V-1 Strikes Battersea, London

Crowds gather around a shattered omnibus on St John's Hill as a victim of a German Fieseler Fi-103 V-1 flying bomb blast is held up on a stretcher by rescue workers. At 4pm on Saturday afternoon, June 17th, rescue parties were rushed to St. John's Hill and Plough Way, Battersea, London where a V-1 had landed in the road, damaging the Surrey Hounds public house, two passing trolley buses and a row of shops at 84-86 St. John's Hill. One person was killed, many more were wounded. One of the victims of the Battersea bomb was Sylvia White, aged 14. That morning she was shopping with her mother when the air raid siren started. Sylvia recorded: "... a man standing in the doorway said: 'there's one of them funny things up there and they're firing at it. It might come down.' He gave me a shove back into the shelter of the shop. The next thing I remember is regaining consciousness in complete blackness, my mother shaking me like a terrier and slapping my face and her voice shouting 'wake up, wake up, for God's sake, wake up.' Then I became conscious of other voices calling out saying they knew we were there and they would soon get us out. The bomb had fallen on the baker's and the pub on the other side of the road and the blast had blown in the front door of the butcher's shop and brought down part of the first floor. Thanks to the stranger in the shop doorway I am still alive to tell the tale. When the rescue services had dug us out we were taken to the Granada cinema which was being used a casualty clearing station. We were then taken to have our wounds dressed and to be given certificates to say we were official war casualties."
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Saturday, June 17, 1944