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Luminous items for use in the blackout on sale in Selfridges, London. The first month of the blackout, September 1939, resulted in double the number of.

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Presentation on theme: "Luminous items for use in the blackout on sale in Selfridges, London. The first month of the blackout, September 1939, resulted in double the number of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Luminous items for use in the blackout on sale in Selfridges, London. The first month of the blackout, September 1939, resulted in double the number of fatal traffic accidents. Torches, white clothing, rolled newspapers and similar devices were all used to try and make life safer for pedestrians.

2 An ARP warden with helmet, gas mask and stirrup pump. Air Raid Precautions were first introduced in 1935 and by the summer of 1939 one and a half million people were involved in Civil Defence. Many of these were wardens, whose responsibilities included first aid, basic fire fighting and supervision of the homeless.

3 Bristol evacuees leaving Brent station en route to Kingsbridge, Devon. Evacuation began on 1 September and within 3 days nearly one and a half million children and supervision adults had left for the countryside. However, many of them failed to settle in and by Christmas, with no air raids having occurred, 700,000 of those evacuated had returned home.

4 Teacher and pupils at Creek Road School, Deptford, wearing gas masks. Some 38 million gas masks were issued at the time of the Munich crisis in 1938 and after the outbreak of war people were instructed to carry them at all times. However, as time went on and no gas was used, lapses in gas mask drill became more common.

5 Nurses carrying babies in gas helmets. The problem of how to protect babies had been solved by January 1940 with the issue of nearly one and a half million metal- framed gas helmets. Heavy and cumbersome, they also required regular pumping to ensure a fresh air supply to the occupant.

6 Signposts being used as landing obstacles at Springfield, Essex. The fall of France in June 1940 heralded a major invasion scare. The erection of roadblocks and landing obstacles, the immobilisation of vehicles and the removal of signposts were all designed to hamper the invader.

7 German officer arriving outside the Kommondant's Office, St. Helier, Jersey. Demilitarized in June 1940, the Channel Islands were rapidly occupied by a sizeable German garrison. While a quarter of the 90,000 population had been evacuated, the remainder suffered severe shortages as the war progressed.

8 Members of the Home Guard participating in training exercise. Formed on the initiative of Anthony Eden in May 1940, the Local Defence Volunteers (renamed Home Guard in July) had one and a half million recruits within a month. Short of uniforms, weapons and youth, it is questionable how effectively they would have been able to resist the Germans had they invaded.

9 A Heinkel 111 over the Isle of Dogs district of London. The London Blitz began on 7 September 1940 and continued until 10 May 1941, during which time over 20,000 people were killed in the capital. For German pilots seeking their targets the Thames made an ideal marker.

10 The facade of the Salvation Army headquarters in Blackfriars collapses, 10 May This raid, the heaviest of the Blitz, left 1,436 civilians dead, 155,000 families without gas or electricity and a third of London's streets impassable. The House of Commons, Westminster Abbey, the Royal Mint and the Tower of London were all badly hit.

11 The ruins of Coventry Cathedral after the raid of 14 November It killed 554 people and laid waste 100 acres of the city centre, including the cathedral. So great was the damage that the Germans coined a new verb 'to coventrate", meaning to destroy completely.

12 An Anderson shelter in Poplar, London, following a land mine explosion. Made from corrugated steel sheets, half buried in the ground and covered with at least 18 inches of earth, the Anderson shelter could withstand everything except a direct hit.

13 A Morrison shelter furnished with bedding. Introduced in 1941 to provide an indoor alternative to the notoriously damp Anderson shelter, the Morrison never really caught on, although some half million were in use by the end of the year.

14 Shelterers sleeping in the Aldwych Underground. At the height of the Blitz 177,000 people regularly took shelter in the Underground. Although most tube stations functioned normally in the daytime, the branch line to the Aldwych was actually closed.

15 Housewife purchasing dried goods in a grocer's shop. Introduced in January 1940, food rationing soon covered bacon, butter, sugar, meat and tea. The use of powdered milk and eggs, often imported from America, was one way of overcoming the shortage of fresh goods.

16 Evacuees from Finsbury Park digging over a vegetable patch at Buckden, Huntingdonshire. The 'Dig for Victory' campaign was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture in October 1939 and led to a profusion of allotment and gardening societies.

17 Items of Utility clothing in a shop window. Clothing rationing began in June 1940 and was followed in 1942 by the Board of Trade's Utility scheme. This was designed to produced simple, hardwearing clothes at low prices.

18 Housewife sorting out scrap for salvage. It was the responsibility of the Ministry of Supply to ensure that nothing went to waste and paper, tyres, bones and scrap metal were all the subject of collecting 'drives'.

19 Women checking electrical fittings in a Lancaster bomber. With the introduction of female conscription in December 1941, women were given the choice of joining the auxiliary services or finding work in essential industries. By 1943 nearly seven and a half million women were thus employed and, possibly attracted by the high wages, they made up over 50% of the workforce in aircraft factories.

20 Land girls learning to milk. Re-formed under Lady Denman in June 1939, the Women's Land Army had nearly 90,000 members at its peak. In return for 48 shillings a week and 7 days leave a year the girls worked long hours, often in primitive conditions.

21 A dance organised by the US Army Corps in Culford, Suffolk. By the spring of 1944 the GIs formed the vast majority of the 1,421,000 overseas troops stationed in Britain as part of the D-Day preparations. While their British counterparts complained they were 'overpaid, oversexed and over here', many civilians welcomed them for their razor blades, soap, chewing gum and nylons.

22 V1 flying bomb crashing in a side street off Drury Lane, London. Between June and September ,350 Doodlebugs landed on London, killing 5,475 people and seriously injuring 15,000 others. In addition there were isolated attacks on targets in the north, the worst being on Christmas Eve 1944 when 27 people died in Oldham.

23 The site of a V2 rocket explosion in Ilford, Essex, April Flying 60 miles high at twice the speed of sound, the V2 gave no warning of its arrival and could penetrate the deepest shelters. 518 landed on London, killing 2,724 and injuring 6,000.

24 Churchill on VJ Day saluting the crowd in Whitehall. Although VE Day was celebrated on 8 May 1945 the continuing hostilities against Japan delayed the official end to the war until 15 August. By this time Churchill had been heavily defeated by Attlee and the Labour Party in the July general election.


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