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:


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:
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:


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:


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:


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:

BBC Says Record dive rescues $50m wartime silver from ocean floor


 passenger ship SS City of Cairo owned by Ellerman Line circa 1939

Sunk on 6 Nov 1942 by U-68 under the commmand of Korvettenkapitän Karl-Friedrich Merten. (Photo from



“A British-led team has recovered a $50m (£34m; €47m) trove of silver coins that has lain on the seabed since the steamship carrying it from Bombay to England was sunk in 1942.

The SS City of Cairo was torpedoed 772km (480 miles) south of St Helena by a German U-boat and sank to 5,150m.

The 100 tonnes of coins, recovered in the deepest salvage operation in history, belonged to HM Treasury.

The silver rupees had been called in by London to help fund the war effort.

But they never made it. The steamship’s tall plume of smoke was spotted by a U-boat on 6 November 1942 and it was torpedoed.

The remainder of the article is here:


Info on SS City of Cairo and her sinking from

Type: Steam passenger ship
Tonnage 8,034 tons
Completed 1915 – Earle’s Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Hull
Owner Ellerman Lines Ltd, London
Homeport: Liverpool
Date of attack 6 Nov 1942 Nationality: British

Fate Sunk by U-68 (Karl-Friedrich Merten)
Position 23° 30’S, 5° 30’W – Grid GF 3811
Complement 311 (104 dead and 207 survivors).
Convoy Route Bombay (1 Oct) – Durban – Capetown (1 Nov) – Pernambuco, Brazil – UK
Cargo 7422 tons of general cargo, including pig iron, timber, wool, cotton, manganese ore and 2000 boxes silver coins
History: Completed in January 1915.
On 1 Nov 1942 the City of Cairo (Master William A. Rogerson) left Capetown with 150 passengers, of whom nearly a third were women and children and followed the African coast until she reached a longitude of 23°30S, where she turned westward across the South Atlantic. She was unescorted, only capable of 12 knots and her engines burned smokily. On 6 November, the smoke trail was sighted by U-68 and at 21.36 hours one torpedo struck the City of Cairo. The master gave order to abandon ship and all the women and children left the ship safely, only six people were lost in the evacuation. Merten fired a second torpedo after 20 minutes, which caused the ship to sink by the stern about 450 miles south of St. Helena. Then U-68 questioned the survivors in the six overcrowded lifeboats and left the area.

The survivors were over 1000 miles from the African coast, and twice as far from South America. Because of their limited supplies, they set sail for St. Helena. The survivors calculated that they should reach St. Helena in two to three weeks and rationed the drinking water accordingly. Everyone was limited to 110 milliliters a day, even though they were exposed to tropical heat. Over the course of the next three weeks, some of the boats were found by other ships, but others disappeared. 79 crew members, three gunners and 22 passengers were lost. The master and 154 survivors were picked up by the Clan Alpine and landed on St. Helena. 47 survivors were picked up by the British steam merchant Bendoran and landed at Capetown.

One boat with 17 people on board had calculated that they reach St. Helena on 20 November, but by the 23, several were already dead and the island was still not in sight. They were certain that they must have missed St. Helena and, rather than circle around in a vain attempt to discover it, they decided to head west to the coast of South America, which they knew to be a further 1500 miles distant.

On 27 December, after a voyage of 51 days, two exhausted survivors (third officer J. Whyte and passenger Margaret Gordon) were picked up by Caravelas (C 5), only 80 miles off the coast and landed at Recife. The third officer was awarded the MBE and was repatriated on City of Pretoria, but died when this ship was sunk by U-172 (Emmermann) on 4 March 1943. The woman was awarded the BEM and refused to cross the Atlantic until the war was over.

