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St Paul's Cathedral Surviving the Blitz

1047 of 1160 nominations


St Paul's Cathedral Surviving the Blitz

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St Paul's Cathedral Surviving the Blitz

London during the Blitz of 1940 was a dangerous place to be. German bombers nightly discharged hundreds of bombs and incendiary devices causing devastation across the city. Somehow, miraculously, St Paul’s Cathedral stood steadfast throughout the onslaught. Herbert Mason’s famous photograph taken on the night of December 29, 1940, captures the silhouette of the dome wreathed in the smoke and flames of the City. The photograph was published in the Daily Mail two days later, with a caption stating that “it symbolises the steadiness of London’s stand against the enemy: the firmness of Right against Wrong”.

Churchill himself saw the survival of the building as a morale booster, saying, “At all costs, St Paul’s must be saved”. However, the cathedral wasn’t completely unscathed. A bomb demolished the High Altar, and the crypt suffered damage, as did some of the stained-glass windows. Even so, St Paul’s symbolised hope. Some of BBC correspondent Robin Duff’s most evocative reports of the war were his descriptions of the cathedral surviving the Blitz. “All around the flames were leaping up into the sky. There the cathedral stood, magnificently firm, untouched in the centre of all this destruction.”


Your comments

a picture that for me sums up what it meant for england to survive the second world war!

costa carras

I beleive this picture portrays the courage and indominatable spirit of not only Londoners but tbe British people as a whole When all seems lost we never give up or admit defeat This is a realy true icon
Isobel Browne



My nomination is the garden shed.