New Cross war memorial to be unveiled

During World War II, V1 and V2 rockets peppered south London, including Brockley, Deptford, Peckham, Nunhead, Lewisham and New Cross. The damage inflicted left a lasting impression on the cityscape and of course the memories of those who lived through the attacks.

The single most deadly rocket attack took place at 12.33pm on November 25th, 1944, when a V2 struck the Woolworth store in New Cross - killing 168 people died and injuring hundreds more.

The BBC archives include an eyewitness account of the destruction caused. Barbara Smith recalled:

It had fallen at the bottom of my road on the Woolworths store in New Cross. As I hurried home I saw many people who were injured, and others were dead and lying on the pavements and in the road. Ambulances and fire engines were parked nearby, attending to the injured and dying. The air was filled with grit and dust. There was a huge crater on the Woolworth site where the V2 had fallen.

Tomorrow, a plaque will be unveiled in memory of those who died. A memorial service will begin at 12.45, St James Church, while the Mayor will unveil the plaque at the site where the bomb landed, at 2.00pm on Goodwood Road (just off New Cross road).

All are welcome.

An earlier memorial plaque was unveiled on the site in 1994.

With thanks to Tamsin, for letting us know.