74 Vintage Photographs of Bristol, England During World War Two

Bristol is a city and county in South West England. The district has the 10th-largest population in England. The city borders North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with the cities of Bath and Gloucester to the south-east and north-east, respectively.

Bristol was heavily damaged by Luftwaffe raids during World War II; about 1,300 people living or working in the city were killed and nearly 100,000 buildings were damaged, at least 3,000 beyond repair. The original central shopping area, near the bridge and castle, is now a park containing two bombed churches and fragments of the castle. A third bomb-damaged church nearby, St Nicholas was restored and after a period as a museum has now re-opened as a church. It houses a 1756 William Hogarth triptych painted for the high altar of St Mary Redcliffe. The church also has statues of King Edward I (moved from Arno’s Court Triumphal Arch) and King Edward III (taken from Lawfords’ Gate in the city walls when they were demolished about 1760), and 13th-century statues of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester (builder of Bristol Castle) and Geoffrey de Montbray (who built the city’s walls) from Bristol’s Newgate.

These historic photos that captured street scenes of Bristol during the Second World War.

Gas mask drill, 1939
Children and sandbags, 1939
Gas masks over the garden fence, 1939
A double-decker bus was badly damaged during this raid, Whiteladies Road, December 1940
A dentist chair is all that is left of No.2 Dolphin Street, Castle Park, December 1940
An unknown Bedminster housewife paints her window with a shatter-proof lacquer because of the danger of flying glass during the ‘Blitz’, 1940
Bristol Evening Post, May 1940
Child evacuees, 1940
King George VI on a visit to Bristol, 1940
Land Army girls replaced men on the farm during the war, 1940
Looking towards Mary Le Port and Bridge Streets from top of Baldwin Street near Bristol Bridge, 1940
Looking towards the City Centre from College Green before the air raids on Bristol, 1940
Metal for munitions, 1940
Newspaper vendor, Angel Fountain, High Street, 1940
One of the great granaries took a direct hit in the city docks, 1940
Smart’s store, Union Street, 1940
St James Barton, 1940
The Dutch House on the corner of Wine Street and High Street was reduced to a charred skeleton and for safety’s sake it had to be pulled down, 1940
A dawn scene after a night raid on Union Street, 1941
View of the Dutch House, with its statue soldier still on guard before the bombed-out remnants were pulled down, 1941
Air raid wardens pose for the camera at the Crescent, Henleaze, Bristol, 1941
Bedminster residents enjoying their Christmas party in an air raid shelter, 1941
Bedminster tram depot in West street after an air raid, 1941
Blitz on West Street near Chessel Road, Bedminster, 1941
Cheriton Place Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze, 1941
Evacuation at Temple Meads station, 1941
Families who were bombed out of their homes, 1941
“Give us the tools, we will finish the job”, July 1941
People lost homes, 1941
Peter Street, 1941
Sailors help bombed-out Bristolians collect their remaining belongings, 1941
St Francis’, North Street, Ashton, 1941
Stafford Street, Bedminster, 1941
The Children of Bristol leave their families and homes for Devon and Safety at Temple Meads Railway Station, 1941
Utter devastation in Bristol after a night of air-raids, 1941
Victim of the blitz, 1941
View from the still standing Odeon cinema showing the bomb damage in Union Street and the Castle Street area, 1941
Water froze in the hosepipes, January 1941
Wine Street, 1941
Winston Churchill outside the shop of S.W. Pitman at the junction of Raleigh Road and Leighton Road, Southville, 1941
A doll’s house survived the blitz of Newfoundland Road, 1942
A lone figure walks through the ruins of Dolphin Street, 1942
A rescue worker digs deep into the ruins of a house in St Michael’s Hill, 1942
A triumphant bomb disposal team with one that failed to go off, 1942
After a night of heavy bombing, 1942
Air raid wardens at Muller’s Orphanage, 1942
Bedminster West Street Baptist, 1942
Bomb damage at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital in Cotham, 1942
Bomb damage in the City Docks, 1942
Bristol blitz victims being fed at an unknown parish hall, 1942
Bus conductors, 1942
Crowds turn out to watch this military parade march down Park Street towards the City Centre, June 4th, 1942
Daylight air raid on Broad Weir, August 28th, 1942
Daylight air raid on Broad Weir, August 28th, 1942
Holy Trinity Church, Hotwells, 1942
Prince’s Theatre, Park Row, 1942
St Anselm’s Church, Clifton Down, Bristol, 1942
The burnt out remains of St Peter’s Church, Castle Park, circa 1942
The mobile greengrocer, 1942
The pub might have vanished but there’s still time for a pint, 1942
The remains of Wine Street after a night of fire and destruction, 1942
Winston Churchill tours bomb-battered Bristol with his wife Clementine, 1942
Women’s voluntary service, 1942
A group of US soldiers outside Filton House, 1943
An American GI and his Bristol girlfriend are interviewed by a BBC roving reporter, 1943
German planes transported through the street’s of Bristol, 1943
Unexploded bomb outside 7 Beckington Road, April 14th, 1943
Bomb damage buildings on Bristol’s St Michael’s Hill, 1944
Allington Road, Southville, Bristol on VE Day, May 8th, 1945
Temple Meads Railway Station is boarded up after it was damaged in a bombing-raid, 1945
The White Funnel paddle steamer Britannia in full camouflage returns to Hotwells, Bristol from war service, May 1945
VE Day celebrations in Hill Street, Totterdown, Bristol, May 8th, 1945
Victory tea party in the Muller Road area of Eastville on VE-Day, May 8th, 1945
Crowds at Temple Meads boarding a London bound train, 1945

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