Bomb damaged house in Runnymede, Mitcham
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|Date Photo Taken||16th August 1940|
|Notes / History||This house was one of a number of properties that came under attack by the German Luftwaffe on the 16th August 1940. On the same day enemy aircraft scored a direct hit in the neighbouring Phipps Bridge area. Two houses were demolished, two more badly damaged and many slightly damaged. Four residents were hospitalised but no deaths were reported. A number of bombs were also dropped in other parts of the borough. The bombs, which weighed about 50kg each, fell roughly along the line of Merton High Street and the Kingston Road. One fell on Wimbledon Tyre Company in the Kingston Road and within a matter of minutes 14 people had been killed and 59 injured. Several properties were demolished and many badly damaged.
These attacks preceded the Blitz, a prolonged bombing campaign by the Germans on British air defences that began towards the end of the Battle of Britain and lasted until May 1941. Towns and cities across Britain were targeted and London was hit particularly hard. On September 7th 1940 around 950 German aircraft attacked London. It was the first and last mass daylight raid on the capital but it was followed by 57 consecutive nights of bombing. By the time the Blitz ended some 43,000 had been killed and over a million properties damaged.