Category Archives: Military records

Additional Military Records released by TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist has released some useful records this week for those who are researching their military ancestors. Here is the press release that gives you more information and a link to a fascinating article:

Military Records on TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist is pleased to announce it has added two new record sets that will be useful for researching the First World War and Victorian soldiers.

  • Part one of this release is The Worldwide Army Index for 1851, 1861 and 1871 which adds another name rich resource to the already vast Military record collections at TheGenealogist with over 600,000 records
  • Also released at the same time is another 3,368 pages from The Illustrated War News covering 6 September 1916 to 10 April 1918 and adding to those previously made available for this First World War paper from 1914 to 1916

The Worldwide Army Index for 1851, 1861 and 1871

If you have not found your ancestor in the various British census returns, and you know that they may have been serving at the time in the British Army, then this new release from TheGenealogist may help you to find these elusive subjects.

Many thousands of men of the British Army were serving overseas in far flung parts of the British Empire over the 1800s. This index of names is compiled from the musters contained in the WO 10-11-12 Series of War Office Paylists, held at the National Archives, Kew. The 1851, 1861 and 1871 Worldwide Army Index lists all officers* and other ranks serving in the first quarter of 1851 and second quarter of 1861 and 1871, together with their regimental HQ location. The index is, therefore, effectively a military surrogate for the relevant census.

Over 70,000 records have extra notes that can indicate whether a soldier was a recruit awaiting transfer to a regiment, detached from his regiment or attached to another, possibly discharged, on leave, had deserted or retired. Men identified as using aliases are also included. Many notes include a place of birth and former occupation.

Also included within the records are recruits, boy soldiers, bandsmen and civilians working in the armed forces as clerks, pension recruiters, teachers and suchlike. Colonial regiments which invariably had numbers of British subjects are also featured.

The Illustrated War News was a weekly magazine during the First World War, published by The Illustrated London News and Sketch Ltd. of London. The IWN publication contained illustrated reports related entirely to the war and comprised articles, photographs, diagrams and maps. From 1916 it was issued as a 40-page publication in portrait format, having been landscape prior to this. It claimed to have the largest number of artist-correspondents reporting on the progress of the war until it ceased publication in 1918.

To search these and many other records go to: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/advanced/military/muster-book-pay-list/

or read our article at: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/worldwide-army-index-1851-1861–1871-661/  

*While the 1851 and 1871 include officers, the 1861 index excludes officers as they were not mustered in all the Paylists.

Millions of new Parish Records as well as the New British India Collection

 

TheGenealogist logo

TheGenealogist launches millions of new Parish records as well as their New British in India Collection

TheGenealogist has just announced three important releases to coincide with the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show covering Britain and British India.

Over 2.5 Million people in the latest release of Parish records!

Augmenting the substantial Parish Records that are already available on TheGenealogist comes the release of more than 2.5 million people for two major counties:

  • Hampshire Parish Records (Bishop’s Transcripts) (886,616 individuals)

This brings their total number of records to 3,199,820 with coverage of

Baptisms: 2,379,836 (1538 to 1940)

Marriages: 495,034 (1538 to 1940)

Burials: 324,950 (1538 to 1940)

  • Durham Parish Records (1,697,206 individuals)

This brings their total number of records to 1,850,068 with coverage of

Baptisms: 1,253,273 (1556 to 1919)

Marriages: 198,845 (1540 to 1896)

Burials: 397,950 (1538 to 1939)

These will be a boon to Family Historians looking for key events in the lives of their ancestors.

The British in India Collection

The TV series ‘Indian Summers’ starring Julie Walters created in many a fascination with India under British rule. This new record set reveals information about those ancestors that lived in the subcontinent, their lifestyle and the communities that they lived in.

India photo on TheGenealogist
Football Team ‘E’ Company Winners Inter-Company Shield 1910

Millions of British people went out to India in the past and so many family historians will have an ancestor that made the journey. For some, India would turn out to be their last resting place and among their ranks were merchants, soldiers, sailors, civil servants, missionaries and their families.

To browse the Image Archive for relevant photographs search for the tags ‘India’ and more specifically ‘Hill Station’ for pictures like the one below.

