It is a fading memory of how much Dulwich was affected by World War 2. Bombed houses have long since been repaired or replaced, shelters which populated streets, gardens and parks have long been removed. The scars have healed to such an extent that seemingly all traces of the devastation which took place have disappeared. It is, however, important for future generations that we remind ourselves just how much life was affected. The Dulwich Society felt that it was appropriate that in its 50th anniversary year that it should play a part in commemorating those civilians who died in Dulwich as a result of air raids of all kinds.
Over 500 high explosive bombs and countless incendiaries were dropped on Dulwich. They were followed by 35 V1 flying bombs and 3 V2 rockets.
The official record issued by Camberwell Borough Council (of which Dulwich comprised roughly a third of its area and population) noted that only 403 homes out of a total of 40,104 in the borough escaped damage and a very large number received damage on several occasions. In September 1944 14,000 houses in the borough had their roofs off and 4000 men were still employed on major war damage repairs in May 1945. The cost of repairs was in excess of £10million (in 1945)
The articles by Corinne Wakefield and Alan Woodfield who were present at the incidents being commemorated in January give a vivid picture of life in Dulwich during the war.