Here's What London Looked Like In 1944

By Londonist Staff Last edited 33 months ago
Here's What London Looked Like In 1944

In 1944, the second world war was at its height in London. Blackout restrictions were in place for most of the year (only ending in September), and bomb damage was seen in streets across the capital.

By August, the Germans V-1 flying bomb campaign in London reached its 60th day, with more than 6,000 deaths, 17,000 injuries and damage or destruction to around one million buildings. In the same month, the first V-2 rocket attack on London took place, striking Chiswick and resulting in the deaths of three people.

But life in London carried on, as can be seen from these fascinating photos.

When a bomb hit the London Library in 1944, 16,000 books were destroyed.
Source The London Library
An American soldier and his English girlfriend on the lawn in Hyde Park.
Source History in Pictures
A Bermondsey Boys Club singalong.
Source Pinterest
Tube travel advice: plus ca change, London?
Source Tim Dunn
Correspondents at the Ministry of Information busy typing the first invasion stories on 6 June 1944 (D-Day).
Source Huffingtonpost
After five years in the dark, the nightly blackout ended on 20 November 1944.
Source Professor Frank Mc Donough
'The spirit of the people burned like a bright flame.' The King's Message, June 1944
Source The Times
Piccadilly Circus looked rather different.
Source London Life
A V-1 bomb lands in a street off Drury Lane.
Source Old Pics Archive
Hazelhurst Road in Wandsworth.
Source London Fire Brigade
ATS girls from the West Indies in London.
Source Imperial War Museums
This underground shelter was used for Londoners who had lost their homes, 7 July 1944
Source Old Pics Archive
A new musical play, Jenny Jones, was running at the Hippodrome Theatre.
Source Old London
An Ironmongers' shop at 37 Carnaby Street.
Source Rob Baker
Eros had been removed from Piccadilly Circus to Coopers Hill in Egham for safe keeping.
Source Formerdays
Piccadilly Circus, 1944.
Source Londonhistorian
Cow Lane Bridge, Peckham was hit by a V2 missile, and repaired within two days.
Source Old London
A salute to the Red Army at the Royal Albert Hall.
Source Classic Pics
Crowds at Stamford Bridge.
Source Old London
A candid snap of the District line, complete with smoker.
Source Pinterest
Part of the Mulberry artificial harbour constructed in Surrey Docks, 1944
Source Old London
A shocking exhibition which brought further awareness over the concentration camps in Germany.
Source Old London
Londoners were breathing a small sigh of relief as the 'blackout' conditions were lifted after five years of pitch black nights. The white stripes had guided Londoners around the city in the darkness.
Source Londonhistorian
The London Fire Brigade treats children from Hackney and Shoreditch to a pantomime show.
Source The Ripper
Roald Dahl and Ernest Hemmingway in London, 1944.
Source Rob Baker
Bomb damage to terraced houses in Sandmere Road, Brixton, 1 July 1944
Source Old London
Oxford Street in 1944.
Source Yesteryear
Great Windmill Street in Soho.
Source Michael Warburton
When the war is over poster at Euston Station.
Source London Life

Last Updated 14 February 2017