During the first days of the Blitz, on 10 September 1940 a bomb hit South Hallsville School in Agate Street, Canning Town.
The school was housing bombed-out families waiting to be evacuated. The buses arranged to transport them out failed to arrive. Many now believe that the buses had gone to Camden Town not Canning Town. The delay meant that the school was full when the bomb hit. The official estimate of people killed was 73 but local legend says that as many as 400 people died.
It was the worst civilian disaster of the war in Britain. The names of those who died are inscribed on the West Ham Civilian War Memorial in East London Cemetery.
Photo: Newham Heritage & Archives