Nainital Civil Service Week c1900
Nainital Civil Service Week c1900

 

  • Parish Records of British in India

  • Headstone Records of British Cemeteries in India

  • British War Memorials in India

  • East India Registers

  • Indian Army and Civil Service Lists

  • Image Archive – British in India

The release of The British in India Collection on TheGenealogist now allows family historians to search for ancestors who went out to British India in a very broad-ranging set of resources ranging from the early 1800s up to the 1920s.

These records make up part of the Diamond subscription to TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist Launches over 282,000 Parish Records, plus 43,000 New War Memorial Records

 

New records to search from TheGenealogist

The Genealogist has added to the millions of its UK Parish Records collection with over 282,000 new records from Essex, Cumberland and Norfolk making it easier to find your ancestors’ baptisms, marriages and burials in these fully searchable records covering ancient parishes. Some of the records go back as far as 1672.

Also released are another 43,000 new war memorial records.

The new release of War Memorial records means there are now over 350,0War Memorials on TheGenealogist00 searchable records. This latest release includes war memorials from London, along with further English counties including Cumbria, Berkshire, Warwickshire and Suffolk. The collection also stretches across the globe to encompass new War Memorials situated in Perth, Australia and the Province of Saskatchewan in Canada. Fully searchable by name, researchers can read transcriptions and see images of the dedications that commemorate soldiers who have fallen in the Boer War, WW1 and various other conflicts.

 

 

 

example of a war memorialIn amongst these newly published War Memorial records are those from St John’s Church in Bassenthwaite, Cumbria. This is a fascinating WW1 roll with men who died or served and includes information such as that for Louis Willis Bell who died in Rouen as a result of poison gassing. Another notable entry is that for Isaac Hall. This soldier enlisted in January 1915 in 7th Border Regiment and was discharged on the 21st March 1917, because of wounds resulting in the loss of his left leg.

 

 

 

 

Example of Parish Records on TheGenealogist:

Parish Records can sometimes unearth fascinating stories

We are all aware that parish records give us those all important dates and names for our ancestors – but in some cases they reveal interesting stories as well. When a vicar, or parish clerk, feels the person they are entering in the register needs an extra explanation, over and above the date and name of the person, then some fascinating historical details can emerge for researchers to read.

As an excellent example of this we can look in the parish records for All Saints Church, in Maldon, Essex. Here we find the burial of one Edward Bright in the year 1750. Edward, a Tallow Chandler and Grocer, who died when he was in his late twenties, had an unusual claim to fame.

The entry in the parish register on TheGenealogist reveals that he was an extremely large man, weighing 42 stone (588 pounds) and was in fact believed to be the fattest man in England at the time.

The Fat Man of Maldon

Edward Bright by David Ogborne http://www.itsaboutmaldon.co.uk/edwardbright/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The notes for his burial on the 12 November 1750 in the parish register explain that Edward had to be buried in a special coffin as he was so large. To remove the casket from his room above his shop, special provisions were needed requiring structural modifications to the wall and stairs to aid his final journey to All Saints.

Having arrived at church on a carriage, more unusual procedures were used to get the deceased to his final resting place. Edward’s coffin would have been far too heavy to be borne by pallbearers up the aisle to rest before the congregation during the funeral service. Also it would have severely taxed the muscles of those men who would have normally lowered it manually into the grave. The logistics, in this case, needed rollers to be used to slide the coffin up to a brickwork vault and then a triangle and pulleys were used to lower poor Edward into his grave.

The parish register entry did, however, not just dwell on the problems of burying a man of such large proportions. It went on to also record a number of positive attributes that Edward Bright had – so giving us a picture of the man that he was. We can see that he was well thought of by the vicar and community of this 18th century Essex parish. The register tells us that he was: “… A Very Honest Tradesman. A Facetious Companion, Comely In His Person, Affable In His Temper, A Kind Husband, A Tender Father & Valuable Friend.”

Burial record from parish record on TheGenealogist

As we have seen here, sometimes a parish register can give you so much more than just the date that your ancestor was baptised, married or buried.

https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/the-fat-man-of-maldon-436/

Early Military Records go online

 

This month TheGenealogist has announced that it has added several new early military records. Joining their ever growing and fully searchable Military collection are:

  • The Waterloo Roll Call 1815
  • Battery Records of the Royal Artillery, 1716-1859
  • The Manchester Regiment, 63rd and 96th 1758-1883 Vol I and 1883-1922 Vol II
  • Certificate of Musters in the County of Somerset 1569
  • Four more Army Lists, from 1838 to 1886

jul16_waterloo1

The Waterloo Roll Call of 1815 enables researchers to find ancestors within a list of nearly 2,000 men, most of whom were officers present at the Battle of Waterloo in Belgium on June 18th 1815 under the Duke of Wellington – whose record we can find in this collection. You can search for your ancestors in ‘The Waterloo Roll Call’ using Title, Forename, Surname, Regiment, Rank, Decoration and Staff position.

