January 1942: London stands in ruins and covered in snow after German bombing in the Second World War. A crane and truck can be seen clearing debris.
St Paul’s Cathedral – which survived the Blitz – is in the background.
28th December 1940: Members of the Australian 2/15th Infantry Battalion wait to board the troop transport the Queen Mary at Pyrmont in Sydney. They were about to leave to fight in the Middle East.
Second World War.
Nearly one in ten of the personnel serving under Britain’s Royal Air Force command in the Second World War were from the Royal Australian Air Force.
5th December 1944: Named by the Imperial War Museum the face of battle, this photograph is of a British infantry sergeant advancing into Geilenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany – on the border with the Netherlands.
The month before, this was the site of Operation Clipper, which saw an Allied victory over the Nazis.
Soldiers of the East Surrey Regiment pose with fixed bayonets on the 25th of November, 1940. Chatham, Kent, England. Second World War.
The Command operated over the skies of the United Kingdom until February of 1945.
Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial can be seen.
Two days before Halloween in 1942, a humorous vampire sign stands outside the British Army blood transfusion centre in the Western Desert of North Africa (regions in Egypt and Libya). Second World War.
On this day: a War Child in London
This now-famous photograph, taken by Cecil Beaton, appeared on the cover of American LIFE Magazine on the 23rd of September, 1943. It shows Eileen Dunne, aged “3 and 3/4” sitting in her hospital bed in London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children after being injured in a German air raid.
The cover feature was significant, as it encouraged Americans – still more than a year out from joining the Second World War – to take more of an interest in the conflict.
The original caption for the photograph reads:
The wide-eyed young lady on the cover is Eileen Dunne, aged 3 3/4. A German bomber whose crew had never met her dropped a bomb on a North England village. A splinter from it hit Eileen. She is sitting in the hospital. A plucky chorus of wounded children had just finished singing in the North English dialect, “Roon, Rabbit, Roon.” The picture was taken by Cecil Beaton, the English photographer who generally specializes in fashionable or surrealist studies of society women.
22nd September 1943: Australian soldiers hold up Japanese flags captured in the Battle of Kaiapit in New Guinea that ended two days earlier.
The battle, which resulted in an Australian victory over Japan, was fought from the 19th to the 20th.