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First Bombs to fall on Epsom

by epsomandewelllhc

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Archive List > The Blitz

Contributed by 
People in story: 
William Meredith
Location of story: 
Epsom, Surrey
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
27 November 2005

The author of this story has understood the rules and regulations of this site and has agreed that this story can be entered on the People’s War web site.

When the Luftwaffe campaign to destroy the Royal Air Force fighter defence air bases was defeated, the Germans switched to bombing London - "the blitz". It was principally aimed at the dockyards in the East End, then Britain's biggest port. London was surrounded by an outer ring of anti aircraft guns, and an inner ring of barrage balloons carrying suspended wires so as to force the bombers up to an altitude where their engines were inefficient and were slowed, so becoming more vulnerable to attack. The effect of these defences was that the German crews were deterred from entering the central area. The result was that they got to the southern suburbs, dumped their bomb cargos and fled for home. Epsom was in the AA gun circle, as were Bromley, North Kent and Croydon. The blitz therefore affected the outer suburbs the most.

The first bombed houses in Epsom were round the corner from College Road. If you look at the houses on the westerly side of Church Road nearly opposite Wimborne Close you will see a couple of later built houses in the middle of an older terrace. In one of these there lived a family whose daughter attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Dorking Road and was consequently a friend of my sister Jane. One night late there was a knock at the front door. My mother answered it and there were the Church Road family. They said that they had been bombed out and asked if we could give them shelter for the night. Of course they were let in and they stayed till the rescue authorities found them somewhere else. Naturally when the news got round the bomb site was surrounded by gawpers who were interested to see what bombed houses looked like.

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