Today a plaque is set to be unveiled at the site of Bromley’s worst Second World War attack. ROBERT FISK speaks to people about their memories of what happened when the V2 rocket hit the Crooked Billet pub.

During the evening of November 19, 1944, the Crooked Billet was full of people enjoying a night out until it became a scene of devastation.

Twenty-seven people were killed when the V2 rocket fell on the pub in Southborough Lane, Bickley, and dozens of others were seriously injured.

Among the injured was RAF flying instructor Ray Holledge who had been there celebrating his mother’s 57th birthday.

She was killed in the blast and the rest of his family sustained injuries.

News Shopper: Ray Holledge was injured in the V2 rocket attack

Mr Holledge, of Barnet Wood Road, Hayes, said: “I was just about to leave [when] they called me back because I had left my flying gloves behind.

“We did not hear the rocket coming, it was silent.

“There was so much glass flying around, it was horrific.

“It was pretty nasty in the family but some of us survived, thank God but sadly mum did not.”

The 88-year-old added: “It is all very nice that people are remembering it because it was so long ago.”

David Gregg’s friend Reginald Groves was on leave on the night of the attack and was having a drink in the pub with his girlfriend.

The stoker on the HMS Daffodil had survived being torpedoed twice while fighting in the war but was killed in the blast.

News Shopper: David Gregg's friend was killed in the blast

Mr Gregg, 88, said: “The risks of being in the navy are so great that to come home for a simple thing like to see a girlfriend, it’s just fate.

“Every Armistice and service I attend I think of all the people that I knew who died in the war.”

The Gillmans Road, Orpington, resident added: “I think of everybody that I have lost and those I did not know.

“I’m looking forward to being at the service on May 21.”

Sheila Mitchell, who was 11 at the time, was getting ready for bed in her house in nearby Parkfield Way when the rocket fell.

She said: “I was scared.

“The ceiling fell on top of me and when we got outside there was a bus and it had no wheels on it.

“There were a lot of dead people lying around.”

Mrs Mitchell says the blast destroyed much of her house so her family had to live in their air raid shelter.

The 76-year-old, who now lives in Dartmouth Road, Hayes, added: “I think a lot of people do not know what happened.

“I think it will be good that the history will be brought back to life.”

News Shopper: The force of the blast cracked the windows of Melvyn Odell's house

The force of the blast cracked the windows of Melvyn Odell’s house around a mile away in Fairway, Petts Wood.

Mr Odell, who was seven at the time, said: “It was strangely unreal and it was something I thought did not really happen and it was most peculiar.

“There was no sense of alarm, it was just ‘Oh Gosh’.”

The plaque will be unveiled at 11am today.