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Survivors relive story of Britain’s worst wartime civilian disaster

PUBLISHED: 21:23 21 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:35 05 October 2010

SURVIVORS of a 1943 air-raid tragedy in London’s blitzed East End have been reliving their memories of Britain’s worst wartime civilian disaster. They spoke at a public gathering to talk about their experiences just yards from where disaster struck when 173 men, women and children were killed in a stampede during an air-raid alert at Bethnal Green

SURVIVORS of a 1943 air-raid tragedy in London’s blitzed East End have been reliving their memories of Britain’s worst wartime civilian disaster.

They spoke on Saturday at a public gathering to talk about their experiences just yards from where disaster struck when 173 men, women and children were crushed to death in a stampede during an air-raid alert at Bethnal Green.

The survivors included Alf Morris, now aged 79, who was a schoolboy of 13 when an air-raid warden pulled him clear of the crush just in time.

He has since been leading a campaign to raise £600,000 for a permanent memorial in Bethnal Green Gardens to those who died 66 years ago.

Saturday’s event at Bethnal Green public library was part of his Stairway to Heaven’ campaign to raise £600,000 for a permanent memorial in Bethnal Green Gardens by the Tube station entrance where it happened 66 years ago.


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