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Croydon was most bombed ELL borough shows Blitz map

Air raid damage wrecked houses and school in Hither Green Station. Pic: JWM Imperial War Museum Bomb Sight

The effect of the Blitz on London’s East End has been re-envisioned for the twenty-first century with the creation of a new interactive map.

The Bomb Sight project was launched last year by Dr Kate Jones, Senior Lecturer in Geography at the University of Portsmouth, and maps the devastation caused in the capital from October 7, 1940 to June 6, 1941.

The website and Android app allow people to find out the location and the type of bombs used during Hitler’s Blitzkrieg of London. Users can zoom in and out of streets to see which buildings or bridges were destroyed. Red symbols are used to illustrate where each bomb landed.

The project is staffed by eight people including someone from the National Archives, who scanned original 1940s bomb census maps, geo-referenced them and digitally captured locations from the original maps.

Jones said: “When you look at these maps and see the proliferation of bombs dropped on the capital it does illustrate the meaning of the word Blitz, which comes from the German meaning ‘lightning war’.

“It seems astonishing that London survived the onslaught.”

Previously, this information was only available in the reading rooms of The National Archives.

According to the map, 1,219 bombs fell on Tower Hamlets during the Blitz, the last of which landing on Hughes Mansions on Vallance Road.

Elsewhere in the Eastlondonlines boroughs, 1,128 high explosive bombs and 20 parachute mines attacked Lewisham, including one that fell on Moorside Road School, which has since closed.

Several houses and schools were destroyed in air raids near Hither Green Station.

In Hackney, 736 bombs and 21 parachute mines were dropped, and Croydon was hit by 1,338 bombs and five parachute mines.

On the website it is possible to explore photos and hear stories from those involved or affected by the war. The app uses GPS technology to show nearby bombsites.

The project is funded by Jisc, previously known as the Joint Information Systems Committee, an education and research charity which offers resources and expertise to educational organisations.

Paola Marchionni, Jisc’s programme manager said: “Bomb Sight is a fantastic resource and it shows the power of what is possible by mashing up content that resides in different places.”

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