'Table saved my life', says Ewell bomb victim

First published in News
Last updated
Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter - Epsom

They don't make tables like they used to.

In 1940 John Grace was saved by one when a German bomb crashed through the roof of his Ewell home.

Mr Grace was just six-years-old when his house, in Kingston Road, Ewell, was bombed on October 13, 1940.

Mr Grace, who is now 78 and lives in Chessington, visited Bourne Hall museum, in Spring Street, Ewell, on Thursday to pass on his memories and photographs of the time.

He and his sister had been temporarily evacuated to Sheffield at the start of the war and had just returned home when the bomb struck.

He said: "My mother had got dinner ready and then the siren went off.

"My father was actually building an air raid shelter at the time and we got bombed before he got the roof on.

"When the siren went we got under the dining table. The bomb hit the house next door and its interior walls came down into ours and the ceiling.

"But we all survived - I was shocked at the time but no one was actually hurt.

"Not an awful lot of our house was left afterwards and we spent the rest of the night in next doors’ Anderson Shelter.

"We were one of the only houses in that part of Epsom and Ewell that got bombed in WW2 until the flying bombs came."

Hundreds of bombs rained down on Epsom during WWII - 14 miles away from central London which was devastated by the Blitz.

A new interactive map, Bomb Sight, allows people to discover the toll Germany’s aerial bombardment took on their own doorstep during the Blitz, between October 1940 and June 1941.

Do you have any memories or photographs of the bombings? Email Hardeep at hmatharu@london.newsquest.co.uk

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