The Silvertown Disaster of 1917

By sarah madden, blog editor on 12 Jan 2015
A landscape after the Silvertown explosion, 25 January 1917 Silver gelatin print John Henry Avery,

A landscape after the Silvertown explosion by
John Henry Avery

It’s the biggest single explosion to have ever taken place on London soil, but the story of 1917’s Silvertown disaster is relatively unknown. Here Museum of London Docklands Curator, Georgina Young, uses maps and images from the Port of London Authority Archive to delve a little deeper into the unfortunate event, which claimed the lives of 73 local people and injured over 400.

“Suddenly a golden glow lit up the eastern sky making everything as clear as day; and looking down the Thames I saw a high Column of yellow flames rising, as I thought, from the river.” Michael McDonagh, The Times

See a selection of the images featured in the Museum of London Docklands’ permanent galleries.

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