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The Impact of the Second World War on a London Borough: Bexley 1939-1945

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The Impact of the Second World War on a London Borough: Bexley 1939-1945 From studying the different sources of information about the Home Guard in Bexley, the reader can learn that people from all walks of life were enthusiastic and eager to be involved in helping to support their country. Old soldiers were proud once again to be representing their country and organising their ranks. The people banded together to form obstruction gangs that might be able to delay possible invasions by soldiers and tanks. Although their efforts were futile because of the lack of equipment, it kept the people's morale high to think that they were doing something positive for their local community and country. From looking at the information about the care of the community, the reader can learn that great care and attention was given to preparing for every worst possible event that might have happened within the Borough of Bexley. Safety seemed to be one of the highest priorities and people were given plenty of information on safety precautions. Preparations were made for passers-by in streets where there might have been air-raids. Plenty of information was given to people who might like to be able to build their own shelters on their properties. ...read more.


Fighter planes had been trying to get between them. The bombers "let off a stick of bombs, right the way down the Broadway." The witness tells how he and his colleagues had gone to help with casualties at the Woolworth's store. A lot of people had been killed and a small boy, between 3-4 years old, had been killed right by the doorway. Many people in the Broadway had been taken to the local Church and the Church had also been used as a mortuary. Though this account was made 40 years after the actual incident, it is still a primary source as it was made by an actual eye witness. Primary sources are not always reliable accounts of what actually happened, they can be exaggerated accounts, but what reason would this particular man, who was working at the local meat depot, have for not telling the whole truth? Source J is a table showing the effects of enemy action in the Borough from September 1939 to May 1945. It gives figures of the numbers of people killed or injured and also the amount of damaged property that had been caused by various bombs or devices. ...read more.


On the other hand, there would always be the negative thinkers, who would always believe that whatever they did would not help at all. For example in Source E, in which a resident of Erith did not want to stay in his shelter. "If I'm in the shelter and it's meant for me, I'm still going to get hit" he said. In Source B, a man describes how he had collected stuff to make obstacles for any invasion, but he did not belief that these obstacles would have any effect whatsoever. In Source J, (the table of incidents), if civilians had taken a look at the numbers of incidents, they would have felt very low in their morale and by not showing the photograph of the corpse in Source K I feel that this too would have saved any negative feeling that the civilians would have had. Overall I feel that the majority of civilians made every effort that they could to make their local community a safe one. Civilians were mostly positive with their thoughts and their morale's high. If you were talk to anyone who lived through these times, the stories are of people pulling together and making the most of the things that they had. Jamie Albertsen ...read more.

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