ww2 home front

“Mrs. Mary Couchman, a 24-year-old warden of a small Kentish Village, shields three little children, among them her son, as bombs fall during an air attack on October 18, 1940. The three children were playing in the street when the siren suddenly sounded. Bombs began to fall as she ran to them and gathered the three in her arms, protecting them with her body. Complimented on her bravery, she said, ‘Oh, it was nothing. Someone had look after the children.’”

(AP)

Ida Lupino, 1943, with her hair in a ‘victory roll’

During World War Two, when women took over the factory jobs vacated by men going off to war, they were required to wear their hair securely tied up and out of their faces. Hollywood stars also adopted the style, both out of solidarity with the women who were keeping the country going and to give an air of glamour to the style so that working women would not feel discouraged by their appearance.

“A ninety minute exposure taken from a Fleet Street rooftop during an air raid in London, on September 2, 1940. The searchlight beams on the right had picked up an enemy raider. The horizontal marks across the image are from stars and the small wiggles in them were caused by the concussions of anti-aircraft fire vibrating the camera. The German pilot released a flare, which left a streak across the top left, behind the steeple of St. Bride’s Church.”

(AP)

“‘Rip’ the dog and an ARP Warden survey the scene of devastation following an air raid in Latham Street, Poplar. The bomb crater is full of water. In the background, the remains of the local surface shelter can be seen, which, although slightly damaged, is still largely intact. Piles of rubble and timber can also be seen.”

(IWM)

“A view taken from Dresden’s town hall of the destroyed Old Town after the allied bombings between February 13 and 15, 1945. Some 3,600 aircraft dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the German city. The resulting firestorm destroyed 15 square miles of the city center, and killed more than 22,000.”

(Getty)

“War-torn Cologne Cathedral stands out of the devastated area on the west bank of the Rhine, in Cologne, Germany, April 24, 1945. The railroad station and the Hohenzollern Bridge, at right, are completely destroyed after three years of Allied air raids.”

(AP)