The Cost of war

At the outbreak of the Second World War there were plans to evacuate children from Edmonton to safer areas but it wasn’t considered necessary for the children of Enfield and Southgate as these areas were deemed to be ‘safe’. Later in the war it was agreed that children to the east of the Southbury Loop railway line would be eligible for evacuation.

Although much of the present day Borough of Enfield was considered a reasonably safe area there was considerable bomb damage. Even ‘minor bombing’ as described by the ARP Log Book could result in broken windows and injuries from flying glass.

According to the commonwealth War graves Commission there were 389 people killed in the borough. The breakdown for the three areas is:

Edmonton: 162 fatalities, 432 seriously injured, 609 slightly injured

Enfield: 109 fatalities, 271 seriously injured, 419 slightly injured

Southgate 118 fatalities, 267 seriously injured. The number slightly injured isn’t known
As well as the deaths and injuries there was extensive damage to property. This was compounded by the shortage of supplies with which to carry out repairs. Many bomb sites remained untouched for years after the war ended. The ‘Bombie’ in Grove Road New Southgate was one such site that was only redeveloped in 2014 being turned into to a park.

In total 433 houses were destroyed in Edmonton, 347 in Enfield and 256 in Southgate.

EPSON scanner imageThe image on the right shows the aftermath of bombing during the Second World War somewhere in the present day Borough of Enfield. Unfortunately there is nothing on the photos to say exactly where.  It shows men climbing over the wreckage, There doesn’t seem to be any equipment other than their bare hands. Does anyone know where this is? Any ideas would be appreciated.


First World War Air Raids

Bomb damage corner of Southbury Road and Hertford Road
Bomb damage corner of Southbury Road and Hertford Road


The existence of airships and planes brought the war to the civilian  population in a way not experienced in previous conflicts. The number of street lights was restricted and others partly darkened. The first bombs dropped in the area fell on the night of 2/3rd September 1916. At about 1.30 am airship SL11 dropped bombs on the Stud Farm at Clay Hill killing three horses. Bombs were dropped at Worlds End Lane, Chase Road and other areas of Enfield and Ponders End. The airship was shot down by Lieutenant Leefe Robinson and crashed in Cuffley.  From 1917 the Germans used the long range Gotha bombers for raids on the country.

We only have a couple of photos of bomb damage from the First World War. As well as the one above we have a photo of a nurse pointing to the crater made by a torpedo.


Torpedo crater at North Lodge
Torpedo crater at North Lodge

If anyone has any other photos showing the effects of bombing in the First World War we would love to see them.

The Enfield Town First World War Heritage Trail is now available from all Enfield libraries.