Forum Topic

The Cedar Tree pub is at 231, Putney Bridge Road, Putney, and not in Brewhouse Lane, and wasn’t, fortunately, ever bombed. The plaque in Brewhouse Lane commemorates the bomb that destroyed The Castle in Putney Bridge Road, late in the evening of Saturday 19th April 1941, killing 48 and injuring 14The bomb that killed 81 people happened in the evening of Sunday 7th November 1943. The Air Raid warning  sounded at about 8.40 p.m. with few people going to air raid shelters. At 9.02 p.m. a lone aircraft released a single 500 kg Stabo high explosive bomb that hit No.35 Putney High Street, which is opposite the end of Felsham Road, causing great damage on the east side of the high street and starting the serious fire in Perrings bedding shop opposite.The Black and White Milk Bar was on the ground floor of No.35, and upstairs over two shops was the ‘Cinderella Dance Club’, a very popular venue in Putney, at the time, for young people. In addition to the many casualties in the dance hall and milk bar, there was a number killed and injured in the High Street, who had been walking or standing at bus stops, and three being killed in the Bull and  Star pub opposite on the southern corner of Felsham Road. This was the worst incident of the war in the two boroughs of Battersea and Wandworth 62%  aged from 14 to 22 years old  - 50 killed and    e154 injured 17%  aged from 23 to 39 years old  - 14 killed and    e  42 injured        21%  aged from 40 to 58 years old  - 17 killed and    e 52 injured      100%                                                        81                    e248For some time afterwards, a number of women who had lost children in the Dance Club would not walk past the site because of their grief.In July 2006, in view of a rumoured development of the corner of Putney High Street and Putney Bridge Road, the site of the Cinderella Dance Club, I wrote to Cllr Madden, The Mayor, regarding the possible erection of a memorial to the victims of this air raid. I received a brief email from his secretary thanking me for my letter and advising that                 “he will endeavour to contact the appropriate people within the                   council in order to discuss your suggestion”.I heard nothing further from the council or Cllr Madden. I subsequently telephoned the Town Hall, but no one was able to help me.As far as I know, only two green plaques have been put up on the sites of places in the Borough of Wandsworth, which were bombed in WWII, sustaining heavy casualties:            19th April, 1941, The Castle, Putney Bridge Road - 48 killed.            19th November, 1944, Hazelhurst Road – 28 killed. I hope that sometime a memorial can be erected to remind local peopleof this the awful tragedy - the worst event in Putney’s long history.Jim,Melbourne Australia.

James Slade ● 12d