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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Fatal Crush - Bethnal Green Tube Disaster Talk

Novelist, Jessica Francis Kane, and London Transport Museum Curator, David Bownes, are giving an illustrated talk next week (Tuesday 8th March 2011) about the events that surrounded the Bethnal Green Tube station disaster in 1943.

Bethnal Green Tube Disaster by ~Duncan~
Bethnal Green Tube Disaster by ~Duncan~

The tragedy which took place on 3rd March 1943 was the worst UK civilian disaster during the Blitz and led to the deaths of 173 people. They were crushed descending the steps to the Bethnal Green Underground air raid shelter in the East End All died from asphyxiation; not a single bomb was dropped.

At the time, news of the disaster was suppressed. Although reports appeared in newspapers, the location and the extent of the disaster were withheld as the government wanted to prevent loss of public morale.

During the talk David Bownes will present an historical overview of sheltering on the London Underground during the 2nd World War. Jessica will discuss how she researched her novel about the incident The Report and give readings from her book.

John O'Farrell calls Jessica's novel "An utterly authentic journey into a little known tragedy of the Second World War, which transports you right back into one of the darkest moments of the blitz. Impeccably researched, yet the detail never feels intrusive."

The talk starts at 6.30pm 8th March at London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. Tickets are £8 for Adults; £6 for senior citizens and £4 for students. Telephone 020 7565 7298 to book your tickets.

Bethnal Green Tube Disaster 3rd March 1943 by wirewiping
Bethnal Green Tube Disaster 3rd March 1943 by wirewiping

Also on Sunday 6th March there will be a Commemoration Service for the 68th anniversary of the Bethnal Green tube disaster at St. John on Bethnal Green Church (next door to the Tube station) at 2pm. There will be a blessing at the top of the stairs where everyone died. More details at Stairway To Heaven Memorial.

Chris Stanfield put together the above collection of images from this year's Commemoration Service.

Related posts
Wartime Tube Posters - London Transport Museum Talk
Aldywch Tube Station Blitz Tour - September 2010

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, March 01, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE