London in WW2

I have mentioned before how my Mum lived her teenage years in central London, during WW2. I searched online to find some photos about what that was like.
(Credits are shown on the photos where available)

The Tube (Subway) stations were quickly brought into use as air-raid shelters. When the trains were still running, people slept on the platforms. Then once the power was off, more people filled the tracks too.

When the bombing had stopped, they would emerge tired and dusty, to try to go about their day. This was the sort of sight that greeted them.
A bomb crater so large, a whole bus has fallen into it.

What had once been a shop or office building the previous day, now completely destroyed.

People became used to the destruction and privations very quickly.
Here a small boy is fixing his home-made cart, next to a cordon around the area of an unexploded bomb.

One the waves of bombers were no longer arriving every day or night, new threats appeared. The V1 and V2 flying rocket bombs.
This shows people still casually going about their business, as a V1 bomb detonates in the Covent Garden area.

For those of us to young to remember that war, these images are a sobering reminder of what that generation had to tolerate, and how they faced it with fortitude and determination.

55 thoughts on “London in WW2

  1. Interesting post, Pete. I’ve read a lot about WW2 in Europe and it helps to see the pictures and remember that real people, with homes, and jobs, and families had to learn to cope and survive in the midst of the chaos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the photos and description of life during that era. Let it be a reminder to our leaders to take the possibility of war seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Pete. At the start, Britain bore the brunt of the bombing, and the chance of invasion. Modern war has different issues, but is no less of a terrifying prospect.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  3. I often think someone like Trump can be so cavalier about war because he never went through it. Sadly we are losing the generation who knew that “glory” was in pretty short supply in real combat.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing photographs. While there are moments that I have to say we live in scary times, it pales when compared to living in this. I hope that we will never ever have to experience a war on this scale ever again. We should never forget this…once.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That same generation of the resilient, stiff upper lip British delivered to us The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd, on and on and on. Plus, if you include Scotland, The Incredible Stringband, who were incredible! 🙂 All honor to that generation and especially to your Mum, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Charlie. There was certainly an explosion on the music scene in the 1960s, that’s undeniable.
      I’m not so sure we still have those stiff upper lips these days, but we can be grateful to those who did. Otherwise, this blog might be being written in German. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.


    1. Thanks, Robbie. I think the real prospect of invasion drew people together in a way that we can no longer understand. That determination to resist occupation set Britain apart at the time, and fostered a tremendous spirit of working together.
      (I still have to get around to your book about the bombing. 🙂 )
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for your post. It leaves you with a lot of thoughts about the situation. My mom travelled to London among the first tourists to arrive in 1946. I could find my post about it with authentic photos if you like

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Maria. I would like to see that, so please send a link when you have time. When I was a child, much of the area of London I lived in was still damaged by that bombing from more than ten years earlier.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s strange to see them on the track, considering how mucky it was last time I went down there. I can’t see a third rail, though. Maybe that part of the line wasn’t electrified?

    I also like they way the people on the platform are being kept back from the edge, in case a train comes through.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They must have got very dirty, Ian. They are lying on blankets and sheets, but we both know how filthy it gets down on the tracks.
      (I think all those central stations were electrified, that’s Aldwych in the photo)
      Best wishes, Pete.


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