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Campaigners net another £1,000 for war memorial

PUBLISHED: 14:25 18 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 05 October 2010

CAMPAIGNERS aiming to raise £600,000 for a memorial to 173 men, women and children killed in a stampede in London’s East End in 1943 are now a 10th of the way to their goal. They topped £60,000 at the weekend with a charity cabaret night that brought in nearly £1,000 for the appeal which began a year ago for a memorial at Bethnal Green to Britain’s worst wartime civilian disaster

Mike Brooke

CAMPAIGNERS aiming to raise £600,000 for a memorial to 173 men, women and children killed in a stampede in a wartime air-raid shelter in London’s East End are now a 10th of the way to their goal.

They topped £60,000 at the weekend with a charity cabaret night that brought in nearly £1,000.

The appeal began a year ago for a memorial at Bethnal Green to Britain’s worst civilian disaster of the Second World War.

Saturday’s cabaret at Hornchurch Conservative Club was attended by Tower Hamlets former mayor Ann Jackson who helped kick off the appeal when she was inaugurated last year.

The aim is to put up a memorial in Bethnal Green Gardens a few feet from the entrance to the Underground station which was being used as an air-raid shelter.

Disaster struck on March 3, 1943, when anti-aircraft rockets were being test-fired in Victoria Park and crowds in the street mistook the violent explosions for a German air raid and stampeded into the part-built station entrance in panic. Most were crushed to death in the narrow staircase.

Survivor Alf Morris, now 79, who was rescued from the stampede by an ARP warden when he was 13, relives his story this Saturday when he runs an information stall about the 1943 disaster at a Christmas fair the campaigners are holding at the Tramshed community centre in Digby Street, Bethnal Green, 1.30pm to 4pm.

Organisers still want to trace families of anyone who died and other survivors.

Stairway to Heaven memorial


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