Leinster Place

Bombing of Irving Court

By Peter Woodman

I lived with my family at No. 1 Leinster Place from 1940 to 1944. My father was the manager of W.H.Cullens, the grocery store on the ground floor and my mother ran the sub-Post Office. Next door ar No. 2 was Evans the dairy and at No. 3 on the corner was the pub run by the Chown family. Opposite was the 3-story private block of flats, Irving Court. My little friend, Denise lived with her Dad, Mum and Nan in a ground floor flat at the west end of the flats. I can't remember the precise dates but think it was in early 1944 when high explosive bombs were dropped, completely destroying the west end of Irving Court, killing Denise, her mother and nan, Also killed was a lady that I used to visit on the 3rd floor, Miss Bagnell. Her 80-year-old companion, Miss Pilly survived. Denise's father had been of fire watch that night and returned to find his family dead.

About 4 months later high explosive bombs again fell on the remains of Irving Court, completely destroying the east end. Killed was a lady that my mum used to serve in the Post Office. Her nick-name was "Flint Face". My elderly friend, "Auntie" Elizabeth Wiles survived.

In both bombings our home and the shop were badly damaged and we spent 3 weeks in a rest centre in Shirland Avenue, Maida Vale and on the 2nd occasion 2 weeks in Holy Trinity Church Hall, Harrow Road.

This page was added by Peter Woodman on 09/01/2019.

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