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Upper North Street School Hit in First Daylight Air Raid


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#1 Luke White

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 07:41 PM

My partners great grandfathers brother was Edward Alfred Cross. His daughter was killed on 13 Jun 1917 in her school in Poplar along with 18 other students.

Here is what i know;



Alice Maud was sadly killed in the first daytime air raid during WW1. She was only 5yrs old (living at 5 Wade Street). Her birth reference was June Volume 1c Page 933 in Poplar 1912 and her death reference was June Volume 1c Page 554 in Poplar 1917. The story of that freadful day follows;

Upper North Street School Air Raid, June 1917

'Most people associate The Blitz with World War Two, but the first airborne terror campaign in Britain took place during the First World War. Air raids in World War One made significant damage and took many lives. German raids on Britain, for example, caused 1,413 deaths 3,409 injuries. Air raids provided an unprecedented means of striking at resources vital to the enemy's war effort. Many of the novel features of the war in the air between 1914 and 1918 - the lighting restrictions and blackouts, the air raid warnings and the improvised shelters - became central aspects of the Second World War less than 30 years later. The East End of London was one of the most targeted places. Poplar, in particular, was struck badly by some of the air raids during the First World War. Initially these were at night by Zeppelins which bombed the area indiscriminately, leading to the death of innocent civilians.

The first daylight bombing attack on London by a fixed-wing aircraft took place on 13 June, 1917. Fourteen Gothas led by Squadron Commander Hauptmann Ernst Brandenberg flew over Essex and began dropping their bombs. It was a clear day and the bombs were dropped just before noon. Numerous bombs fell in rapid succession in various districts in the East End. In the East End alone; 104 people were killed, 154 seriously injured and 269 slightly injured.

The gravest of incidents that day, was the damage done to a Council school in Poplar. In the Upper North Street School at the time were a girl's class on the top floor, a boy's class on the middle floor and an infant class of about 50 students on the ground floor. The bomb fell through the roof into the girl's class; it then proceeded to fall through the boy's classroom before finally exploding in the infant class.

Eighteen students were killed overall. Sixteen of these were aged from 4 to 6 years old. The two teachers of the infant class acted like heroines as they got everyone out of the building before helping others who were rescuing bodies from the rubble. Panicked mothers searched for their children, desperately hoping they were not one of those caught in the blast. As quickly as possible, the bodies of the children who were killed were removed to the mortuary, and the injured were cared for by nurses and surgeons and taken to the hospitals. The mayor of Poplar at the time, Mr. Will Crooks, expressed his grave sorrow for those affected by the bombing; he said that the children had truly suffered for their country.

About a week later, one of the biggest funerals in London was held for these infants. It was a sad day. Fifteen children were buried in a mass grave at the East London Cemetery, while the other three children had private graves. Brothers and sisters of the children looked on with mournful faces, some having also been in the school at the time of the bombing.

A memorial in Poplar Recreation Ground, unveiled in June 1919, bears the names of the 18 Upper North Street School pupils that were killed on the first daylight air-raid on London.'

I have some poor quality pictures of the memorial in poplar and some very small pics of the funeral which i have found on the internet but they are very poor quality too. Has anyone any quality pictures of the memorial or the funeral? Any pictures of Maud or the other children that were killed that day? Any pics of the school? Any copies of newspaper clippings or funeral tickets etc. Any help would be much appreciated,

Luke White
lukerwhite@hotmail.co.uk

#2 ianw

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 07:50 PM

Luke,

Thanks for sharing that sad story. I hope the memorial has survived.

How ironic that the East End copped it in 1917 just as it did in WWII.

I wonder if any of the children who survived 1917 lost their lives in the Blitz. Many must have experienced it. What dreadful deja vu for them.

#3 KevinBattle

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:29 PM

Any help?
Upper North Street Memorial

#4 Stebie9173

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 10:37 PM

At Home Dad posted this emotional (for me) thread about his own Nan who would probably have been at the school when the bombs fell:

Angel on a Pedstal Topic


Steve.

#5 Luke White

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 07:10 PM

Thanks all for the links,

I have searched all this sites before but they only ever have very small pictures of the funeral precession, the school, and the memorial itself. I would really like to get my hands on some better quality images that i could blow up larger for my family tree records. Can anyone help with that?

Also it would be great if anyone can get a copy of the newspaper for 13/14th of June 1917 as i wonder if there would be a pictur eof poor little Alice Maud and the other chilfdren. I would have thought it was a big story at the time.

