Every September since 2004 the Society has quietly laid flowers at the V2 memorial in Staveley Road. On the 60th anniversary of the first V2 landing in Britain in that year, we worked with members of the Battlefields Trust’s London branch to create a memorial to those who died in Chiswick on that occasion.
As this year marks 70 years since the V2 landed, we invited others to join us when we laid our wreath. Amongst those who came was Rex Carter, one of our members. He recalled that as a boy living in Flanders Mansions he had heard the huge bang of the V2 explosion; once we knew of his direct memory of the event, we handed him the wreath and invited him to place it before the memorial.
Rosemary Clarke, aged 3, died in her cot in a front bedroom at number 1 Staveley Road. According to her slightly older brother, who survived, she was suffocated by the blast but had no sign of injury on her body.
Ada Harrison of number 3 Staveley Road died in the blast; she and her husband, William, ran three confectionery and newsagents’ shops in Chiswick, one on the corner of Park Road by Chiswick Station. Her name appears in the Roll of Honour of the Civilian War Dead 1939-1945 compiled by the Imperial War Graves Commission and placed in Westminster Abbey. Ten people were seriously wounded, amongst them William Harrison, who died soon afterwards.
Sapper Bernard Browning, whose family lived in Elmwood Road, was on leave. He was on his way to Chiswick station, to travel to visit his girlfriend, when he was killed by the blast. He was buried in his family’s plot in the cemetery down the road. The white headstone marks this out as a war grave because he died while on active service.
Find out more about the Chiswick V2 here