‘Remembering the victims of the Bethnal Green tube disaster on the 70th Anniversary’

16:59 21 February 2013

British Labour MP Rushanara Ali at her office in the Houses of Parliament.

British Labour MP Rushanara Ali at her office in the Houses of Parliament.


Rushanara Ali MP, Labour: Bethnal Green & Bow

Remembering the victims of the Bethnal Green tube disaster on the 70th Anniversary in Parliament

On 3 March 1943, during the peak of the Second World War, a crowd of people entered Bethnal Green tube station, which was being used as an air-raid shelter. These people were responding to an air raid siren and although no enemy planes were overhead, but after the searchlights went on, an anti-aircraft battery a few hundred yards away in Victoria Park launched a salvo of new anti-aircraft rockets. Responding to the new, unexpected noise, the crowd surged forward.

One unfortunate individual tripped on the stairs of the station, causing many others to fall. The tragic result is that 300 people were crushed into the stairwell within only a few second. One hundred and seventy-three people died and over ninety others were injured. The result was Britain’s worst civilian disaster of the Second World War.

The disaster happened 70 years ago this year and it is only proper that it be remembered. Following the tireless work of the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust, a memorial sculpture is currently under construction near the station where the disaster occurred. And there is wider interest in East London, with researchers at the University of East London recording interviews with some of the survivors. These recorded memories of survivors, rescuers and relatives of those who died will be gathered, as will documents on the disaster and its effect on the local population at the time. This work will mean audio guides can be installed at the memorial site featuring interviews with survivors. I welcome the hard work of the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust and University of East London. It is high time East London had a memorial worthy of reflecting the gravity of Britain’s worst civilian disaster of the Second World War, especially ahead of the 70th anniversary on 3rd March 1943. I am delighted that later this month, the Speaker of the House of Commons will be hosting a reception in Parliament to mark this important anniversary in remembrance of those who lost their lives. If you want to donate to the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Campaign, please visit:


Latest News Stories

Jonny and Alistair Brownlee with their London 2012 Olympic medals. Picture: Ian West/PA Images

They’re two of the country’s most famous sporting siblings used to giving it their all to win in one of the most gruelling races around.

Caritas Anchor House boss Keith Fernett on the contstruction site of the charity's planned

An international law firm has agreed to help out embattled homelessness charity Caritas Anchor House after it was hit with a £1m VAT bill earlier this year.

Canning Town
Yesterday, 18:47
London Ambulance Service has been recommended for special measures following a CQC report

A London ambulance chief has downplayed fears that the service isn’t ready for a major terrorist attack following a scathing report by health inspectors yesterday.

London Ambulance Service
Yesterday, 13:04
A new neighbourhood development in Canning Town will bring 3,500 homes to the area. Picture: City Hall

A new neighbourhood is set to be created with 3,500 homes, a school and a park on the site of a disused mail depot in Canning Town.

Boris Johnson

Most read news


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Read more
MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder