Londoners Shelter from Nazi Bombing During Blitz

SHELTER PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN IN LONDON BY BILL BRANDT, NOVEMBER 1940 (D 1576) Liverpool Street Underground Station Shelter: A man and woman asleep under blankets in the tube tunnel. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205194646

 

SHELTER PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN IN LONDON BY BILL BRANDT, NOVEMBER 1940 (D 1580) Liverpool Street Underground Station Shelter: Londoners sleep under a row of sand buckets and fire extinguishers suspended from the underground tunnel wall. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205194650
AIR RAID SHELTER UNDER THE RAILWAY ARCHES, SOUTH EAST LONDON, ENGLAND, 1940 (D 1605) A small group of shelterers knit and read the evening newspaper in this small section of an air raid shelter under the railway arches, somewhere in South East London. Makeshift beds have been constructed from crates and planks of wood. This photograph was probably taken in November 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205197836

 

SANCTUARY: AIR RAID SHELTER IN JOHN KEBLE CHURCH, MILL HILL, LONDON, ENGLAND, 1940 (D 1431) The curate of John Keble Church in Mill Hill in London tends to one of the many shelterers staying in the make-shift shelter in the nave of the church. Many homeless and orphaned children are sheltering here. The nurse adds details to the sick bay records. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205197819

 

AIR RAID SHELTER IN THE BASEMENT OF DICKINS AND JONES, REGENT STREET, LONDON, ENGLAND, 1940 (D 1658) A wide view of the public canteen of an air raid shelter in the basement of Dickins and Jones department store in London’s Regent Street, in November 1940. Shelterers can be seeing buying cups of tea and other refreshments from canteen staff. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205197853

 

SHELTER PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN IN LONDON BY BILL BRANDT, NOVEMBER 1940 (D 1503) Southwest London Garage Shelter, Pimlico: Old lady asleep in a makeshift bed, her silver handled umbrella safely stowed away behind her. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205194613

How to Make Your Home an Air Raid Shelter

“When a high explosive bomb falls, any building near is likely to be destroyed and any house hit is sure to collapse.” (Good to know)

The endurance of the British under the terror of German bombing is an example to us all.

This newsreel issued the Ministry for Home Security demonstrates how an ordinary householder and his family can turn their home into an air raid shelter. You could go to your nearest Post Office and buy for three pence (at this time there were 240 pence to a pound) a helpful pamphlet which is meant to go with the newsreel.

The British weren’t as cool and calm in the German air raids of World War Two as they are made out to be because they were people just like you and me. But, given the circumstances, they were pretty damn calm about it. Their endurance in the face of terror is an example to us all.

When Your Number’s Up Then Your Number’s Is Up

I interviewed someone about three years ago who had lived in London later in the war when the bombing was intermittent.

“What did you do when the air raid siren went off?”

“We went to the basement of the building where were living.”

“Were you scared?”

“You know, our attitude at the time was when your number’s up then your number’s up.

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photo courtesy of the Canadian Centre for Architecture