Impromptu air raid shelters

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Following the onset of the Blitz in September 1940, thousands of Londoners began to use Tube stations as impromptu air-raid shelters.

Although the idea of Londoners sheltering in Tube stations has subsequently become symbolic of Home Front resilience, in fact only 5% of Londoners used the underground systems in this way. Indeed, large parts of South and East London, the areas most vulnerable to attack, were not part of the Tube network.

The images in this series, for instance, show people using church crypts, shop basements and even railway arches for shelter, in addition to Tube stations.

© Museum of London