On this day: a Japanese Church in Ruins

UrakamiTenshudoJan1946Urakami Tenshudo (Catholic Church in Nagasaki) destroyed by the atomic bomb, the bell of the church having toppled off. 7th January 1946.

One of the many buildings destroyed in the 9th August, 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan was the city’s Catholic church. The Urakami Tenshudo was of historical significance because of the centuries of persecution Japanese Christians faced for practicing their religion.

At Urakami people risked death by torture for following a religion Japanese authorities saw as undermining their power and bringing too much Western influence to the Empire.

Urakami was ground zero for the nuclear attack on the city.

Photographed here on the 7th of January, 1946, the destroyed church is seen to still be a ruin five months after the atomic bombings that forced Japan’s surrender in the Second World War.

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The aftermath of an air raid.

London was bombed by the Nazis on the 29th of December, 1940. Now world-famous photographer Cecil Beaton took this image after the attack. The bell towers of St Paul’s Cathedral in the City can be seen in the background, showing how close the internationally-renowned building came to being destroyed.

Some of the most famous images of the Second World War (e.g.) involved the cathedral surviving Nazis bombs.

The Western Bell Towers of St Paul’s Cathedral After the Incendiary Raid of 29 December, London.

Cecil Beaton, 'The Western Bell Towers of St Paul's Cathedral After the Incendiary Raid of 29 December, London', 1940.

On this day: British troops back from Tunisia

This photograph, from the 26th of December, 1942, is of officers from Britain’s 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment. They are resting near Beja in Portugal after a drop on Depienne, Tunisia.

The officer’s names are: Captain Stark, Lieutenant Braylet and Major Ashford.

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Officers from the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment resting near Beja after returning from a drop on Depienne. From left to right Captain Stark, Lieutenant Braylet and Major Ashford. 26t

On this day: Christmas Day in the Australian Women’s Army Service

Lae, New Guinea, 25 December 1945. The Right Honourable J.B. Chifley talking to Sergeant Pritchard, AWAS, the only woman interpreter of Japanese in the Australian Army.

25th December 1945: The Right Honourable J.B. Chifley is photographed talking to Sergeant Pritchard of the Australian Women’s Army Service in Lae, New Guinea.

Pritchard was the Australian Army’s only Japanese translator during the Second World War.

The AWAS saw tens of thousands of women serve in the army for the final four years of the war. The organisation was disbanded in 1947.

Christmas Day at War

Royal_Artillery_cooks_preparing_Christmas_dinner_near_Geilenkirchen,_Germany,_25_December_1944__B13139 Second World War Two Black and White Christmas Day Vintage

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25th December 1944: British Royal Artillery cooks prepare Christmas dinner near the German town of Geilenkirchen. The region had fallen to the Allies the month before.

On this day: Manchester in flames

23rd December 1940: Buildings in Manchester, England burn through the night after a Nazi German air raid. 272 tons of high explosive were dropped on the city that night.

The so-called Manchester Blitz began in August of that year.

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Buildings burning in Manchester after a German air raid on the night of 23 December 1940. Second World War Two Black and White Vintage

A Wartime Christmas

Christmas_Party_For_Trooper_Devereux's_Daughter-_Christmas_in_Wartime,_Pinner,_Middlesex,_December_1944_Mrs Devereux and her 12 year old daughter Jean sit quietly together beside the Chr

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Mrs Devereux and her twelve-year-old daughter Jean at their home in Pinner, Middlesex, England in December of 1944.

The Christmas tree was a present from Mr Devereux, who was serving overseas in the war, and was organised through a YMCA initiative.

More photographs of the family’s Christmas can be found HERE.