Flying bomb at Wharncliffe Gardens 1944

a witness to the after effects

Flying bomb at Wharncliffe Gardens August 1944
City of Westminster archives


In 1944 when I was on school holidays I would go with my mother twice a week to see my uncle at Wharncliffe Gardens.  On the morning of the 22 August, the day after the V1 had fallen, we arrived at the junction of St Johns Wood Road and Lisson Grove, which was closed, but we were allowed through.  When we arrived at the flat there was no sign of my uncle.  My mother made enquiries at the information point, which was under the arch at Grove End House opposite but they said they had no record of my uncle.

On our way back to the flat we met him coming up the road – he had been shopping.  He had been lucky not to have been caught in the blast, due to the fact that he was on duty that evening at work.   When we arrived back at the flat the door was nearly off its hinges and the windows had no glass.  I was told to sit down on a large wooden box while my mother and uncle cleared up the mess and broken glass.  I remember my uncle saying that it was lucky my grandmother wasn’t here, as she used to sleep by the window, but she had died in 1943.  From where I was sitting I could see a huge pile of rubble and the remains of a wall, part of of the building that faced St Johns Wood Road.  I remember seeing people passing by the window whom I assume could have been stretcher bearers.  I also remember seeing a policeman. Later on in the morning workmen came to fix a sort of white stiffened material to the top window and black to the bottom, thus making the room a bit dark.  Later, a fence was put up around the whole area of damage.  After we had our lunch I was allowed out to play in the yard and then it was time to go home.


This page was added on 19/08/2015.

Comments about this page

  • My great uncle, Frederick Benford, and his wife Lilian were killed in the bombing. They were married for less than a year – so sad.

    By Lesley Benford (09/07/2020)
  • 50 flats were completely demolished and many other seriously damaged, including the Female Orphanage in Lisson Grove. 33 people were killed, 58 seriously injured and hospitalised plus 107 minor casualties. This was the most serious air raid of the war in the Borough of Marylebone.

    By Jeanne Strang (26/11/2017)
  • Winchelsea House, where we lived from 1953-1959, was built on the site of that block. My grandparents lived at Wharnecliffe Gardens from August 1914-1959.

    By Simmie Eckett (19/12/2015)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.