Google+ Followers

Monday, August 24, 2015

75 Years Ago - September 1940

On September 7 German bombers began to attack London every night. One of the first famous institutions to be hit was the Burlington Arcade. Six shops were destroyed on September 10 and many valuable trinkets were buried among the rubble. 'Every ounce of this stuff has got to be sifted,' one shopkeeper said; 'there are hundreds of pounds worth of small articles in it.'
That evening high society fled to the Dorchester Hotel. Among those enjoying the portection of one of London's only concrete built hotels was Somerset Maugham, who had recently been pronounced missing following the Fall of France. At the end of the evening many people were seen settling down to sleep in the lobby. Happily, the grouse served at the Reform Club in Pall Mall was pronounced particularly fine.
The following day five bombs fell on Buckingham Palace, destroying the chapel where Princess Elizabeth had been christened in 1926 and smashing a hundred windows. Queen Victoria's family Bile, in which all royal births were recorded, was rescued from the debris. A police constable remarked to Queen Elizabeth, who inspected the damage immediate after the raid, 'A magnificant piece of bombing, Ma'am, if you will pardon my saying so.' The Queen welcomed the damage: 'Now,' she said, 'I can look the East End in the face.'
On September 22, David Niven, a Captain in the newly-formed Commandos, was married to Primula Rollo, the grand-daughter of the Marquess of Dwonshire; he had met her at the Cafe de Paris in Coventry Street (later destroyed with considerable loss of life). During the wedding ceremony, in a small church on the Wilktshuire Downs several sheep strayed into the nave. At the end of the month a bomb fell on the London zoo and a zebra escaped and raced across Regent's Park in the direction of Broadcasting House, hotly pursued by the Secretry of the Zoo, Professor Julian Huxley. He coaxed the animal back into its cage, where he was 'wedged into a corner with its hand quarters six feet from my face.'

No comments:

Post a Comment