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Mother’s Day remembers the mums killed in wartime disaster

PUBLISHED: 18:52 19 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:12 05 October 2010

A MOTHER’S Day film show and afternoon tea is planned this Sunday to mark Britain’s worst wartime civilian disaster. Fundraisers want to erect the memorial in Bethnal Green Gardens overhanging the entrance to the London Underground station where 173 men, women and children were crushed to death in a false air-raid alert in 1943

A MOTHER’S Day film show with an afternoon tea is planned in London’s East End this Sunday to mark Britain’s worst wartime civilian disaster.

It is aimed to raise cash for the £600,000 Stairway to heaven’ memorial appeal.

Fundraisers want to erect the memorial in Bethnal Green Gardens overhanging the entrance to the Underground station where 173 men, women and children were crushed to death during a false air-raid alert in March, 1943.

The station on the Central Line extension wasn’t opened yet when war broke out in 1939 and was being used, instead, as an air-raid shelter. The panic broke out when rocket guns were being test-fired nearby and crowds rushed for the shelter thinking a German air-raid had started without warning.

The film show includes the screening of ITV’s It’s A Lovely Day Tomorrow with a talk from its author Bernard Kops, plus rare wartime archive footage of the East End at the time. Singer Esther Whyatt also performs songs from the 1940s.

The benefit event is being staged at 2.30pm Sunday for the memorial trust by the Jewish East End Celebration Society at Oxford House community centre in Derbyshire Street, off Bethnal Green Road, a quarter-of-a-mile from the scene of the disaster 66 years ago. Tickets (advance only) are £15 including afternoon tea, bookings by email to the society or by phone on 07941-367882.


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