Pre-war Britain, a nation in the shadow of conflict with people expecting the worst, bracing themselves for whatever fate and Mr. Hitler had in store for them. What would the future hold? What would war mean to every man, woman, and child in the land? There was only one thing for it in these troubled times – Keep Calm and Carry On.
Archive for category: Ministry of Information
His radio shows played to audiences bigger that the viewing audience of Eastenders, Churchill once described him as being ‘as common as dirt’, and Adolph Hitler had him listed on his notorious Sonderfahndungsliste or Death List. Victor Oliver von Samek was born in Vienna on the 8th August, 1898 to Jewish parents and went on to become Winston Churchill’s son in law.
Propaganda is often thought of in negative terms, although simply put it’s the manipulation of public opinion carried out by using the media to reach as many people as possible and persuading them to be either ‘for’ or ‘against’ something. This makes it an important tool in any war and the Second World War was no exception. In fact in many ways propaganda was at the height of its power during World War II. Propaganda was everywhere – on the radio and newsreels, in papers and magazines, distributed as leaflets, and of course on every street corner in the form of posters. Read more
With her film star looks she started the war a frivolous rebel; the young fiancée of a wealthy French industrialist and ended it one of the most decorated women of the Second World War with the George Cross, the Croix de Guerre, and the Medal of Freedom to her name. She was even awarded the Médaille de la Résistance an honour hardly ever bestowed on a foreigner.
It wasn’t only bullets and shells that killed soldiers in the First World War. Infected wounds and the dreaded gangrene were just as deadly killers. Treatment for wounds and infections was basic, and it wasn’t until Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928 that any real improvements began to be made.
In World War II if you were between 25 and 50 you could help England by joining one of the barrage balloon squadrons of the auxiliary air force. It said so on the poster.
Barrage balloons were bags of lighter-than-air gas fixed to steel cables that were anchored to the ground. They could be raised or lowered by means of a winch, often attached to a lorry for increased mobility, and their purpose was simple, ingenious, and effective: To fill vulnerable air space with bulk, thus stopping enemy aircraft from entering it at low levels. This meant that enemy aircraft were forced to fly at higher altitudes decreasing bombing accuracy, making the aircraft more easily spotted, and making it simpler for the ground based Bofors anti-aircraft guns and fighter pilots to attack them.
Great Britain is perhaps the most haunted land on earth. For such a small place we seem to have more than our fair share of ghosts – headless horsemen, phantom stagecoaches, and ladies in grey abound. Almost every castle and stately home seems to have a story about some wandering spirit who just can’t find any rest. Read more
Before the outbreak of the Second World War most women, particularly married women, spent their days cooking, cleaning and looking after the children. There was no expectation that they would go out to work and it was even considered shameful in some circles if a married woman took up employment. From an early age girls were taught to sew and knit, cook and clean, whilst boys were thrust into education in the sure knowledge that one day they would have to be the sole provider for their future wives and families. Read more
Based on a novel by Owen Sheers the new war film RESISTANCE stars Martin Sheen, the actor who gave such convincing performances as Tony Blair and football manager Brian Clough. The place is Great Britain in 1944, Russia has fallen, the D Day landings have failed and the German Wehrmacht has invaded the country. Nazi forces and Panzer divisions sweep through the country striking panic and fear in the demoralised population. The film tells the story of the British Resistance Organisation [BRO] which had been formed in 1940 on the orders of Winston Churchill. Read more
The famous keep calm and carry on poster is at the centre of a legal battle. The poster designed by the British government in 1939 has been granted copyrighted in the European Union to Mr Mark Coop. A previous application by Mr Coop was rejected in the UK courts on the grounds that Crown copyright expires after 50 years and the poster had already been in the public domain for sometime. Read more