Austin Thompson - St Peter's Church, Eaton Square, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 29.863 W 000° 08.962
30U E 697861 N 5709028
Quick Description: This is a memorial plaque to a priest who died in the porch of the church during enemy bombing in World War II. St Peter's church is at the north east end of Eaton Square.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/30/2012 9:09:52 AM
Waymark Code: WMEH2M
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 0

Long Description:

The church has six pillars along its frontage with a covered area behind and a wall that houses the large, red doors to the church. The stone plaque is at the right-hand end of this porched area. It reads:

Here in th porch died
Austin Thompson
Priest
Vicar of this parish 1916-1941 prebendary of S Pauls
Killed by enemy action on the night of 16 April 1941
whilst firewatching on every night of peril he
ministered to his people in the crypt of this church

Pray for his soul ye who pass by

The West End at War website (visit link) tells of some of the bombing that struck Eaton Square during World War II:

"At around 12.30am, 11 May 1941, the trench shelter in Eaton Square SW1 was hit by a high explosive bomb. Eaton Square, built in 1827, had been previously damaged on 17 April 1941 when bombs had hit St Peter's Church and killed its vicar. The explosion – opposite numbers 40-48 - blew a deep hole in the garden square, which was being used for wartime vegetable allotments. Luckily, the bomb missed the main part of the shelter - in which 22 people were gathered. By 4.30 am, City of Westminster message forms recorded that soldiers billeted nearby had taken at least three casualties out of the trench. These were taken to hospital; the rest were reported as uninjured. Rescue workers quickly moved the survivors to safety and later called a doctor to treat an infant suffering from shock. This child and its aunt were taken to St. George’s Hospital. By 6am, Westminster Civil Defence records indicated that seven people had been rescued from the Eaton Square trench, with one other taken to hospital. Updated reports later suggested a total of eleven casualties in Eaton Square. Two were subsequently confirmed as fatalities including the Mayor of Westminster – Councillor L.Eaton Smith - who was completing a round of night visits to Westminster shelters at the time."

Website with more information on either the memorial or the person(s) it is dedicated to: [Web Link]

Location: Within the grounds of St Peter's church. The grounds may be locked at night.

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