Personal recollections of air attacks bring home the devastation they caused. Jon Mills has shared the story of how his mother narrowly missed being killed on the evening of 7 November, 1943.
Aged 23 at the time, Jon’s mother was on her way to the Cinderella Dancing Club in Putney that evening when the air raid alert sounded. During the day she worked in Wandsworth Town Hall issuing ration books and identity cards but was also scheduled for part-time work in the Civil Defence Control Room and was due to be on duty that night if the siren sounded. She turned around and reported for duty, an act that probably saved her life.
The Cinderella Dancing Club was located on the corner of Putney High Street and Putney Bridge Road. It is thought a Focke-Wulf FW-190 A-4 (on a so-called ‘tip-and-run’ raid) carrying a single 250kg high-explosive bomb was possibly aiming for Putney Bridge but released the bomb late and hit the dancehall at 2102 hours.
The dancehall, a milk bar below the dance floor, shops and the surrounding streets were busy and the bomb devastated the area. The aftermath of the attack left 81 dead and nearly 250 injured – the largest loss of life in a single incident in the Putney area during the war. The Civil Defence services were on site quickly and a local depot that contained several large ambulances relayed the injured to several local hospitals.
Please support this website's running costs and keep it advert free