#6 KevinBattle

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 07:48 PM

You might want to purchase "The First Blitz" (if you haven't already!)
http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/0850528127
There is a button on the header with links to Abe and Amazon to enable part of proceeds to help towards GWF running costs


#7 Luke White

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 05:29 PM

QUOTE (KevinW4 @ Mar 30 2010, 08:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You might want to purchase "The First Blitz" (if you haven't already!)
http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/0850528127
There is a button on the header with links to Abe and Amazon to enable part of proceeds to help towards GWF running costs



Thanks Kevin, I have looked up this book at my local library and they have a copy! Fantastic! Will definately check this one out.

#8 Luke White

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 03:42 PM

Got that book! Very good - would recommend it! I have tried contacting the author through the publisher. His uncle also died in the bombing also just five years old. He may have even been little alice mauds friend who knows.

There are some good black and white pics and first hand eye witness accounts which i have not read before. Very horrific accounts and it did bring a lump to my throat when reading i must admit.

Thanks for the recomendation

Luke

#9 Hugh Jampton

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 06:31 PM

I have an excellent book called "The East End....Then Now"by Winston G Ramsey . There are photos of the interior after the bombing and clear maps also a photo of a boundry wall taken in 1996 but nothing to mark the spot where 18 children met their death.

A memorial was unveiled in Poplar Recreation Ground in 1919 with their names.

The children were buried in East London Cemetery. Three of the children were buried in private graves but 15 were laid to rest together in a mass grave. A sixteenth coffin containing certain unindentified remains were buried with the rest.

I have an interest in this as my grandfather lived very nearby in Swale Street and was on sick leave from the Navy and helped dig out some of the bodies.
My Mum would go to the school later in 1928

#10 Luke White

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 06:33 PM

QUOTE (Hugh Jampton @ Jun 27 2010, 07:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have an excellent book called "The East End....Then Now"by Winston G Ramsey . There are photos of the interior after the bombing and clear maps also a photo of a boundry wall taken in 1996 but nothing to mark the spot where 18 children met their death.

A memorial was unveiled in Poplar Recreation Ground in 1919 with their names.

The children were buried in East London Cemetery. Three of the children were buried in private graves but 15 were laid to rest together in a mass grave. A sixteenth coffin containing certain unindentified remains were buried with the rest.

I have an interest in this as my grandfather lived very nearby in Swale Street and was on sick leave from the Navy and helped dig out some of the bodies.
My Mum would go to the school later in 1928


Thanks for the recomendation Hugh, I will check that out!

I actually got in contact with the author of the "First Blitz" book recomendend to me previous and he very kindly sent me some pictures and information that he had. Thanks once again,

Luke

#11 Theo

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 11:08 PM

My partners great grandfathers brother was Edward Alfred Cross. His daughter was killed on 13 Jun 1917 in her school in Poplar along with 18 other students.

Here is what i know;



<i>Alice Maud was sadly killed in the first daytime air raid during WW1. She was only 5yrs old (living at 5 Wade Street). Her birth reference was June Volume 1c Page 933 in Poplar 1912 and her death reference was June Volume 1c Page 554 in Poplar 1917. The story of that freadful day follows;</i>

<i>Upper North Street School Air Raid, June 1917</i>

<i>'Most people associate The Blitz with World War Two, but the first airborne terror campaign in Britain took place during the First World War. Air raids in World War One made significant damage and took many lives. German raids on Britain, for example, caused 1,413 deaths 3,409 injuries. Air raids provided an unprecedented means of striking at resources vital to the enemy's war effort. Many of the novel features of the war in the air between 1914 and 1918 - the lighting restrictions and blackouts, the air raid warnings and the improvised shelters - became central aspects of the Second World War less than 30 years later. The East End of London was one of the most targeted places. Poplar, in particular, was struck badly by some of the air raids during the First World War. Initially these were at night by Zeppelins which bombed the area indiscriminately, leading to the death of innocent civilians.</i>

<i>The first daylight bombing attack on London by a fixed-wing aircraft took place on 13 June, 1917. Fourteen Gothas led by Squadron Commander Hauptmann Ernst Brandenberg flew over Essex and began dropping their bombs. It was a clear day and the bombs were dropped just before noon. Numerous bombs fell in rapid succession in various districts in the East End. In the East End alone; 104 people were killed, 154 seriously injured and 269 slightly injured.</i>

<i>The gravest of incidents that day, was the damage done to a Council school in Poplar. In the Upper North Street School at the time were a girl's class on the top floor, a boy's class on the middle floor and an infant class of about 50 students on the ground floor. The bomb fell through the roof into the girl's class; it then proceeded to fall through the boy's classroom before finally exploding in the infant class. </i>

