BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in February 2012We've left it here for reference.More information

28 July 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site Print this page 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

A Fighter Plane Shells Norwood, South London, 20th January 1943 by Edwin O'Callaghan

by West_End_at_War

Contributed by 
West_End_at_War
People in story: 
Edwin O'Callaghan
Location of story: 
Norwood, South London
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A2768970
Contributed on: 
22 June 2004

This story was submitted to the People War’s site by Naomi Hoffman of CSV Media on behalf of Edwin O’Callaghan and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

I was 11 years and 4 months. I was attending St Josephs College, Beuluh Hill, Norwood.

The Siren/Air raid warning went off at 12.30 pm. This was unusual because there had been no emerging air activity by day since 1940. A frock-Woolf, a particulary fast German fighter which was one of twenty enemy aircraft which succeeded in getting through to London without being challenged.

The particular aircraft flew down Beuluh Hill as I was standing on the corner of Norbury Hill. Two women with a pram were halfway across the road. I threw myself on the ground and shouted “It’s a Jerry” However, they did not hear me or didn’t understand me. Small flashes came from the aircraft wing and it flew right over me at a low level.

They were all killed instantly. People came out of the houses to ask if I was alright. Part of their bodies were scattered over the road and fell on me at the time.

I was told, afterwards, that this was due to being hit by cannon shells. I went home with a much older boy to explain to my mother what had happened. It would appear that the South East of London was badly hit. A bomb hit the girl’s high school in Catford and 38 girls were killed along with 6 members of staff.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Air Raids and Other Bombing Category
London Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy