Bombed out during the Blitz?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by longtimeout, May 13, 2009.

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  1. I've always wondered, what happened if you were bombed out of house and home during the Blitz?

    Did you get turfed out on the street, sans house and possessions? Or was there some sort of official repatriation/compensation system in place?
  2. My Grandfather's first family were killed in the Liverpool Blitz of 1941, while he was in the navy on operations in the Atlantic. He had only one son survive the blast and his name was Brian. He was not discharged from service, due to other members of the family helping with Brian.

    As far as i am aware, he did not receive any special treatment from the authorities, in reference to his home at the time and nor did he receive any financial help. He did get re-housed after the war to Fontnoy Gdns in Liverpool. But so did everyone else, when accommodation became available.
  3. There was something called the war damage act that helped pay for repairs to buildings etc.....

    i have heard that it still covers damage discovered now.

    In the 70's my parents owned a house that had been damaged quite badly as had next door , the wartime occupiers still lived there and i have vague memories of it coming up in conversation. Certainly the house was covered in splinter damage.

  4. Thanks Trotsky,
    that's just the kind of thing I was wondering about. Was there any sort of material compensation for lost property and possessions.

  5. Whatever was put on paper by well meaning people behind desks, in reality there were many genuine reasons why various could not happen, or appeared to take forever. Immediately when you were bombed-out the best option was to move-in with relatives or friends. Where this was not possible you may have been temporarily homed in some hostel or requisitioned hall or other building. All the Charities and charitably organisations were in overdrive as were religious bodies. However, resources were limited and different bodies were prominent in different parts of the country and on different scales. It wasn’t only displaced natives, there were large numbers of foreigners and the situation continued to change as the war continued to change.

    When a building had bomb damage it was either deemed fit or unfit for habitation, assuming it wasn’t obviously destroyed. Tent towns or Nissan Hut towns might spring-up wherever. ‘Instant’ new houses were just as impossible then as now. If you lost your house you would get a replacement, but very likely after the war. There was a good programme last year about rebuilding London post-war. However, while it was seen as the best opportunity to modernise and improve since the Great Fire of 1666, largely a lack of money, ‘immediate’ demand and political factors saw very little implemented.

    If you had lost your house, as I understand it you would get another home (probably brand new) but I don’t think it was ever suggested it was going to be a replica of what was destroyed nor on your former plot. An aunt of mine lost her good size Victorian house, and eventually they used the land as part of a new small Primary school. War damage rebuilding ran-on to at least the 60s, and temporary housing – such as asbestos (white asbestos) Prefabs – even longer. Of note the small estate in Catford, S. London, which residents continue to fight to preserve. Equally, huge tracks of London remained bomb-sites well after the war, and, new towns sprang-up. I also think various ‘deals’ emerged from time to time such as opting out of a new home for some monetary settlement.

  6. Is it true you still had to pay your mortgage to the bank if your house was destroyed?
    I've heard you did, but it's second hand information.
  7. My Granparents lost their house (along with the bomb disposal team) and had to go into a hotel, until they got another house, funnily enough we used to pass where her old house had been, and a new one built, but when it had been built, it had gone to another family who had been bombed out, so i guess it may have been on a points system??
  8. How did that work? I assume someone had to pay for the hotel. I've read about the War Damages Commission, but they only seemed to cover repair of property, not ongoing costs.

    Or am I looking at it from a house-owners point of view? Were the majority of people effected living in rented council houses, so it was comparitively easier to move along.
  9. No idea mate, and seeing their both dead, ive even less of an idea now. Thats all i knew.
  10. My Grandfather was based in Plymouth for part of the war, but never served in the forces.
    He was a fireman, but never spoke much about it. From Bristol, sent to Plymouth, could see Bristol burning from where he was.

    Totally irrelevant, but there you go :D
  11. My Dad was bombed out three times in Liverpool,
    he said there were lots of empty houses as a lot of people had left the city,
    so they just moved into an empty house.
    Liverpool, Bootle and the Wirral were the most heavily bombed areas of the country outside of London, due to their importance in the British war effort. The government was desperate to hide from the Germans just how much damage they had wreaked on the ports and so reports on the bombing of the area were deliberately kept low-key. Over 4,000 Liverpudlians lost their lives during the blitz, dwarfing the number of casualties sustained in other bombed industrial areas such as Birmingham and Coventry.
  12. My grand dad was living in Shepard's Bush when his house got bombed out. He still had a folding table with burn marks on it when he died in 1985. This made it's way back home to Ayrshire not sure if he had to pay for it or got assistance