Memories of the Blitz

Memories of the Blitz

The people of Britain are said to have faced the Luftwaffe bombing with the ‘Blitz Sprit’. Despite the devastation and destruction caused by Blitz, many people refused to lose morale. As a US propaganda film stated: “Bombs can only kill; they can never destroy the indomitable spirit of the people of London. Britain can take it.” Memories of the Blitz often include the terror of the raids, but also the determination of those affected.

There are also records of those who took advantage of the chaos caused by the Blitz. In immediate aftermath of a bombing at the ‘Cafe de Paris’ in March 1941, people looted property from the bombed building - despite the fact 30 diners were killed and more than 80 wounded.

Aldwych tube station being used as a bomb shelter
Aldwych tube station being used as a bomb shelter

The government relied on the media to uphold the image of the ‘Blitz Spirit’. For example, the media reported on the heroism of people such as Bomb Disposal Officer Bob Davies, who gained fame when he and his team dug 80 feet into the clay soil and made safe a 1,000kg UXB that fell in front of St. Pauls’ Cathedral. Had the bomb exploded in Central London, it would have caused enormous damage to an area already badly hit by other bombs. The newspapers called for Davies to win a Victoria Cross, but he was awarded the Georges Cross.

Along with Underground station, people found safety outside of their homes. Some camped out in areas they knew the Luftwaffe wouldn’t target, like Hackney Marshes or Epping Forest. Each night whole families would leave their homes and walk to the comparative safety of these two areas. The phenomenon of ‘Trekking’, as it became known, did not feature in the weekly Home Security situation report to the War Cabinet, which was aimed at demonstrating the ‘Bulldog Spirit’ and resilience of Londoners.

MLA Citation/Reference

"Memories of the Blitz". HistoryLearning.com. 2015. Web.