Wednesday 27th November 1940 – Cranworth Gardens

It was during a night time raid that four civilians died in their homes in Cranworth Gardens, by this time the Blitz had been raging for almost three months…

A summary of the incident

Time that the bombs hit22:55
Type of bomb/sHigh Explosive
Was anyone hurt or killed?Four people were killed, others were injured
Where did the bombs land?On the back part of block 12 - now numbered 115 to 120
Were houses damaged?Yes
Were businesses damaged?No
Were there evacuations?Yes

In memory of those that were killed in this incident

Using the invaluable Commonwealth War Graves Commission website I have been able to find the following casualties from this incident

NameAgeOther Information
Margaret Jane Smith88of 5/12 Cranworth Gardens. Widow of Robert Smith. Died at 5/12 Cranworth Gardens
Ada Slingsby59of 5/12 Cranworth Gardens. Widow of Frank Slingsby. Died at 5/12 Cranworth Gardens
John James Underwood53of Flat 3, 12 Cranworth Gardens. Husband of Elizabeth Underwood. Died at 12 Cranworth Gardens.
Elizabeth Underwood55of Flat 3, 12 Cranworth Gardens. Wife of John James Underwood. Died at 12 Cranworth Gardens

Something worth noting

Cranworth Gardens was renumbered after the war in 1948. Previously each block of flats was numbered 1, 2, 3 and so on with the individual flats inside numbered from 1 to 6. You will notice that in the civil defence messages below block 12 received the brunt of the bomb, for modern readers see below for a conversion guide which tells you ‘old to new’

Block 12 in 1940 = 115 to 120 modern day
Flat 1, block 12 in 1940 = 115 modern day
Flat 2, block 12 in 1940 = 116 modern day
Flat 3, block 12 in 1940 = 117 modern day
Flat 4, block 12 in 1940 = 118 modern day
Flat 5, block 12 in 1940 = 119 modern day
Flat 6, block 12 in 1940 = 120 modern day
Block 3 in 1940 = 7 to 12 modern day
Block 10 in 1940 = 121 to 126 modern day
Flat 4, block 10 in 1940 = 124 modern day
Flat 6, block 10 in 1940 = 126 modern day
Flat 1, block 14 in 1940 = 109 modern day

The civil defence incident log reads:

Position of Occurance12 Cranworth Gardens
Type of bombsHigh Explosive
Casualties (Approx)3
Whether any trapped under wreckageYes
Damage to MainsNone
Names of any roads blockedNone
Position of any unexploded bombsNone
Time of occurance22:55
NotesR.S.D informed personally. S.P.T Ambulance required urgently

The civil defence messages sent back and forth to the local ARP (Air raid precaution) depot read as follows:

DateTimeText of Message
27.11.4023:09Express Report Casualties at Cranworth Gardens
28.11.4000:15Block 12 Cranworth Gardens. High Explosive. 22:55. S.P asking for another party.
Believed four dead.
28.11.4000:24Supplementary Report Further to previous report at 00:15
Dr Kalna on his way.
There are four people trapped, believed dead.
28.11.4001:13Block 12 Cranworth Gardens. High Explosive. 22:55.
SP require shrouds as bodies are in subway which is used as shelter.
Could have CDP this morning, please reply.
28.11.4003:05Informed unexploded bomb at rear of block 3 Cranworth Gardens - investigated and ascertained it was an exploded incendiary bomb which had failed to ignite, very slight damage.
28.11.4013:10Flat 4, Block 10 uninhabitable, occupants living at (Newlands) Higham Lane, Tonbridge.
Flat 6, Block 10 Mrs Spoggiati.
This flat has kitchen and dining room blasted.
Furniture ruined but can live in other part of flat.
People living in other flats not contacted yet otherwise incident closed.
28.11.4013:10Supplementary Report - Final. Cranworth Gardens block 12. High Explosive.
Direct hit on rear of block 12, demolishing flats 3,4,5,6 also blast damaged rear wall of Flat 6 -Block 10, also Flat 1 -Block 14.
Casualties - 4 dead. Mrs Slingsby, Mrs Smith of Flat 6 - Block 12, Mr & Mrs Underwood of Flat 3 - Block 12, also seriously injured Mrs Boissieux.
28.11.4013:10RSD cleared debris.
C.D.P removed bodies to Maxwell mortuary - death certified by Dr Kalna, 176 Clapham Road.
Calm throughout.
The whole of flat 1 to 6 in block 12 are uninhabitable.
Mrs Boissieux and son homeless but living with friends in 1/16 Cranworth Garden.
Mary Slingsby, George Trowell, Norman Trowell, Connie Cullen, Betty Browne all flat 5 block 12 homeless, sent to L.C.C school, Stockwell Road.
7.1.4114:05Mrs Constance Cullen of 31 Carroun Road has been sent to Central Equipment Stores for new respirator(?) as she lost all her possesions when her home was demolished at 5/12 Cranworth Gardens through enemy action.

Back to Bombing incidents within our area from 1940

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