Westmoreland Terrace SW1

5 July 1944

By Sarah Boyle

At 6pm on 5 July 1944 Westmoreland Terrace SW1 was hit by a V1 flying bomb. The pulse engine of this particular 'Doodlebug' did not cut out and it hurtled into Pimlico on full power. Only four days previously, the nearby Peabody Buildings - twenty yards away - had also been badly damaged by a V1. Several members of a Heavy Rescue Squad were still working at the Peabody site when 93 Westmoreland Terrace was blindsided. Rescue workers were temporarily trapped and local passers-by that evening were forced to watch as their surrounding neighbourhood was turned to rubble. Suffering from the bulk of the blast were Blocks K, L, M, and Y. There were 72 casualties, ten of whom were killed. Rescue teams - including American servicemen - laboured for four hours to clear the incident site.

As if rescue efforts weren’t difficult enough, an escape of coal gas complicated the situation. Two Heavy Rescue Workers suffered coal gas poisoning. However, unlike previous rescues, this was the first instance in which a loudspeaker van was put to use. The loudspeaker not only gave workers the ability to control the distraught crowds but also to give much-needed advice to the newly homeless. This bombing alone was cause for two hundred separate removals of family furniture. Easing the massive removal endeavour was the fact that it was still daylight. Four nights before, rescue workers had been forced to tear through rubble at 3am in pouring rain. 

Photo:Westmoreland Terrace from Effingham Street, 1944

Westmoreland Terrace from Effingham Street, 1944

Copyright Westminster City Archives

Photo:Air Raid Damage Report, Westmoreland Terrace, 1944

Air Raid Damage Report, Westmoreland Terrace, 1944

Copyright Westminster City Archives

Photo:Permanent Record Sheet- Westmoreland Terrace, 1944

Permanent Record Sheet- Westmoreland Terrace, 1944

Copyright Westminster City Archives

Photo:Westmoreland Terrace and Effingham Street, Pimlico, 1944

Westmoreland Terrace and Effingham Street, Pimlico, 1944

Copyright Westminster City Archives

Photo:Bomb damage report, Westmoreland Terrace, 1944

Bomb damage report, Westmoreland Terrace, 1944

Copyright Westminster City Archives

Photo:Westmoreland Terrace at the junction of Lupus Street, 1944

Westmoreland Terrace at the junction of Lupus Street, 1944

Copyright Westminster City Archives

Photo:Bomb Map: Westmoreland Terrace SW1

Bomb Map: Westmoreland Terrace SW1

Copyright Westminster City Archives

Westmoreland Terrace SW1

This page was added by Sarah Boyle on 06/06/2011.

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