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Memorial garden opened to commemorate Blitz dead

Published Wednesday, 01 October 2014

A memorial garden was officially opened yesterday (Tuesday 30 September), on the site of the Two Brewers pub in Ponders End by a former firefighter who fought through the wreckage of the bomb damaged building to search for survivors in 1940.

Two Brewers

The garden, constructed by Enfield Council and funded by part of a £1.9 million award from the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund, commemorates the people killed when the pub was bombed during the Blitz on 30 September 1940, killing 20 men and seriously injuring another.

Resident Cliff Short, 89, who was 14 years old at the time, was a runner for the fire brigade who helped the fire fighters who retrieved the bodies from the wreckage. He officially opened the memorial garden on the site of the old pub in South Street, Ponders End with Alfred Dust, the son of the only survivor of the tragedy.

Prior to the bombing, the local Buffalo Society was holding a meeting in the pub. On hearing the air raid sirens, they sought shelter in the basement but a bomb fell through the roof, into the basement where the men were sheltering and exploded, destroying the whole building and killing 20 men.

The fire brigade rushed to the scene and recovered 17 bodies, one man was rescued alive despite having lost his legs, surviving for a further five years, while three bodies were lost forever and remain buried under the site of the memorial garden.

Cliff Short said: “I love Ponders End and I am very pleased that Enfield Council has turned the site into a lovely community space for everyone to enjoy, it will also help people learn about that terrible night back in 1940 when tragedy struck the community”.

Cllr Doug Taylor, the Leader of Enfield Council said “Enfield Council is working hard to make Ponders End a better place for people to visit, live and work in and we are working really hard to regenerate the high street, make it a more attractive shopping destination and create jobs here.

“We listened to what local residents said, and are delighted to be providing a fantastic community facility on the site of the old Two Brewers Pub which was destroyed in the Blitz.

“The new garden will be a lovely community space for people to enjoy while acting as a constant reminder of the heroism of people like Cliff Short and a memorial to all the people in Ponders End who lost their lives during the war”.

The garden can be located on the corner of South Street and High Street in Ponders End.

 

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