Junction station was commandeered for anti-aircraft gun emplacements. This was a massive installation, difficult and expensive to remove. It lingered on, derelict and occupied by squatters until it was finally demolished in 1964. An associated searchlight station lay behind the windmill and after the war one of the Nissen huts was converted into an office for the warden and changing rooms for footballers’(Mitcham Common: A Short History by Janet Morris)

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