Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by STAN50, Feb 23, 2010.
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Service at St.John's on Bethnal Green at 2pm
Some images from todays service and commemoration:
Pic 6 - The Emergency Services were well represented.
Pic 11 - Tommy Walsh
Pic 12 - Between the Pearly King and the Fire Officer is The Secreatry of The Stairway To Heaven Memorial Trust, Sandra Scotting. To the right of the Fire Officer is Alf Morris who was pulled from the staircase alive and told not to speak about what happened there once he was below ground. Far left is Derek Spicer who lost two siblings (forehead out of shot).
Pic - 15 Tommy Walsh lays the Stairway To Heaven Memorial Trusts' wreath.
Pic - 16 Documentary maker Harry Harris places a comforting hand on the back of Alf Morris.
Pic - 25 Babette ('Babbs')Clark (Pic taken March 2012).
Pic - 26 Peter Perryment - on the right- standing next to Alf Morris (Pic Taken 2011).
Pic - 27 Harry Harris - centre, back, in brown leather jacket. (Harry is now a Patron of the Trust).
Here is the official list of those who died in the Bethnal Green Tube incident:
There are 172 casualties. Any typos are as recorded by the Police at the time, and I have made no attempt to change them.
I have put this in PDF format.
With few exceptions, the deceased were taken to Sewardstone Road Mortuary E2. Some were taken to London Hospital Mortuary E1.
I would be interested to hear of any omissions/corrections. Please note Richard Coleman was better known as David Corbett.
I do have a small list (50 odd) of those listed as injured, and who were detained in hospital.
I hope this of interest.
2011 Commemoration clips:
BETHNAL GREEN UNDERGROUND DISASTER COMMEMORATION SUNDAY 6th March 2011 - YouTube
List of names at the end.
If anyone can help with fund raising for the last section of the memorial then please get in touch with The Stairway To Heaven Memorial Trust.
Collectors are needed for:
Mile End Station Weds 6th March; Bethnal Green Station Fri 8th March & Weds 13th March at Canary Wharf Station.
Either look at the Trusts' website for contact details or PM me and I can put you in touch with someone.
I didn't attend the 2014 commemoration but here is the latest news from the Trusts chairman Sandra Scotting:
'The Memorial Service on 2nd March was a beautiful event. I’d like to place on record our thanks to Fr. Alan Green, Rector of St. John on Bethnal Green Church for conducting such an uplifting Service. He was ably assisted by Fr. Tom O’Brien, from our Lady of the Assumption Priory, Jan McHarry from the London Buddhist Centre and Leon Silver, President of the East London Central Synagogue. Many of our committee members read out some of the 173 names of the victims, we mostly read out those that included our own family members. I always find this part very moving, particularly as I have grown to know the stories of most of those who died over the years I have been secretary. So they feel almost like part of my extended family too. It was good to see so many people there and our thanks go to Peter Sceats for performing the 2 songs he has written about the disaster. He has given us CDs to sell for the charity funds too. So if you would like a copy for £2 please let me know.
Later that week we did a bucket collection at Bethnal Green tube station and were delighted to meet so many lovely people. Thanks for all your contributions and support on the day and to our helpers too.
On 8th March we organised a race night at the Dorset Estate Social Club, though this was mainly arranged by Danny Johnston of Ladbrokes. Our thanks for all their food and the great racing that was shown on the big screen, plus all their staff who worked really hard taking and working out the bets. And a big thank-you to the Social Club for letting us use their premises too.
Finally in March we did a bucket collection at Liverpool Street tube station and had the help of Pearly King of Finsbury, John Waters, his son Darren and Pearly Queen of Upton Park Christine Prosser. They are amazing. They work so hard and never take a penny in expenses for all the charity work that they do. We had other wonderful helpers during the day too and lots of lovely people stopped to talk to us, ask more about the project and of course kindly donated their loose change or notes.
So March was a very successful month for donations and collections. Then Tuesday 1st April brought a big surprise that I thought was an April Fool’s joke at first. I was invited onto to Nick Ferrari’s LBC radio show again in the morning. I had been successful in speaking to Mayor Boris Johnson, when he was doing a phone-in on the show, on 3rd March. It was too good an opportunity to miss. I explained that it was the 71st anniversary of the disaster and said that I had paid £80 out of my own pocket to ensure that our elderly supporters had hot drinks and food at our Memorial Service the day before, as so many had travelled far. He was reported in the Evening Standard a few days earlier as agreeing to pay for the Memorial Service for the 7/7 bombings for the next 3 years. I wasn’t asking for that open-ended pledge, just for him to come down to see our Memorial on the Friday, read the individual plaques and put a large cheque in my bucket whilst I was collecting at Bethnal Green tube station!! He said he couldn’t be there on the Friday but said he’d think about what he could do. So, when I was asked to appear again on the radio show on 1st April as he was doing the phone-in again I did not know what to expect. They played part of my previous conversation with the Mayor again and then Boris announced that he couldn’t give us all we needed, but would be giving a cheque for £10,000. That was a lovely surprise. He also praised the memorial and said that all Londoners should look up the details of the terrible tragedy that affected so many lives and also contribute to the rest of the money we need. So, it was a great boost to our project.
