|Beckenham was heavily hit by Flying Bombs. Its blackest day was on 2nd August 1944 when a crowded resteraunt was hit
|Clock House Beckenham
|This disaster happened on 2nd August 1944 at 13.02 when a Flying bomb hit a restaurant crowded with people lunching. It
stood in the Clockhouse area of Beckenham, just South of the railway bridge that carries the Beckenham to Crystal Palace
The restaurant was on the West side of the road. 44 people were killed,many instantly and many badly injured. As well as
the restaurant huge destruction was caused to the shops and houses that used to line the road at this point.
This was one of the worst V1 incidents in South London and, for the borough of Beckenham the worst single civilian
incident of the war.
The blast extended many hundreds of yards in each direction , by this stage of the attacks the Nazis were packing the V1's
with more powerful explosives.
Whilst researching I found one particular tragedy relating to this incident that really brought home the horror. One of the
fatal casualties was a Herbert Steer, aged 56.As this was not bad enough his 17 year old son Sydney had been killed, along
with 16 others when a V1 hit Elmers end bus garage on the 18th July. The effect on the remaining family is unimaginable.
The Clockhouse V1 demolished 14 shops and 12 houses in the Beckenham Road and in the same road caused major
damage to a further 17 shops and 42 houses. Another 18 shops and 124 houses were damaged to one degree or another in
Beckenham Road,Churchfield Road, Thayers Farm Road,Chaffinch Road and Sydney Road. There was a fire in the debris
in Beckenham Road.
Viewing the area today the major extent of the damage is clear. The road has been widened and new flats stand near the
original impact point. On the east side of the road property has been re-built. In the adjoining roads clear signs can be seen
where formally terraced houses now have become semi detached and display a bare end wall.
|This picture is of the site in 2004 and shows the extensive re-development on both sides of the road. The restaurant stood about half way up on
the left. The 60's block in the far left Background is on the site of the Mckenzie Road bomb which hit on th 30th June. Since this picture was
taken further re-development has taken place