Many of our forefathers would have served in the British Army, and with the military 08known for their record keeping these can provide researchers with valuable information on ancestors. The earliest records in this new release are 16th century Militia Musters for Somerset. The Certificate of Musters in the County of Somerset 1569 contain names of Militiamen (soldiers raised from the civil population) and what role they carried out including archer, pikeman and light-horseman.

1828_MilitiaMuster_watercolor_byDCJohnston_AAS

The Battery Records of the Royal Artillery 1716-1859 is a prime reference record containing tabulated Battery records, numerous useful historical notes, lists of various officers and more.

The_Manchester_Regiment_by_Harry_Payne

For Mancunian military forebears The Manchester Regiment 63rd and 96th 1758-1922  includes the succession of Colonels and an alphabetical roll of regimental officers from 1758 to 1923 showing dates of service with the Regiment, dates of promotion and date and reason for being struck off. With the centenary of the First World War these records can be used to find casualties of all ranks from “The Manchesters” in the Great War. With a list of Honours and Awards, including foreign, these digitised books also provide an interesting in-depth history of the regiment so that researchers can follow the postings of The Manchester Regiment and the action in which it took part.

Those researching Victorian soldiers will welcome the inclusion of several early Army Lists in this release for January 1838, December 1838, April 1886 and The Annual Army and Militia List 1855.

To search these and many other records go to: www.TheGenealogist.co.uk

 

Image sources: https://commons.wikimedia.org

Launch of new website – War-Memorial.co.uk

War-Memorial.co.uk, is the brand new website dedicated to Photographing, Transcribing and preserving war memorial records for the future, has just launched online providing a unique service that allows the researcher to find their ancestor using the largest collection of combined War Memorial records and images currently available anywhere.

war-memorial-5-sm

This project is based on Mark Herber’s growing collection of war memorial photographs and personally checked transcriptions. It honours those men and women, who died or served our country in military conflict over the years and it already features over 20,000 detailed photographs of more than 1,200 memorials, commemorating over 270,000 people, with their names (and the memorial’s information about them) transcribed and indexed.

With regular additions of photographs, names and information to War-Memorial.co.uk expected as the months go by, War-Memorial.co.uk is the place to find your ancestors immortalised on the country’s war memorials.

Details that can be found in these memorial records include:

  • Name
  • Regiment, unit or ship
  • War or date of death
  • Rank and medals
  • Photograph of the War Memorial from multiple angles and zooms

War-Memorial.co.uk’s collection includes a very large number of records from the Boer War of 1899-1902 and WW1 and WW2, but it also includes memorials from as early as the 17th century up to very recent conflicts such as Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. Soldiers, sailors, aircrew and civilians are all featured – and not just those who died. Many men and women who served but survived also appear in the records.

Using the sophisticated search technology and just basic details you can locate full information on War Memorials on which men and women are commemorated, find more details about them (such as their regiments, ships, ranks and medals), discover the location of the War Memorial and see images of the memorial itself and a close up view of the name of your ancestor!

War-Memorial.co.uk is offering some great value options to suit every pocket starting at £5 for a month’s access, £9.95 quarterly, or take out a great value annual subscription at only £29.95.

With regular additions of photographs, names and information to War-Memorial.co.uk expected as the months go by. War-Memorial.co.uk is the place to find your ancestors immortalised on the country’s war memorials.

 

Example of finding your ancestor in the records

Here we find the unusual records of a Thomas Ambrose, who was killed in 1916 by a bomb from a German airship flying over Sudbury. The transcribed record details how he died and where he is commemorated, as shown below:

war-memorial search

Each transcript brings up details of the memorial with overview images of the entire memorial so you can find your ancestor using just their name, locate their memorial and add the images and information to your family history records, or even plan your visit!

 
war-memorial

Click here to find out more: http://war-memorial.co.uk/

TheGenealogist releases British Telephone Directories, United States WW2 PoWs and more Worcestershire Baptism Transcripts

TheGenealogist has just launched a new collection of British telephone directories. Complementing the early UK Telephone Directory from 1899-1900 that is already available on TheGenealogist, this new release includes the 1907 Post Office National Directory which adds a resource for finding names and addresses before the 1911 census. This directory was published at a time when the telephone was becoming more important to our ancestors. The Post Office’s first coin-operated call box had been installed at London’s Ludgate Circus just the year before, and Trunk (long distance) telephone charges were reduced to half-price for telephone calls made after 7pm and before 7am.

