Air raid shelter on Mitcham's Cricket Green

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Date Photo Taken 1st January 0001
Area Mitcham
Copyright 1 Miss P Crawford
Picture Reference Mit_​War_​1-2
Original Format Photo
Notes / History This was one of many air-raid shelters in Merton which were built early in WW2 for public use. They were often brick-built with concrete roofs and underground tunnels were used if they were available. The notice on the outside of this shelter reads: "This public air raid shelter is only for the use of persons caught in the street during air raids and not for the occupiers of adjoining premises" The shelter was kept locked and the key was obtained by breaking the glass on the small box next to the door.

The Mitcham area was generally believed to have been the most heavily bombed of the South London suburbs. On Wed 16th April 1941 the German Luftwaffe launched a major attack on London and there were 15 incidents in Mitcham during that night. The bombs fell in 3 groups, with 15 people dying in one incident alone. Thirteen of those killed were members of the Home Guard.

During the Blitz (from 7th October 1940 to 6th June 1941) no less than 38 high explosive bombs were dropped in the Cricket Green area.

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