Bromley author uncovers Bethnal Green tube disaster truth

PUBLISHED: 09:51 13 March 2012

Rick Fountain

Rick Fountain

Rick Fountain (promo - free)

Startling new evidence uncovered by a Bromley journalist has emerged for the first time to vindicate residents who were blamed in a government report for panicking during an air-raid alert at Bethnal Green Tube station

Some 173 people were crushed to death in the 1943 disaster.

Official records blame shelter users for causing the stampede that sent men, women, children and babies to their deaths.

Bethnal Green Council was accused of negligence. But former BBC reporter Rick Fountain has unearthed documents that, he says, show the council warned of the danger of the narrow shelter entrance two years before the tragedy.

“The council was silenced by threats and saddled with the ignominy of a shocking catastrophe,” Mr Fountain said. “The people of the East End, who had endured the carnage of the Blitz two years before, were now defamed as cowards who had cracked under the bombings.”

Councillors had asked four times in 1941 and 1942 for permission to spend £88 on a brick surround to make the shelter entrance wider and safer, Mr Fountain has discovered in evidence from the National Archives.

He claims the minister for home safety in Churchill’s wartime cabinet, Herbert Morrison, covered up the truth afterwards about who was responsible.

Mr Fountain has written an e-book, Mr Morrison’s Conjuring Trick, about his findings which is available on

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