Keeping on carrying on after the Nazi firestorms

Keep calm and carry on. An overworked phrase today, but it was that attitude which kept cities like Portsmouth going during the blitz of the Second World War.

Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 6:00 am
DESTRUCTION The twisted remains of McIlroys store in Commercial Road, Portsmouth

And you can see that spirit in these two pictures of Commercial Road, Portsmouth, as people picked their way through the rubble of the city’s then most famous shopping street.

Above we see what McIlroy’s store looked like in April 1941 after the raiders had passed. It’s where the Market Way roundabout is today.

The second picture is another view of Commercial Road after a raid on April 27 that year.

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LIFE GOES ON The wreckage in Commercial Road

Once fine shops were burned and blasted to pieces, pavements were impassable and the road (no pedestrianisation then) was strewn with debris.

Of course, there was a human cost: more than 100 people died in that raid with 275 injured.

LIFE GOES ON The wreckage in Commercial Road