Published: 00:00, 24 March 2015
| Updated: 16:01, 24 March 2015
Crowds gathered to witness the unveiling of a commemorative plaque marking where a Second World War bomb was dropped devastating hundreds of lives.
A V1 flying bomb, also known as a Doodlebug, fell in Carrington Road on Sunday, August 6, 1944 killing 10 people and injuring 107. It destroyed 20 homes and caused damage to a further 700 in the surrounding area.
Neighbours, war veterans, and those simply interested in the event came along to see the blue plaque officially revealed by leader of the council Cllr Jeremy Kite on Sunday.
The site was one of a number of bomb drops which wreaked havoc across the county.
For Leslie Newman, 88, the explosions and debris caused by these devices were just part of every day life in Dartford.
Mr Newman was 18 when the bomb dropped in Carrington Road. Reminiscing of the time of impact, he said: “I was at my home in Burnham Road, Dartford at the time. On the Monday morning I went out and saw all of the damage it had caused.
“All the windows were smashed out and the roofs had collapsed on lots of the houses, people were crying in the street and going through the rubble trying to find their belongings. It was absolute carnage.
“It was terrible really, but it was a regular occurrence in Dartford.”
Mr Newman worked as a painter and decorator prior to the breakout of war, but as part of the national effort to protect the country against total destruction he joined many tradesmen in working to clear up the wreckage left from German bombings.
He also helped install the materials needed to blackout windows at properties around Dartford and beyond.
While making repairs to The Crayford Baptist Church in London Road, Crayford, he remembers being blown 20ft away when a bomb dropped in the churchyard of St Paulinus Church about a mile away.
“We were working in Crayford at the time nailing the material onto the windows of the church up a scaffold,” he said.
“About a mile away this bomb dropped and the sheer force of it just blew us into the air.
“The bomb had hit another church nearby and my father thought that was where I was working. He was so relieved when he found out I was okay.
“I remember when we were pulled across the room we just laughed and got back on with our work.”
For most people the war was a time of constant fear and hardship, but for a teenage Mr Newman, who now lives in Nightingale Way in Swanley, it was an “adventure”.
He said: “It might sound bad saying it, but as a teenage lad I found the whole thing rather exciting. You don’t realise how dangerous the whole thing is when you’re that young.
“I spent much of my teenage years inside an air aid shelter. But I would often go out and watch the planes fly out with my friends.”
While none of the destruction left behind from those years can be seen today, it is hoped that this plaque will serve as a reminder of what the town went through.
Cllr Kite said: “I’m proud that our blue plaque scheme is marking so many important sites and personalities around the borough.
“This bomb caused extensive damage to property but also was intended to harm the morale of Dartford people at a crucial point during the Second World War.”
The council has unveiled a number of plaques around the borough, including one at platform two at Dartford railway station where Keith Richards and Mick Jagger rekindled their friendship before forming the Rolling Stones.