Edwin Ringer old telephone on thegenealogist.co.uk

 

In addition, and at the same time, TheGenealogist has released the 1938 South Wales District Post Office Telephone Directory. The big contrast between this and the earlier directories are that so many more ordinary people had become telephone subscribers. For this reason the directories were by now split up into regions to cope with the large number of names and addresses.

 

  • Containing names and address details for subscribers the telephone directories are a useful resource for discovering ancestors who had a phone
  • Find private names and small businessmen’s addresses. If your ancestor worked as a fishmonger, butcher, ironmonger or bootmaker, then all these and more feature in the fascinating records.
  • The difference between the turn of the century directories and the 1938 South Wales District Directory is marked by the number of new telephone subscribers, so making it possible to find many more ancestor’s names and addresses.

 

In a snapshot example from the 1907 Post Office National Directory we can see that in Cardiff that subscribers included various business including a furniture remover and funeral director, fruit merchants, fishmonger, a commercial traveller and some private individuals.

1907 P O Telephone Cardiff

1907 Post Office National Directory.

 

By the late 1930s the various regions now contained tightly packed names and addresses with many more private subscribers for the family historian to research.

Post Office Telephone Directory Cardiff 1938

1938 Post Office Directory for Cardiff.

 

TheGenealogist has also just released online the United States WWII Prisoner of War records to compliment those that are already online for British and former Empire Prisoners of War of the Germans in WWI and WWII.

  • These new records reveal the names of U.S. military as well as U.S. and some Allied civilians who were prisoners of war and internees
  • Covering the years 1942 – 1947, Prisoners of both Germany and Japan are included in this collection
  • The record for each prisoner provides:
    • Name
    • Casualty status
    • Rank
    • Service number
    • PoW camp
    • Regiment, branch of service or civilian status
    • Home town or place of enlistment
    • Date reported
    • Race
    • State of residence

 

Example

Searching these PoW records we can find Robert  A. “Bob” Hoover, the former air show pilot and United States Air Force test pilot. Known as the “pilot’s pilot”, Hoover transformed aerobatic flying in his time and many in the world of aviation saw him as one of the greatest pilots ever to have lived. In the Second World War he was a fighter pilot.

Bob_Hoover_Photo_D_Ramey_Logan

Robert A “Bob” Hoover by WPPilot (Own work)

[CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

During World War II, Hoover was posted to Casablanca where he test flew the assembled aircraft to ensure that they were ready for service. Later in the war he was re-assigned to the Spitfire-equipped American 52d Fighter Group in Sicily. In 1944, and on his 59th mission of the conflict, his malfunctioning Mark V Spitfire was shot down by a German plane off the coast of Southern France. Taken prisoner, he then spent 16 months at the German prison camp Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany, which we can see from these new records on TheGenealogist.

Robert Hoover PoW on thegenealogistPrisoner of War records on TheGenealogist.

These records are derived from the National Archives and Records Administration, World War II Prisoners of War, 1941-1946.

 

In another record release TheGenealogist have added over 37,450 individuals to their Baptism Transcripts for Worcestershire in partnership with Malvern Family History Society, expanding their coverage and bringing the total to over 2 million individuals. These records range from the years 1544 to 1891.

 

Join TheGenealogist today to take advantage of a comprehensive set of family history records: www.thegenealogist.co.uk

Battle of Jutland

 

This week sees the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Jutland. Many websites have been publishing their own stories to commemorate this event and browsing TheGenealogist’s Featured Articles section I found this one that draws on some of the excellent records for Jutland available on their site.

As they say in the piece:

TheGenealogist has a comprehensive Battle of Jutland record set that provides researchers with a full list of the men killed or wounded in the battle with their rank, name of ship and date of death taken from official Admiralty sources. Within these records we can find the brave Boy (1st Class) Cornwell alongside his comrades in arms that died in this battle 100 years ago. It includes the commander of the 1st Cruiser Squadron, Rear Admiral Robert Arbuthnot, who went down with his flagship HMS Defence.

