By Paulette Cully
As someone whose grandfather and two great uncles (all brothers) were firemen in London during the Second World War, I was fascinated to read that an interactive map showing the location of bombs dropped on London during the Blitz has been created. The map shows the devastation caused by the bombing which took place between 7 September 1940 and 11 May 1941, killing over 20,000 people and making 1.4m people homeless. The year-long project, called Bomb Sight, was developed by a team from the University of Portsmouth. They combined the locations of bomb sites with geo-located photographs from the Imperial War Museum and from the BBC’s WWII People’s War Archive to produce an interactive map.
However, as much as the Bomb Site map may be interesting to us today, during the blitz, Londoners had to live with the real life threat and aftermath of the bomb attacks. In search of an understanding into the effect this would have on London communities, I turned to Frank Furedi’s informative article “The changing meaning of disaster”. Furedi’s article provided an insight into the dynamic of public reaction to large scale destruction by charting the shifting conceptualisation of society’s reaction to adversity and disasters, from community resilience to community vulnerability. For anyone interested in this subject, this article is highly recommended.
London Blitz: Bomb Sight interactive map created, BBC News, 7 December 2012
Frank Furedi, 2007, The changing meaning of disaster, Area 39 482-489