On this day in 1944, Mary Hannah Wyburn Hicks and her daughters, Annie Priscilla and Frances Lucy were killed in a devastating ‘Doodlebug’ attack in London.
They died when their home, 231, Plashet Grove in East Ham was torn apart in a V1 Rocket explosion on July 17, 1944.
The rocket struck Suffield Road, Walworth, Southwark, SE17 (it no longer exists) at 0513hrs on that day.
The blast demolished 40 houses, damaged 150 and killed 17 people. It was the highest loss of life from a single V1 strike that month in the area.
Mary’s second eldest daughter, Grace Emily, is believed to have lost her right leg in the bombing.
Mary’s son, James or ‘Jim’ was serving in the 109th Light Artillery in Normandy at the time of the attack.
He was given compassionate leave in August 1944 due to the bombing, but when he got back to London his mother and sisters had already been buried.
Mary, a 62-year-old widow, Annie, 36, and Frances, 34, an ARP volunteer for the British Red Cross Society, were buried together seven days after the attack, at Rippleside Cemetery in Barking.
Mary Hicks (1882-1944), born on April 5, 1882 in Islington, married Albert Nathaniel Hicks (1874-1914) on April 13, 1903 in Bethnal Green, London.
Albert born on February 22, 1874 in Mile End Old Town, London, died in 1914 in London, aged 40. He was buried on June 29, 1914 in the City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery.
Mary Hicks was a great-great-great granddaughter of William Roberts (1738-), who was my great-great-great-great-great grandfather.
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1944 DOODLEBUG ATTACK ON
From left: Grace, Mary, Frances and Annie Hicks, pictured at their home in the 1930s or 1940s. Supplied with great thanks by Gary Hicks, a great grandson of Mary Hicks.