On this day: a Veteran Sergeant at Home

A veteran sergeant in the Dorking Home Guard cleans his Tommy gun at the dining room table, before going on parade, 1 December 1940. Second World War Two

1st December 1940: The Blitz, the German air raid campaign against the United Kingdom, was in full force in December of 1940.

Britain’s Home Guard, made up of 1.5 million volunteers ineligible for regular military service (due to circumstances such as age), operated from 1940 to 1944, guarding their homeland during the Second World War.

The caption of this photograph reads:

A veteran sergeant in the Dorking Home Guard cleans his Tommy gun at the dining room table, before going on parade, 1 December 1940.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

On this day: Coventry in Ruins

The English city of Coventry suffered numerous Nazi bombing attacks in the blitz of 1940, but the worst came in November.

The city was bombarded from the 14th to the 15th, killing hundreds of people and injuring many hundreds more.

Coventry_devastation_H_5601A street in Coventry, England, after the Coventry Blitz of 14–15 November 1940. In the background are the tower and spire of Holy Trinity parish church. 16th

Coventry_bomb_damage_H5600Broadgate in Coventry city centre following the Coventry Blitz of 14-15 November 1940. The burnt out shell of the Owen Owen department store (opened in 1937) 16

These photographs were taken on the 16th, showing many buildings ruined, and the recently built Owen Owen department store – the exterior still stands, but the inside was destroyed.

Coventry_Cathedral_after_the_air_raid_in_1940The ruined nave and chancel of Coventry Cathedral, England, seen from the west tower. It is in ruins after the German air raid of November 19

Coventry Cathedral was largely ruined, and still stands as a shell today. The new cathedral was built next door, and opened in 1962.

Hundreds more people were killed in German bombings the following year.

On this day: the Coventry Blitz

A wrecked bus is photographed amongst the destruction in Coventry, England after a German Luftwaffe air raid on the night of 14-15 November, 1940.

Coventry suffered heavy damage in the Second World War. The city’s famous cathedral was one of the casualties of the “Coventry Blitz”, which killed many hundreds and left thousands without homes.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

A wrecked bus stands among a scene of devastation in the centre of Coventry after the major Luftwaffe air raid on the night of 14-15 November 1940. Second World War Two England United Ki

On this day: Edwardian London from the air

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7th November 1909: English scientist Norman Lockyer photographed London from the air with a use of a helium balloon. This image shows Sloane Square, on the boundaries of the Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea districts.

Lockyer, who – along with French scientist Pierre Janssen – was credited with discovering helium, was seventy-three at the time the photograph was taken.

Book Feature: Lost Railway Journeys from Around the World

Tomorrow is the 189th anniversary of the opening of the world’s first steam-powered public railway: the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

So, for the occasion, here’s a book I received as an ARC a while ago, but never had the time to review: Lost Railway Journeys from Around the World by Anthony Lambert. The description is beneath the cover.

Lost Railway Journeys from Around the World by Anthony Lambert

From the great cathedral-like railways stations of the steam age to obscure lines built through spectacular landscapes to open up countries before the advent of motorised road transport, this book is a celebration of our lost railway heritage and the lines that can no longer be travelled.

Through stunning images, Lost Railway Journeys evokes the romance and drama of these journeys, taking the reader as close as they can possibly get to this lost world of dining cars, sleeping cars, station porters and international rail travel.

Organised by continent, all of these routes have stories to tell and the lost journeys are captured in the old postcards and posters that accompany photographs drawn from collections and archives across the world.

On this day: London on Fire

This photograph, showing smoke and fire drifting across Tower Bridge and the River Thames in London after a German bombing raid, was taken on the 7th of September, 1940.

This was the first major Nazi attack on the city in the Second World War.

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Second World War Two Picture taken during first mass air raid on London 7th September 1940 describes more than words ever could, the scene in London's dock area. Tower Bridge against a b