|Steve pointing out the shrapnel scars on General Wolfe's statue (Sam Dorrington, Surrey Photos)|
|The author's shrapnel fragments (Author's photo)|
|Spent British 0.303" bullets (Author's photo)|
The bullets that I have are from British 0.303" calibre Browning machine guns, which were the standard armament of the Hurricane and the Spitfire, the versions of these iconic fighters in use during the Battle of Britain each being equipped with eight of these weapons. Nicola also kindly (and unwittingly) gave me two live rounds, which were promptly and safely disposed of!
|Neil's shrapnel fragment (Author's photo)|
Neil Bright, my fellow Blitzwalkers Guide is the owner of a fearsome fragment from a German bomb, which is roughly the size of the palm of my hand. The prospect of a fragment of this size striking a person simply does not bear thinking about.
Today, several buildings in London still display the "Honourable Scars" of their Wartime past, amongst them General Wolfe's statue in Greenwich Park, St Bartholemew's Hospital in the City of London, St Clement Danes Church in The Strand, Lord Clyde's statue in Waterloo Place as well as Edward VII's equestrian statue in the same location. Other buildings still bearing their scars are St Paul's Cathedral and the Victoria & Albert Museum, whose pockmarks are accompanied by a helpful plaque, which explains what these marks are and why they remain unrepaired. The Guards' Memorial also proudly displays shrapnel marks as do humbler structures such as the abutments of a railway bridge across Blackfriars Road and buildings in London Street, near Paddington Station.
|Wartime scars on St Clement Danes Church (Author's photo)|
All of these, as well as others serve to remind present day Londoners and visitors to this great city what our forebears endured over seventy years ago.
My next Westminster Blitz walk, in which we will explore several of the above-mentioned locations, as well as much else, is on Sunday November 16th 2014.
Battle of Britain Day: 15 September 1940 - Dr Alfred Price, Sidgwick & Jackson 1990
The Narrow Margin - Derek Wood with Derek Dempster - Tri Service Press 1990