Monday 7 September 2020


In the course of my short unhappy visit to the library the other day, I did find time to read, as I always do, a couple of pages of the book of remembrance from the 1939-45 war. This beautifully produced volume chronicles all the civilians killed in the borough during those years as a result of enemy action, i.e. bombing. It makes desperately sad reading, especially the entries that list entire families killed by a single strike. And the addresses are streets that I know, streets that look now as if nothing ever happened on them.
  It was on this day 80 years ago that the first Blitz on London began, and it went on until October. Many of the deaths recorded in the book of remembrance date from the summer and autumn of 1940, but I noticed also a spate of deaths from summer 1944, when a desperate Hitler sent flying bombs and rocket bombs our way. Having survived the blanket bombing of 1940, and having been given hope that the war was as good as over, London (and environs) faced something even more terrible than the first Blitz, in the shape of these unmanned weapons, wholly dehumanised, wholly inhuman, terrifyingly destructive. And we think we live in hard times today...

No comments:

Post a Comment