The Battle of Jutland Roll of Honour database at TheGenealogist was initially based upon the Admiralty’s Registers of Killed and Wounded (from The National Archives). These were cross-referenced with the Naval Who’s Who of 1917 and subsequently the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, along with other records. Where possible the records online are cross-referenced to entries at the CWGC’s website, as with other Roll of Honour records at TheGenealogist. This combined database is uniquely available on TheGenealogist.

Read the full article here:

http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2016/jutland-jack-cornwell-the-battle-of-jutlands-youngest-vc-332/

From the Image Archive on TheGenealogist

From the Image Archive on TheGenealogist: Boy (First Class) J T Cornwell of HMS Chester, though mortally wounded, stands at his post amid the dead and wounded crew.

Hugh Dennis Urges Public To Remember War Dead In UK

The well loved British actor, Hugh Dennis, teamed up with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to launch the organisation’s new initiative recently (April 11th 2016) to get the British public to visit war graves and discover the stories behind the names of those who gave their lives in the First World War.

The CWGC launched its UK wide project to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme by remembering the forgotten front. That is the name it has given to the 300,000 war graves and commemorations that are here in Britain to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Hugh Dennis, who is the Living Memory ambassador for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, is quoted on their website saying: “I have a very personal connection with the First World War as both my grandfathers fought at the Western Front. My great uncles also fought and one, my great uncle Frank, died and is commemorated by the CWGC in Gallipoli, Turkey.

“I’d urge everyone to get involved in this initiative so we never forget those who died during the Great War and are buried and commemorated so close to us on the home front.”

Check out the CWGC post on their blog here.

CWGC Hugh Dennis

Find World War II Prisoners Of War online

Leading British Genealogy Website, TheGenealogist, has added over 150,000 World War II Prisoner of War records to its already significant military records collection. These new records detail Officers and other ranks from the British Army, Royal Navy, RAF and those members of the British Empire land forces that were held as Prisoners of War in Germany and German Occupied territories.

This release will allow researchers to discover servicemen held by the Germans between 1939-1945 and includes many of the brave escapees whose stories of breaking out and dashing to freedom have captured the imagination for decades.

These records allow us to:

  • Research POWs who served in Armies and other land forces of Britain and the Empire 1939-45 along with the Naval and Air Forces of Great Britain and the Empire 1939-1945

  • Find names and details of men who were captured and incarcerated in German POW camps in Europe

  • Check the details such as names, service numbers, and regiments of ancestors that were German POWs

  • Search for daring escapees from within the camp lists

  • Research where your military ancestors were held, revealing their camp number and location

  • Discover the ranks, POW numbers, Service numbers and Regiments of those held

Covering the Nazi German camps in Europe, these lists are taken from official alphabetical nominal registers and reveal names and other particulars of:

  • 94,608 British POWs in Germany, including Officers and other ranks

  • 39,805 POWs from Empire Land Forces

  • 19,250 Naval & Air Force POWs from Britain & its Empire

Joining an already comprehensive range of military records on TheGenealogist that span from 1661 to the 1940s, these lists are a useful addition for researchers. TheGenealogist’s military collections already include Army, Navy and Air Force Lists, Dambuster records, First World War POWs, plus many other records.

Examining some of the names of WWII Prisoners of War released online at TheGenealogist.co.uk allows us to uncover the brave and determined Allied servicemen who made escape attempts from the Nazi German PoW Camps. One brave serviceman, although hampered by being a double amputee from an air accident from before the war, still did his duty to try and escape.

The famous WW2 Air Ace with no legs – Douglas Bader

Douglas_Bader_headshot
Douglas Bader by Devon S A (Mr), Royal Air Force official photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

From the RAF Officers listed in the recently released Second World War Prisoner of War lists on TheGenealogist, we can find Acting Wing Commander Douglas Bader, whose story was immortalized in the book and film Reach for the Sky.

