Air Raid siren located on Mitcham Police station

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Date Photo Taken 1st January 0001
Area Mitcham
Copyright 1 Miss P Crawford
Picture Reference Mit_​War_​8-1
Original Format Photo
Notes / History An air raid siren attached to the roof of Mitcham Police Station, Cricket Green c1940. During World War II many people grew to loathe the regular wail of the siren which signalled the start of each enemy raid. The sirens were nicknamed Moaning Minnies.

One young member of the Local Defense Volunteers, J B Pritchard, recalls joining the LDV at the age of 16 in 1940: “Some night duties were spent at Mitcham Police Station so we could be available to assist the police and ARP (Air Raid Precautions) wardens if necessary. We had to turn out every time the air raid warning sounded, which was every night during the Blitz, and we watched the heavy raids on London which lit up the whole sky. We saw planes lit up by searchlights and some shot down by the AA guns – always a great boost to morale.

When bombs dropped in Mitcham we turned out to guard damaged shops and factories against looters. Up to November 1940 Mitcham had five “land mines” – high explosive devices suspended on parachutes – dropped on it, two of them being the first to fall in England.” (Merton Historical Society Local History Notes 9)

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