HAMPSTEAD during World War Two
Between March and May, 1944, FLYING BOMBS, nicknamed "doodle-bug"s began to arrive.
The shooting down of these bombs was opposed by the public as shrapnel could cause massive damage and it was easier to try and miss a direct hit.
Roof spotting became prevalent and these bombs were reported as soon as they were 35 miles from Hampstead.
Initially, they came in from the south but later from the east as launching sites were destroyed by the allies.
In the last week of the June a flying bomb fell every day!
Keats House was damaged when a flying bomb was dropped on the banks of Hampstead No. 3 pond.
Casualties were low at this time, however, due to the efficiency of The Civil Defence Service.
There was damage and casualties at Primrose Hill, Broadhurst Gardens, Ardwick Road, Mortimer Crescent and bombings twice at Compayne Gardens and Broadhurst Gardens.
The tenth and last "flying bomb" incident was during the last week in November at King Henrys Road.
The next great threat were the V2 rockets!
They had fallen on London since September 1944.
They were long range rockets with nearly one ton of explosive, 45 feet long and with a diameter of six feet!
Four rockets fell on Hampstead.
The FIRST ROCKET fell at 4-30pm in the early days of January and it fell on the railway embankment behind Iverson Road.
Houses were now marked with a large “S” to show that they had been searched for casualties.
Dogs were now also being used in search operations.
Fourteen houses were demolished, 152 seriously damaged and 1678 had slight damage.
The 1944-1945 winter was the coldest for 70 years.
The SECOND ROCKET fell in Willesden at the foot of the railway embankment,near Dartmouth Road.
175 houses were damaged in Hampstead and there was a lot of blast damage in Fordwych Road.
The THIRD ROCKET fell before 6am the following morning in a rear Finchley Road garden, at the side of Borough Library.
Arkwright Road, Lindfield Gardens & Finchley Road suffered blast damage, also.
The FOURTH ROCKET fell at the endof March on Primrose Hill, close to the Barrow Hill Reservoir.
250 houses reported damaged.
There was blast damage in Oppidans Road, Primrose Hill Road, King Henrys Road and Elsworthy Terrace.
A week later, War ended!
It was the end of 2155 nights of blackout.
Civil Defence Services were disbanded on March 29th, 1945.
The Final Parade of Civil Defence Services was on Hampstead Cricket Ground , June 3 rd 1946.
There had been a whole raft of services in Hampstead to combat the effects of War.
These included Heavy Rescue Service, Wardens’ Service, Light Rescue Service, Ambulance Service, Report and Control Service, Messenger Service, Emergency Mortuary Service, Food Treatment Service, Instructors’ Service, Decontamination Service, Women’s Voluntary Services, Gas Identification Service, Post Raid Services, Home Guard, National Fire Service and Invasion Defence.