Imagine twisted metal like this falling from the sky above your house.
This is part of a VI flying bomb, known as a doodlebug. It was found in the branches of a tree in Church Way, Sanderstead, in 1948.
0 mins 0 secs
William's account of the impact of a bomb is read by an actor:
"We could hear cries coming from under the debris of the house which had been shattered by the blast of the bomb".
"When I had crawled down I found Mrs Wagstaff nursing baby Nicola and a young child, Elizabeth, buried up to her chest in debris. Mrs Wagstaff pleaded to be allowed to stay with Elizabeth but I told her that if she did not get out quickly we would probably all be buried and killed."
"I promised I would remain with Elizabeth until she was rescued.
Having got Mrs Wagstaff out, I started to clear the debris from Elizabeth. But the concrete roof of the shelter began to slip down. I also realised that Elizabeth would not survive, as it was obvious that her chest was crushed. She opened her eyes once and I said, 'It's alright, love, I will keep the light of my torch on and we shall be alright.' She just smiled and closed her eyes and I knew that the end was very near. I did not consider myself a very religious type but I could only repeat the Lord's Prayer out loud
and hope for the best.
I had one more go at clearing the debris from her, but it was no good and by then I knew she was dead."
"I had the sad task of telling Mrs Wagstaff the news of her daughter's death. The only comfort I could give her was that she had not died in the dark and alone. For myself, I was very upset at the failure to save the child and even today wonder if I could have done more."
Second World War bombing in Croydon
During the Second World War more than 5000 people were killed or hurt in Croydon. They were victims of German air attacks.
The first robot bomb launched from mainland Europe fell here on 15 June 1944. A three month attack followed. 195 doodlebug bombs fell on Croydon.
People ran for cover when the roar of a bomb suddenly stopped. It had no more fuel and was about to dive and explode.
Find out more
To find out more about the blitz
during the Second World War
visit the blitz history page
of World War 2 ex raf.co.uk website: