The Blitz Photos of Lady Nancy Astor

Plymouth`s First Lady from Virginia, U.S.A.

another Steve Johnson Cyberheritage "content over style" heritage web page

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These photos were found in a battered album that a friend of mine had bought at ..yes..you guessed...a car boot sale...where would we - the history seekers be without them!?

a sailor and his girlfriend walk through the ruins of bombed Plymouth

women salvage workers listen to a radio broadcast near what was "Spooners Corner"

Nancy Astor talks to women salvage workers

"Wings for Victory Week"parade in Tavistock Road, across from the City Museum note the parked bomber at left..I think it is a Lancaster

a member of a salvage team explains a point to Nancy

ambulances parked on Plymouth Hoe show "Bundles for Britain" Cincinnati Branch

a mobile kitchen serves its customers beside the ruins of what I believe is the City Treasury in Catherine Street. The kitchen has been presented by the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Communities, Canada

Lady Astor stands beside what appears to be a spanking new ambulance, given by WIT DEEP GERMISTON, SOUTH AFRICA. The woman driver sports a "CD" patch on her jacket`s breast pocket

this is either a "Rest Centre" or a "British Restaurant." Rest centres offered rest and recuperation to those bombed out, while British Restaurants offered cheap, wholesome food at fair prices. Often they would use a church hall as premises

"Lord Mayor`s Hut Buffet" at North Road (Plymouth) Railway Station

Lady Astor dances with a sailor on Plymouth Hoe

Lady Nancy Astor poses with child evacuees at North Road Railway Station

Lord Waldorf Astor with a small boy evacuee, note the boy has a luggage label tied to him, he has a typical "S" snake belt, and I expect in the little bag in his right hand he carries a "Mickey Mouse" gas mask. The scene is North Road Station

fish carts sell their load of fresh fish among a bombed skyline

Lord Astor inspects a parade of Plymouth Air Force Cadets

Naval nurses are inspected by Lord Astor, note nurse on right carrying gas mask in shoulder bag

N.F.S. (National Fire Service) personnel seem to have the Turnchapel oil depot fire finally under control - it claimed several of their lives

the congregation of St. Andrews leave after a service in the now roof-less church. They walk under a makeshift sign"Resurgam" - I will rise again, how true for Plymouth

Bricks fly as Lady Astor looks on at vital war salvage work

picture postcard view of Plymouth, sadly not, flattened could be a good description

a light 40mm Bofors Ack-Ack gun (anti aircraft) points skywards. Manned by U.S.Army men it is located close to Charles Church, which today stands as a memorial to the Blitz in a ruined condition. The box thingy on tripod legs is a rangefinder. In the background at left, two young women seem to want a slice of the action

Plymouth War Week

Plymouth Warship Week March 21st to 28th (pos 1941) note the target of 200,000 on the hoarding fixed to the museum, and the image of Sir Francis Drake too. The "S" sign (on the base of centre lamp post) advises the location of the nearest public air raid shelter

a bleak vista of what was once a busy commercial and shopping area, the bombed Guildhall is at right with St. Andrews church at centre left. In the foreground, to the left is what I believe to be a rare view of a earthwork covering an emergency underground air raid shelter, note the openings of the entrance stairwells

vista of a blitzed city

remains of houses that formed the offices of the Millbay Laundry. At centre left notice the "entrance to Air Raid Shelter" sign.This would probably have been a reinforced basement

This is Lockyer Street, near the Hoe. In this view at centre is a sign for "ARP Shelter" and "To First Aid Post." Here is a scene not too far away and at centre on the pillar is a sign with an arrow "A.R.P. Shelter"


Printed contemporary documents: thanks to the good folk at the West Devon Record Office, Clare Place, Plymouth

Dear Plymouth Mother......

Billets needed!

Emergency arrangements...1....2......

Evacuation orders...1......2......

an early "N I M B Y"...which for those of you overseas means.."not in my backyard!" or go away, we do not want you!


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