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Bethnal Green Tube Disaster memorial service

Sunday 3 March, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Stairway to Heaven memorial of the Bethnal Green tube disaster

This year marks the 76th anniversary of the Bethnal Green tube disaster, where 173 people lost their lives. Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust are holding a memorial service on 3 March at 2pm at St. John on Bethnal Green church. All are welcome.

The church normally lights 173 candles at the service. This symbolises all those who were lost in what was the worst non-enemy civilian disaster of WW2.

After the service, the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust will lay wreaths and flowers at the memorial site. If you are planning to bring floral tributes along please make sure that they are free of sharp parts and metal. Afterwards, there will be tea and cakes available to purchase in the church.

What was the Bethnal Green Tube Disaster?

On the 3rd March 1943, an anti-aircraft battery gun performed an unannounced test. Local people fled to the nearest air raid shelter. This was the unfinished Bethnal Green tube station. The station entrance was deemed unsafe in the lead up to the tragedy, but central government has refused alterations. People fell at the entrance, which had no handrail, slippy steps and no white paint to show where the steps were, and 173 people were crushed to death, 62 of them children. This was covered up for decades.

The Stairway to Heaven memorial has the names of the 173 victims who died. It was designed by Harry Paticas of Arboreal Architecture.

Visit the Stairway to Heaven memorial site for more information about the disaster


Sunday 3 March, 2019
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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St John on Bethnal Green Church
The Crypt St Johns Church, 200 Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green,
London, E2 9PA