Thursday, 13 September 2012

On This Day In London History… 13th September 1940

David writes…


Ah, yes. September 13.

In this case, though, September 13, 1940.

Yup, a London anniversary for you.

Quite a special one (well, "special" depending on how you construe the word).

Okay, that's enough of a teaser.

It was 72 years ago today that Hermann the German left the first of his six calling cards at Buckingham Palace.

The Luftwaffe plane flew in low – having picked out the most readily identifiable building in that part of London –  and dropped a stick of six bombs. The six-stick straddled Buck House. Two of them went off in the Quadrangle. Eighty yards from the window behind which the King and Queen were discussing the day's agenda with the King's secretary, Sir Alexander Hardinge.

Close call.

Would it have made a difference if their Royal Highnesses had been in the Buckingham Palace bomb shelter? Indeed, for that matter, did Buckingham Palace have a bomb shelter?

No and Yes are the answers to those two questions.

Which is by way of saying, the Buckingham Palace "bomb shelter" in 1940 was in one of the downsairs servants' rooms.

It combined the maximum of discomfort with the minimum of protection.

Here endeth the Bulletin datelined September 13, 1940. London SW1.




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