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Celebrating Christmas Underground

Written by: George Chittenden : 24 Aug 2019

This heart-warming photo of children in London celebrating Christmas underground, was taken on December 25th, 1940. To avoid bombs many Londoners spent some of the festive period in air-raid shelters and other places of refuge. After failing to obtain daylight air superiority and winning the Battle of Britain in 1940, Luftwaffe were ordered to attack London and the Blitz began. Any idea where the word blitz comes from? Well it was coined by the British press and is the German word for lightning.

Brave Londoners celebrating Christmas underground in 1940

Brave Londoners celebrating Christmas underground in 1940

Over twenty-thousand civilians had been killed in the Blitz by the end of 1940. German bombers had carried out fierce raids on Manchester and Liverpool in the days leading up to Christmas that year, so tensions were high. In November German Bombers had devastated Coventry. It must have been terrifying, but despite this they put a brave face on, and celebrated Christmas.

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