Three survivors were picked up by the German blockade runner Rhakotis (Kapitän z.S. Jacobs) on a voyage from Japan to Bordeaux. On 1 Jan 1943 the ship was torpedoed and sunk by HMS Scylla (98) (Capt I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) about 200 miles northwest of Cape Finisterre. One of the survivors from City of Cairo died. The remaining two men were picked up by U-410 (Sturm) and landed as prisoners at St. Nazaire three days later.

These two men must have had one hell of a story to tell.

Grendier Guards Rehearse for Trooping the Colours

If you perform in public, you have to  rehearse no matter what it is.



CSM Steve Williams and CSM Matthew Brooks at Wellington Barracks
Photo by Heathcliff O’Malley courtesy of London Telegraph.

(CSM is the acronym of company sergeant major)

According to the official British Army website, a Company Sergeant Major is classified as a Warrant Officer Class 2. “This is a senior management role focussing on the training, welfare and discipline of a company, squadron or battery of up to 120 soldiers. WO2s act as senior adviser to the Major in command of the sub-unit and may also be selected for a commission as an Officer.”



Guardsman Simon Edis uses a clothes brush on Guardsman David Shelvey’s tunic at Wellington Barracks.

Photo by Heathcliff O’Malley courtesy of London Telegraph



The men are wearing their thick wool ceremonial uniforms so they are hot that is for sure. And it gets really hot under those bearskins. Previously made from the pelts of Canadian black bears, the “bearskin” hats have been made of synthetic bear fur for decades.



19 May 2010: A guardsman collapses on Horseguards during rehearsals for Trooping the Colour in celebration of the Queen’s Birthday on June 12.

Photo by Heathcliff O’Malley courtesy of London Telegraph



The Grenadier Guard is taken off the parade ground by stretcher bearers

Photo by Heathcliff O’Malley courtesy of London Telegraph



Daily Telegraph photographer Heathcliff O’Malley captured these behind-the-scenes pictures of the rehearsals at Horseguards Parade and Wellington Barracks.



The battalion of Foot Guards on ceremonial duties in London are housed in Wellington Barracks in London situated only three hundred yards from Buckingham Palace. The short distance allows them to reach the palace quickly in an emergency to reinforce the guards on duty.

(Photo by Lewis Clarke courtesy of Wikipedia)



Members of the Scots Guards take part in the rehearsals for Trooping the Colour

Photo by Heathcliff O’Malley courtesy of London Telegraph.

“Trouping the Color” is now carried out on the Queen’s official birthday. Unless a sovereign was born in the summer, the nation celebrates the sovereigns official birthday in the summer when the weather is apt to be better. The military ceremony of trouping the color  “dates back to the early eighteenth century or earlier, when the colours (flags) of the battalion were carried (or ‘trooped’) down the ranks so that they could be seen and recognised  by the soldiers.”

explanation from the official website of the British monarchy

UXB in London: A Reminder of the Blitz


From Al Jazeera America 3.24.15



a bomb disposal expert from the Royal Logistics Corp working on defusing an unexploded (UXB) German bomb in London 3.24.15

WWII bomb prompts evacuation of thousands in London

Hundreds of Londoners were allowed to go home on Tuesday after a huge unexploded World War II bomb that kindled a “Blitz spirit” among evacuees was removed for detonation after being found by construction workers.

About 1,200 homes in Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames near Tower Bridge, were evacuated as army bomb disposal experts examined the 1,000-pound bomb dropped by the German Luftwaffe.

Eighty people spent Monday night in hotels after being put up by the local council, which was also laying on food and hot drinks for residents plus activities for children whose schools were closed.

The police said the bomb was “made safe” and driven through the city in an army truck to a quarry outside London, where it will be detonated.

“There’s been a sense of the Blitz spirit,” said Louise Neilan, a spokeswoman for the local council in Southwark. “We’ve been trying to reassure people.”

Southwark was an industrial and commercial hub that was badly damaged during the Blitz, the German aerial campaign against Britain in 1940 and 1941 that killed some 20,000 civilians in London and was intended to cripple the country and force it to surrender.

The entire story is here: