This book is about the V1 strike on the Guards Chapel on Sunday 18th June 1944. 124 people were killed, including one woman who was never identified, and over 100 were injured. It was the largest single casualty toll from a V1.
- Jan Gore
The author, Jan Gore, had a personal reason for writing the book. Three of the dead were friends of her mother. As her mother would say little about the incident, Jan eventually started to research the incident. A trained librarian, she did what most would have regarded as impossible; came up with brief biographies of each of the dead and a number of the injured.
As might be expected from a librarian the book is extremely well researched and equally well written. The bulk of the book is made up of the biographies, but there are chapters giving information on the V1, the explosion itself and the rescue efforts. There is also a chapter on the survivors and another on the rebuilding of the Chapel after the war.
Well written though this book is, it’s very much one for a niche market. It’ll be of interest to members of the Guards, local historians and those interested in social history. For the more general reader, the problem will be that the book is about a single incident and that perhaps two thirds of the book is biographies of the victims.
I’ve given the book four mushrooms because it is well researched, well written and will be the definitive book on this tragic incident. But ultimately it is a book for the niche market and unlikely to appeal to the general reader.