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Rare film shows London in the Blitz, 70 years ago

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Rare film shows London in the Blitz, 70 years ago


Rare colour film has been released to mark the 70th anniversary of the WW2 bombing of London – the Blitz. On 7th September 1940, Hitler sent waves of aircraft to attack the city. The docks on the Thames were the main target, but other parts of the capital also suffered.

The newly-released pictures were filmed by Alfred Coucher; they show Marylebone in west London – Coucher was the local mayor and the area’s chief air warden. The film lay forgotten in an attic for years before being found and digitally enhanced.

“We knew that there was likely to be film but we didn’t know in detail there was film of war and the practicalities of day-to-day life in a city being heavily bombed,” said Coucher’s grand-daughter Carolyn Keen. “We didn’t know any of that existed. We didn’t know there was some interesting footage of (Britain’s wartime leader Winston) Churchill.”

The Blitz dragged on until May 10th 1941, having started with 76 consecutive nights of bombing. Almost 30,000 Londoners were killed, 50,000 were wounded.

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