Southwark in the Blitz
On that first raid, Bermondsey’s own Surrey Docks was one of the intended targets for the Luftwaffe. Twelve hours later, Surrey Docks was a smouldering ruin with many of its inhabitants made homeless, jobless, and others injured or killed. On 7 September, it was also the scene of several extremely brave Civil Defence actions resulting in gallantry awards.
On the night of 7/8 September 1940, nearly 150 of the three boroughs’ citizens had been killed. This was the start of what became known as the ‘Night Blitz’, lasting through to May 1941. At the end of this period, this total had risen to nearly 2,000. Prior to the start of the Night Blitz, young boys had been marvelling at the dogfights over North Kent between the RAF and the Luftwaffe. Now this was a different war; the homes and streets of London were the new front line. With their ‘never surrender’ attitude, the population were the new front-line troops.
Through the eyes and words of the three borough’s inhabitants and local research, this book takes the reader through the Night Blitz, the Nuisance Raids, the Baby Blitz and the V-Weapon attacks. It is also a testament to those who ‘endured’ in the old boroughs of Southwark.
Neil Bright has had a long time fascination in military history. A career as a Blitz battlefield guide was spurred by a conversation with and encouragement from a good friend. After several years of hard research in various archives his first of a series of guided Blitz walks were born. These are regularly delivered to a keen and eager public. Neil is regularly sought by the media for quotes and has advised on a variety of projects.
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