On Saturday 5 September 2015, the Friends of Mitcham Common unveiled a plaque on Mitcham Common that commemorates a 500kg World War Two German bomb that fell on the site in the early hours of 20 April 1941. While it caused no casualties, the bomb damaged houses some 200 yards away and left a crater 52 feet wide and 8 feet deep that exists to the present day.
A group of 20 people attended the ceremony including Acting Chair of the Friends of Mitcham Common, Darren Stillwell and Friends’ President Janet Morris. Darren spoke of how the Mitcham Common Conservators and the Friends had worked together to produce the plaque and mark the site and thanked Dr Steven Smith who had been employed by the Friends to research the crater. The details on the plaque are the results of Dr Smith’s research. Darren also said how Janet had been the one to propose that a plaque be placed here.
After unveiling the plaque, Janet spoke of how the mound of earth in the middle of the crater was actually from the debris thrown up from the explosion falling back to the ground. She also stressed to the group how it would need careful maintenance and clearance on a regular basis in order that it be preserved as a memory of times past and for future visitors to the Common.
The Wimbledon Guardian sent a photographer along, and the ceremony and the plaque were featured in the online edition of the Guardian here: http://bit.ly/MCWW2site
The crater is close to Commonside East and is easily reached from the footpath that starts at the roundabout linking Commonside East and Manor Road.
The plaque was stolen in August 2022, and a plastic replacement was fitted in September.