Whilst wandering the web I came across the Imperial War Museum's photographic archive, which as you might imagine is packed to the brim with wonderful old images, I thought I would share with you a couple of posts of my favourite sets as they are rather interesting and give a little insight into life on the Home Front during WWII.
First up is the story of Mrs Olive Day. During the war The Ministry of Information's photographic department were commissioned to create information and propaganda photographs, this particular series follows Mrs Olive Day over the course of one 'typical' Saturday in 1941
Mrs Olive Day wakes up at 7am at her home in Drayton Gardens, South Kensington. On the bedside cabinet, her gas mask, torch and a book are ready, in case a quick dash to the air raid shelter is required in the night.
|Mrs Day makes her bed in the basement of her South Kensington home before leaving for work. The top floor of her house is no longer in use.|
Mrs Olive Day spends half an hour or so on the housework before she leaves for work. Here we see her polishing the bannisters. Above her head, we can see a large patch of missing plaster on the ceiling, caused by a nearby air raid.
|This photograph shows how large sheets of asbestos have been laid on the landing at the top of Mrs Day's home to try to prevent fires from incendiary bombs from spreading to other parts of the house.|
|The top floor of Mrs Day's South Kensington home is no longer in use. Here we see an empty room with a bowl on the floor to catch any drips of rain water that may come in through the bomb-damaged ceiling.|
Mrs Day points to a hole in the ceiling where a fire bomb recently came through into her South Kensington home. Scorch marks can be seen on the ceiling next to the hole.
Mrs Day stands alongside a hole in the floor which was made by a fire bomb before the fire was brought under control. This area of the house does not have asbestos sheeting on the floor.
Mrs Day separates cardboard and tin from her household rubbish, ready for salvage, outside the basement of her home in South Kensington, London.
|A shopkeeper stamps Mrs Day's ration book during her shopping trip on the Kings Road in Chelsea. In the foreground can be seen the tea, sugar, 'national butter', margarine, cooking fats and bacon she is allowed for one week.|
Mrs Olive Day opens her window to let some air, and light, into her South Kensington home. The window panes have been replaced by oiled linen stretched over the frame, as the glass was knocked out by a nearby bomb a short while ago.
As well as shopping and a day at work, Mrs Day is also learning to use a stirrup pump in a friend's garden. Mrs Day is pumping the water, whilst another lady directs the hose and a gentleman supervises the proceedings.
Mrs Day puts her dinner into the oven after a busy day. The Ministry of Food encouraged people to cook their entire meal in the oven as a way to save fuel.
Mrs Day sets the table in preparation for the evening meal in the sitting room of her South Kensington home. She is expecting her naval husband Lt Kenneth Day to arrive home on leave, so the table is set for two and a vase of flowers has been added.
While her evening meal is cooking, Mrs Day settles down on her bed with the evening paper and a spot of sewing. She is working on a balaclava and is accompanied by her cat 'Little One'
Mrs Day runs to greet her husband Lieutenant Kenneth Day at the door of her South Kensington home as he arrives home on leave.
Aaah! A happy ending for our Olive and boy did she have a busy day, interesting that she doesn't have to queue for her rations, perhaps that's living in Kensington, or perhaps it's just for the cameras! I do like her house coat, though I can't quite work out what the pattern is and her Charioteer eiderdown is rather interesting too!
For More posts from the Imperial War Museum Archive Click the Picture Post Tab at the top of the Page!!