From Chiswick to Wassenaar

Historical delegation to visit site of V2 weapon launch

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A small delegation from Chiswick will be visiting Wassenaar, a suburb of The Hague in the Netherlands in early February where they will be presenting an album of memories and historical information about the Chiswick V2 and visiting the V2 memorial there.

The first V2 weapon to land in the UK was launched from the woodland around Wassenaar. While three people died in Chiswick as a result, many more were killed there in reprisal raids by the RAF. Sadly many of these were civilians as the rockets were launched from mobile carriers

The Chiswick group includes Cllr Paul Lynch, Chair of the Chiswick Area Committee, and Scott Mackinlay of the Battlefields Trust who ran a sponsored marathon in 2004 to raise the funds for the Staveley Road V2 memorial. Cllr Lynch said “I was very proud to be able to be involved in the 2004 commemoration of this terrible event and pleased to travel in 2005 to the Peenemunde Museum in Germany. We believe it is important to take the album to Wassenaar and I am sure it will be a very moving experience to see their memorial at the launch site.”

Background information

The 1944 V2 landed in the centre of Staveley Road, towards the junction with Burlington Lane. The memorial has been be placed close to this spot, where today there is a small electricity sub-station. Three people died and 22 were injured, 11 houses were demolished and 27 more were seriously damaged in the immediate area.

The V2 was launched from Wassenaar, a suburb of The Hague in the Netherlands. On the same evening as the Chiswick ceremony, the local authority and community of Wassenaar marked the event with their own memorial at the launch site.

Since the unveiling, many eyewitnesses (or more properly “ear-witnesses”) have come forward and told their stories to the Local History Society. These have been assembled in an album, together with material about the events of 1944, details of the 2004 commemorations in Chiswick and Wassenaar and information about the planting of a cherry tree at Peenemünde (where the V1 and V2 weapons were developed) in 2005. Copies of the album of memories have been presented to the Museum in Peenemünde, the Local Studies Collection at Chiswick Library and the Imperial War Museum.

A grant from Home Front Recall, the lottery grant scheme which supported the commemoration of World War 2 events, provided the funds for the commemoration event, the information panel, the albums and educational materials for Chiswick schools.

February 2, 2007