Catholic priest Father Finn assists British Army Fusilier Tom Dowling and his new bride Miss Martha Coogan through the rubble of a destroyed London Catholic church in which they were just wed. The church had been nearly destroyed by the German Luftwaffe during the London Blitz, in which the British capital was attacked 71 times over a period of 267 days. From 7 September 1940, one year into the war, the city was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 57 consecutive nights. London, England, U.K. 14 September 1940.
When German bombers struck London on 29 December 1940 it was the 114th night of the Blitz. As searchlights lit up the sky searching for enemy aircraft, the Daily Mail’s chief photographer Herbert Mason was on top of the roof of his newspaper’s building off Fleet Street. German bombs destroyed hundreds of buildings that night and thick black smoke filled the air. Mason wanted to get a clear shot of St Paul’s and waited hours for the smoke to clear sufficiently. Then the wind picked up just enough for Mason to take what would become one of the most iconic shots of the Blitz.
English nurses clear debris from one of the wards in St. Peter’s Hospital in the aftermath of a German bombing during the Blitz. Four hospitals were among the buildings hit in one night by German bombs during a full scale attack on the British capital. Stepney, East London, England, U.K. 19 April 1941.
It is really surreal to think about London getting bombed. You are always aware of it, with the tell tell patterns of new builds among semis built in the 30s and the shrapnel marks on some old buildings, but to think of bombs raining on London is so far removed from what “real life” feels like.
Boy George & Marilyn photographed by
Derek Ridgers, 1980.
There was a time Boy George didn’t wear frocks and jewellery. Just a pretty kimono. This was how he looked nearly four years ago. Alongside him is his pal Marilyn. Behind them is the house in Couburton Street, central London which they shared with fellow squatters. Marilyn remembers the squat fondly. “ I discovered the amazing clubs in London and realised there were other freaky people like me. It was George O'Dowd and me against everybody else, going to parties and seeing who could look the prettiest.” Both have come a long way and gone their separate ways, since those days, Yet their steps aren’t that for apart.
A young British boy clings to one of his few remaining possessions after the German Luftwaffe razed his London home during the Blitz. 1941. The image was captured by American photographer Toni Frissell.