This film is part of Free

Bomb Repair Speed Up

Britain counts the cost of war on its beleaguered housing stock and looks to rebuild new homes where thousands once stood.

Government sponsored film 1945 15 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Imperial War Museums


Thousands of Londoners were displaced by bombing and V-weapon attacks during the Second World War. Yet, whilst the rockets were still falling, a national rebuilding effort was already underway. Stockpiles of reclaimed and imported bricks show how the war effort had successfully turned Britain into a nation of salvage experts, ready to turn their hand to the repair of 750,000 damaged homes.

One of the abiding memories that civilians recall from this period is the great anxiety caused by the droning sound of the V1 rockets as they appeared over the London skyline. Their ominous droning would suddenly cut out, as the rocket’s engines stopped, causing them to start falling rapidly towards the ground. To anyone listening below, they could be almost certain an enormous explosion would follow, likely causing more damage to civilian housing and further death or injury.