St Helier Congregational Church

A letter written by Gomer Davies, vicar in 1941

By Beverley Walker




     Hundreds of homes were made uninhabitable.                                         

31 Morden Way



21st April 1941



My dear Alan Green

                                    I wondered whether you knew that we had a [particularly] bad time of it on The St Helier Estate on Wednesday night of last week. We had two landmines  [stick] of bombs dropped, fortunately one of the landmines never exploded, this one caused us nevertheless to evacuate from Thursday till Saturday. It affected the houses all around us here in Sutton. But the landmine that did explode fell in Love Lane not far from our church and the bombs [ ] the new hospital. Hundreds of homes were made uninhabitable. They say there were 1500, but I don’t know whether that is so. What I wanted today is that our church had the roof damaged and some glass in the windows broken. We got the roof put right straightaway. The windows were not touched as it was thought the other landmine might cause further damage if it exploded. Fortunately it was got away safely on Saturday afternoon and we were able to hold our [S P] anniversary as previously arranged on the Sunday and had a good time indeed.

Mr Maunder is going to communicate with you as regards the above later.

 Hope to see you before the council on Monday.

 All the best and kindest regards.

 Yours sincerely

Gomer Davies


 Ps We are all very thankful that the casualties were not heavy,

Some were killed

The Reverend Gomer Davies became vicar of the St Helier Congregational Church Green Lane, Morden in 1937, replacing Reverend Lyall Dixon. He came from the church in Pontnewydd in Wales.

He was writing to The Reverend Alan Green at the London Congregational Union at Farringdon Street, London

Transcript of a letter found at London Metropolitan Archives 26th April 2010 (N/LOW/1/24/194)  



Photo:39 Chapel Street, Pontnewydd. The residence of Gomer Davies before he arrived in Morden (2010)

39 Chapel Street, Pontnewydd. The residence of Gomer Davies before he arrived in Morden (2010)

Nigel Jones

This page was added by Beverley Walker on 02/05/2010.
Comments about this page

I was fascinated to read this account. I was almost 9 at the time and later that year joined the 15th Mid Surrey Life Boys team at the church. With my mates from Garendon, Hunston and Halesowen Roads, we were amazed at the widespread destruction caused by the landmine (a cannister of explosives that descended by parachute). The explosion blew off the top part of an ancient oak, and some parachute cords were left dangling from the branches. At the foot of the tree was a deep, gaping crater. My pals and I overheard a tenant who lived on the corner of the walkway leading from Hartland Rd, telling a special constable how he had heard the swishing and thought it might be a German who'd baled-out by parachute. He'd apparently gone into the kitchen to arm himself with a spanner (the gas stopcock key, I think). He'd just returned to the front door when the almighty explosion occurred and he was blown the whole length of the passage (hall) and crashed the back of his head on the back scullery(kitchen) door. The front of his house, like many others, had been severely damaged. The whole scene looked as though a giant had stamped his way up the lower half of Love Lane, pulverising the houses on both sides. We walked along Glastonbury, as far as Reigate Avenue marvelling at strange sights such as an upturned gas cooker embedded in a roof in Glastonbury, as was a whole brick chimney which had been hurled through the air. I remember Rev Gomer Davies some fiery sermons in his Welsh accent. Us young uns would imagine him to be a U-boat commander, ranting from the conning-tower of his submarine! The V1 flying bombs came later, causing more alarm and excitement! Greetings to all St Helierites!

By Bill Mallion
On 22/02/2011

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