Bomb damage at the St. Helier Estate

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Date Photo Taken 1st January 0001
Area Morden
Copyright 1 Merton & Morden Borough News 11/10/1940
Picture Reference MerMor_​World_​War_​2-7
Original Format Photo
Notes / History This photograph, published in the Merton & Morden Borough News on 11/10/1940, shows damage done to houses on the St. Helier Estate in Mitcham in the early days of the Blitz. Nearly 700 high explosive bombs and six parachute mines fell in the borough between 7th October 1940 and 6th June 1941. Mitcham sustained heavy damage during this period owing to its relative proximity to Croydon Aerodrome. The airfield played an important part in Britain’s wartime defence and came under regular attack as a result. German bombers were forced to fly at great heights in order to dodge anti-aircraft fire. This made it difficult for them to identify their targets accurately. Many bombs wide of the mark, or were simply ditched in order to lighten the load of the aircraft before it returned to base.

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