Richmond at war 1939 to 1940

A series of raids saw the deaths of 98 civilians and damage to ten thousand buildings.


Richmond’s Dad’s Army  Some 800 local men responded to the radio appeal of 14 May 1940 for men to enlist as Local Defence Volunteers. Most were veterans of the First World War, and even the Boer War, who were too old to join up but not old enough to fight.

The ravaging of Richmond  Between 9 September 1940, when high explosives bombs fell on Mount Ararat Road, and March 1945 when one of the last V2 rockets exploded in Richmond Park, the town suffered over 450 separate bombing incidents, most of them in the winter of 1940/41.

Richmond’s refugee crisis 79 years ago, on 12 September 1940, hundreds of refugees from the East End arrived at short notice  in Richmond. They did not receive a warm welcome.

Winston Churchill in Richmond; So far as is known Winston Churchill only made two visits to Richmond during the Second World War. They couldn’t have been in more different circumstances.

There was also a Woman’s Auxiliary – known as the Wassies Initially both uniforms and weapons were in short supply. One platoon patrolled with sticks loaded with lead shot made by the employees of the Poppy Factory.

Coping with the Blitz in Richmond; Nearly 100 civilians were killed in the town during the Blitz which was at its worst locally in October 1940.

Richmond’s war casualties; several hundred local servicemen failed to return home after the war

Richmond’s own Spitfire; At the beginning of the Blitz in August and September 1940 thousands of people in Richmond clubbed together to buy a Spitfire for the Royal Air Force. It was a show of defiance against the seemingly all-powerful Nazi war machine.

The Richmond postmen who never came back from the War; The next time you collect a parcel from Richmond Sorting Office glance at the brass plaque listing the local posties who gave their all during the two world wars.


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