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Ceremony for 72nd anniversary of bombing at Colindale tube station
Crowds gathered to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the bombing at Colindale Station during the Second World War today.
A plaque was unveiled in memory of 13 people who were killed when the bomb hit at 8.45pm on September 25, 1940.
Two trains carrying approximately 400 people were at the station when the device detonated. Nine rescue parties worked for seven hours to recover the injured and the dead which included station staff, customers and a police officer.
Mary Roche was a nurse working at Colindale Hospital at the time. At today’s ceremony her testimony was read out. She recalls: “All our windows in the wards were blown out and we all thought that our end had come.
“At the station there were many casualties and 13 fatalities, including some military personnel who had been outside the station awaiting new arrivals to transport to their units.
“The policeman who had been on duty outside the station was never found except for one of his arms, with part of his uniform still intact, hanging from a tree in the hospital grounds.
"It was a very sad day for us - our first real taste of war.”
The following day, Kind George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Colindale to see the destruction that had been caused.
Dave Lewington, station manager, began researching the bombing seven years ago when he decided to erect a memorial plaque at the station.
Mr Lewington, of Edgware, said: “An elderly customer came into the station and she was moaning away about how she hated the building.
“She said the original was much better but it was destroyed in the war. From there I started researching and I found the list of those who had died here.
“I like local history and I work for London Underground so I thought it was an ideal opportunity to honour their deaths.
“Today has been very emotional to finally see the plaque on the wall. I feel humbled.”
The Mayor of Banet, Councillor Brian Schama and Dr Paul Knapman, who is a Deputy Lieutenant and the former Coroner for Westminster, also attended the event.