On 9th August 1941, Bader, a formidable air ace, was flying a Spitfire on patrol over France when he was forced to bail out over German-occupied territory. He had jettisoned the spitfire’s cockpit canopy, released his harness pin, and the air rushing past the open cockpit started to suck him out. Unfortunately, for Bader, his prosthetic leg was trapped in the plane and he was part way out of the cockpit but still attached to his aircraft. Bader and his aircraft fell for some time before he released his parachute, at which point the leg’s retaining strap snapped under the strain and so he managed to get free of the plane. Captured, the Germans treated him with respect and even gave the British free passage to drop off a replacement leg for Bader over a German occupied French airfield.

POW WW2 on TheGenealogist

Bader didn’t appreciate being a prisoner of war and made a number of escape attempts. Because he was considered likely to break out again by his captors, he was eventually sent to the infamous Colditz Castle – as we can see from the record on TheGenealogist, it shows he was incarcerated in Camp No: O4C which relates to Oflag 4C Saalhaus Colditz. It was here that Douglas Bader remained for the rest of the war until April 1945 when the camp was eventually liberated by the United States Army.

His name can be seen on the Battle of Britain War Memorial on the Victoria Embankment. A record, plus an image of this memorial, can be found on TheGenealogist amongst other military records that also include mentions of Douglas Bader in the various Air Lists.

The addition of the World War II Prisoner of War records to TheGenealogist gives family historians a fascinating insight into this period of recent history and allows them to add more depth to their research.

War Memorial Records on TheGenealogist
War Memorial Records on TheGenealogist

 

Imperial War Museum’s images of the Blitz

 

The Imperial War Museum has published on its website a series of 15 powerful images of the Blitz: http://www.iwm.org.uk/history/15-powerful-photos-of-the-blitz

For those of us who were not born then, but had family who lived through this period, these images give us some idea of the shocking devastation that they lived with.

The Blitz began on Saturday 7 September when the Germans attacked London with 350 bombers escorted by 600 fighters. The attack lasted from 5pm until 4.30am the following morning. 335 tons of high explosive and 440 incendiary canisters were dropped during that raid.

On “Black Saturday”, 7 September 1940, 430 Londoners were killed and 1,600 injured. 41 German aircraft were shot down by RAF Fighter Command for a loss of 25. To escape the bombing 5,000 East Enders slept out in Epping Forest.

London was then bombed for 57 consecutive nights, and often during the daytime too. The most destructive raid was on 10/11 May 1941.That night the chamber of the House of Commons was destroyed and 1,436 civilians killed. Over 155,000 families were without gas, water or electricity and fires burned for ten days. 507 German bombers raided London that night dropping 711 tons of high explosive and 2,393 incendiary canisters.

Coventry, an important engineering and armaments producing centre, was raided on 14/15 November 1940 when 449 bombers dropped 503 tons of high explosive and 881 incendiary canisters (containing 30,000 bombs) on the city. The Cathedral was destroyed, 554 people were killed and 850 seriously injured. Despite the devastation production was back to normal in 6 weeks.

Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Plymouth were the most heavily bombed cities after London. Glasgow had 5 major raids, the others 8. 23,602 civilians were killed during the Blitz outside London, 1940-1941.

During heavy bombings over Manchester from 22 – 24 December 1940, over 650 people were killed and 50,000 homes damaged. For the rest of the Second World War, Manchester United had to play at Manchester City’s ground because Old Trafford was damaged by bombs.

The Second Great Fire of London took place on 29/30 December 1940, and while a relatively small number of civilians were killed -163- much material damage was done especially to historic buildings including 8 churches designed by Sir Christopher Wren. 136 aircraft raided London that night dropping 127 tons of high explosives and 613 incendiary canisters.

During the Blitz 177,000 Londoners were regularly using Tube stations as shelters. These were not always safe: 64 people were killed at Balham on 15 October 1940 while 111 died at the Bank on 11 January 1941.

In 85 major raids on London the Luftwaffe dropped 23,949 tons of high explosive. Holborn was the most heavily bombed borough with 39.75 high explosive bombs per 100 acres. 20,083 Londoners were killed during the 1940-1941 Blitz. 60,595 British civilians were killed during the Second World War.

Among the many historic buildings destroyed or damaged in the London Blitz were: The Guildhall, the House of Commons, the Royal Hospital Chelsea, St Paul’s Cathedral, the British Museum and Buckingham Palace. The Imperial War Museum was also bombed several times, the worst “incident” taking place on the night of 31 January 1941. The BBC was bombed on 15 October 1940.

Coventry Bomb Damage
Coventry Bomb Damage – Taylor (Lt) – War Office official photographer