<i>Eighteen students were killed overall. Sixteen of these were aged from 4 to 6 years old. The two teachers of the infant class acted like heroines as they got everyone out of the building before helping others who were rescuing bodies from the rubble. Panicked mothers searched for their children, desperately hoping they were not one of those caught in the blast. As quickly as possible, the bodies of the children who were killed were removed to the mortuary, and the injured were cared for by nurses and surgeons and taken to the hospitals. The mayor of Poplar at the time, Mr. Will Crooks, expressed his grave sorrow for those affected by the bombing; he said that the children had truly suffered for their country.</i>

<i>About a week later, one of the biggest funerals in London was held for these infants. It was a sad day. Fifteen children were buried in a mass grave at the East London Cemetery, while the other three children had private graves. Brothers and sisters of the children looked on with mournful faces, some having also been in the school at the time of the bombing.</i>

<i>A memorial in Poplar Recreation Ground, unveiled in June 1919, bears the names of the 18 Upper North Street School pupils that were killed on the first daylight air-raid on London.'</i>

I have some poor quality pictures of the memorial in poplar and some very small pics of the funeral which i have found on the internet but they are very poor quality too. Has anyone any quality pictures of the memorial or the funeral? Any pictures of Maud or the other children that were killed that day? Any pics of the school? Any copies of newspaper clippings or funeral tickets etc. Any help would be much appreciated,

Luke White
<a href="mailto:lukerwhite@hotmail.co.uk">lukerwhite@hotmail.co.uk</a>


Luke

I don't have my copy to hand so can't be sure of the detail of the 13th June raid but I have read a great book about the raids called 'The Sky on Fire' by Raymond Fredette. I think Mr Fredette served with the USAF during WW2. The book is very readable and contains accounts by German aircrew who flew sorties in the Gotha 1V and the Staaken R types which bombed London in 1918.

#12 hesmond

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 07:37 PM

i know no one made any comments on this for quite a while ,just found it .But my aunt was one of the survoirs of the raid her name was Ivy and yes sorry but not sure of surname ,but my nan remberd Ivy being brought home coverd in yellow plaster dust ,was put in the tin bath and sent to bed ,my nan visited the scene of the bombing mins later and remberd an italian ice cream shop owner running around crying and screaming that his daughter was missing in the building ,comment from nan the Italians were on our side then ! nan made the comment his daughter was very pretty lots of blonde curls . I knew my aunt quite well but this story only was told to me at her funrel .

The old East London Advertiser ran a series in the 70s on the old East End ,and at least one coverd recollections of the raid ,also some intresting stuff on the home front during the period and stright after including one man who remberd as a lad potatoes being sold in tar paper bags that were German Horse gas masks ? but also of a local factory near crisp St whic was rendering down returned Tunics /jackets from the front ,apparently any tunic contaminated with gas was destroyed in france but the contractors to make a bigger profit returned any ,so when the factory caught fire big panic as they imagined Poplar being coverd in a gas cloud !

#13 KevinBattle

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 08:28 PM

... before Hugh Jampton (lol!!) "organ"ises a response, here's a link to Find a Grave website for the School Memorial.
Upper North Street School Memorial

Can't see an "Ivy" though..... I take it you aren't confusing it with the school in WW2 ???

#14 hesmond

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 08:05 AM

Hi no Ivy survived untill 1968 and that was when i heard of my nans experience during the Great War blitz ,and seeing the Italian man screaming looking for the daughter ,one statement nan made was ivy came home coverd in a yellow dust mustard colourd ? which in fact was plaster dust so you can just imagin the rumors .
Ilived in Poplar ,Millwall for many years and the monument had been cleaned a few times would pass it evey day ,the only photograph i have ever seen of the funeral is it passing the phoenix publichouse which was oppsite the school ,and thats the one allways produced in any books ,also a few of the internal damage ,intrestingly a 100yards or so futhur down is a memorial in the Victoria sea mans home which is quite intresting but never seen by the public

#15 satman

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 06:46 PM

hi i have set up a facebook group for upper north street school,poplar, i am trying to trace any decendents of the children that were killed in ww1 when the school was bombed in 1917

the reason for this is i an trying to arrange a memorial service in 2017 the new school that was built mayflower school are helping with this and would like to find any photos that anyone has

if any membders would like to help with this please feel free to contact me at  stankaye53@googlemail.com

thanks