|St Paul's Church in ruins with Rev. Campling inspecting the damage (Greenwich Heritage Centre)
It is sometimes hard to believe that I am now well into the seventh year of writing this blog. Like everything, it has evolved and what was once a twice or three times a month post, has now settled into a usually monthly piece, usually about the Second World War, although sometimes we have wandered into the realms of the earlier global conflict as well as occasionally moving forward to the Cold War. We have also moved into the world of book reviews, usually World War Two related but not always. The joy of writing one's own blog is that the rules of what can and can't be included can always be bent slightly, just so long as one doesn't become too self indulgent!
This morning though, whilst posting my regular Battle of Britain related Twitter feed, I was reminded of an anniversary which directly affected my own locality and which was a precursor to the wider Blitz on London and other British cities. This incident formed the basis of the very first post on this blog back in April 2010, so with a few slight updates, it seems an appropriate time to re-post the piece today.
In Charlton, southeast London, at the junction of Fairfield Grove and Charlton Lane stands a small and fairly unremarkable block of flats known as St Paul’s Close. The name of the block gives a clue to the building that previously stood on this site and with the anniversary of this building’s demise upon us, perhaps it is time to recall St Paul’s Church, which has the sad distinction of being the first church in London to be destroyed in the Second World War, pre-dating the official beginning of the London Blitz and the image of which can be seen on the Home page of our main website.
|St Paul's Church some years prior to destruction (Greenwich Heritage Centre)
|Reputedly the site of the first bomb on the City of London at London Wall (Author's photo)
|The ruined interior (Greenwich Heritage Centre)
|The interior of St Paul's before destruction (Greenwich Heritage Centre)