By tezzer57 via the Londonist Flickrpool
Nevertheless, it is a fascinating insight into the workings of polite bureaucracy at a time of national emergency to see a new letter, going on show at part of the CWM's Undercover: Life in Churchill's Bunker exhibition, (opens August 27th), which recalls the extent to which stiff upper lip prevailed in the underground headquarters of the Greatest Briton.
In the letter from Patrick Duff, permanent secretary at the Office of Works, to Sir Edward Bridges, the Cabinet Secretary, he noted that Churchill "said that [Duff] had ‘sold him a pup’ in letting him think that this place is a real bomb-proof shelter". The Permanent Secretary insisted that he had never said anything of the sort, adding, "I was a bit indignant when I was [accused] of representing the thing as being in any sense bomb-proof: and I am moved to make this scream of injured innocence to you."
It's reassuring that a clearly upset Civil Servant chose to commit his feelings to paper rather than rocking the boat, and this is a classic example of how high tempers were put to one side by those who worked to win the war. There are sure to be many more in this new exhibition of personal accounts of the men and women who worked at the Cabinet War Rooms.
By Tom Jones
Undercover: Life in Churchill’s Bunker runs from 27th August until 30 September 2010. On a related note, have a look round Churchill's Emergency Bunker in Dollis Hill courtesy of our visit there back in May.