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Handsworth in the Blitz, bomb-damage 1942

 Bombed site on Rookery Road, Handsworth

Records from the Blitz

Handsworth was heavily bombed in World War Two during the Blitz. Although primarily a target for its industry, the local houses and shops suffered too. The project is pulling together material from different sources to tell the story of the Blitz. This will include photographs, newspaper reports, maps of the damage and ARP Warden Logbooks, courtesy of the City Archives.

 Freer Road, 1942, Handsworth
Public Works Photographs

The City's Public Works Department photographed much of the bomb damage across Birmingham. The two pictures here are from 13th August 1942 and show the locals cleaning up and trying to carry on with normal life. Rookery Road shows the effects of a direct hit, the residents can be seen sorting through the rubble and clearing the debris onto the van. Freer Road by contrast show the effects of blast damage, the windows and doors being blown inwards. Look carefully and you can see the mound of an air-raid shelter in the back garden to the right of the picture. It is however, the human interest that makes these pictures most interesting, people trying to get on with normal life the morning after an attack - in spite of the knowledge that another attack may well come the next evening.


Digital Handsworth Project
Benjamin Stone
Vanley Burke: Handsworth from the inside
George Hallett: Handsworth Through Southern Eyes
The Warwickshire Photographic Survey
Wish you were here?: Handsworth on postcards
Hot Air Over Handsworth: Lieutenant Lempriere
Boulton, Watt and Murdoch
Plan of the parish of Handsworth 1872
Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service