Lets hope that lots of people and businesses do just that. We think we need about £75,000 to finish the project, but we are trying to secure the teak for the ‘stairway’ right now and hope that the price has not increased since our last quote a year ago.
If any family or supporter is able to raise or donate £100 towards this final part I’m sure we will be able to finish the project this year. Please spread the word around and help if you can. Thank you,
Sandra (Hon. Sec.'
thanks for all the information . i personally knew nothing of this tragic event until i saw this post today .at the time of this tragedy my dad was away
training in scotland at halbeath recce no1 training centre and he was from allas road bethnal green .
good day stan50,sm.23 feb,2010.1210am.re:bethnal green underground disaster 3erd march 1943.you have given me memories of this day,as i was in london during,the blitz.i never could understand how it happened,and still dont,i only went down the tube to travel.never to shelter.thank you for posting.its an old thread but a good one, to all those victims.may they rest in peace,regards bernard85
Just to keep this up to date:
Some moving stories spoken here:
There was a recent BBC local news article about this disaster featuring Dr. Joan Martin M.B.E. who led the team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for children where many of the victims were taken for treatment. Ever since that day in 1943 Dr. Martin, who is now over 100 years old, has suffered nightmares. At the time, she was told not to talk about it.
Link to the BBC news article:
Just a reminder the 2017 commemoration service for the 173 victims will take place this Sunday
5th March at St. John on Bethnal Green Church at 2pm as usual.
There is a point in the service where each victims name is read out, which is rather poignant.
A few years ago some students from Essex University in Wivenhoe near Colchester attended and made a short film. It's worth watching - it lasts just 13 minutes.
Go to 'VIMEO' website and search for
'Bethnal Green -BA Film & Creative Writing'
by Reg Baker
This is also worth watching: Survivors tell their stories.
Further work currently underway
I had an in-law who died in this disaster and whilst I commend those who have fundraised for this memorial and brought attention to the incident, I'm afraid the memorial is truly hideous, looking like an industrial air vent. And why are the 'steps' on the 'stairway to heaven' upside down?
New Memorial unveiled
A memorial paying tribute to the 173 people who died in the Bethnal Green Tube disaster during World War Two has been officially unveiled.
Twenty-seven men, 84 women and 62 children were killed when 300 people were caught in a crush in the east London Tube entrance on 3 March 1943.
WW2 Tube tragedy memorial unveiled
Dr. Joan Martin who was on duty the night of the tragedy attended the unveiling. Marvellous lady at 102 years old.
Puts me to shame as I was due to attend but didn't make it due to a chest infection.
Babs Clark, a survivor and then aged 11 years old, was interviewed on BBC Radio 2 today by Jeremy Vine. She's now aged 86 and she spoke very well in the interview. Around about 2010 I first met her at Sean Dettmans * book signing in Brick Lane whereby she didn't want to say much about the tragedy. (* The Bethnal Green Tube Shelter Disaster of 1943 ISBN 978-0-9506258-7-4).
The interview is worth listening to for those interested - available for the next month:
Aggressive Begging and Flying Trampolines, Jeremy Vine - BBC Radio 2
Go to 1hour 8 minutes into the programme.
In the image below that I took back in 2010, Babs Clark is on the far left. Next to her, as some will know is Tommy Walsh. Then there is Alf Morris, another survivor (he was pulled out of the tangled bodies and saved by an Air Raid Warden), then in the background is Derek Spicer who also lost relatives, and on the far right Sandra Scotting, who Babs refers to in the interview.
Sandra Scotting has given an incredible amount of her time to the memorial project. She is the sort of person who quietly got things done and deserves a lot of credit.
Referring to a post above by someone who doesn't seem to like the memorial. Like it or loath it at least it's now there and hopefully will stay in place for many years to come. At least some people got together and made it happen. I for one commend them.
As a teenager in the 1970's I remember my grandfather trying to tell me about this tragedy. I was more interested in other things back then. In 1943 he'd been serving in the Whitechapel Home Guard and had to go in and remove the dead from the staircase. My mum now 87 still remembers the distressed state he was in when he returned.
Well done to the Stairway To Heaven Memorial Trust. Well done indeed.
Report of the unveiling ceremony here:
Dr. Joan Martin sadly passed away in January I'm informed.
Victims remember wartime Tube disaster
There will be a service of Remembrance today at St.John's church near the underground. This starts at 14.00 and afterwards assemble at the memorial opposite the church for wreath laying.
From my collection
Bethnal Green Tube Disaster :The Stairway to Heaven Memorial
Separate names with a comma.