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Perhaps the most obvious hardship for many people, especially in cities, was the threat of air raids. These could happen at any time, so it was important to always carry a gas mask, and know the location of the nearest air raid shelter.


These ranged from a Morrison Shelter, which was essentially a reinforced table under which people could lie, albeit uncomfortably, to an Anderson Shelter, built in gardens out of corrugated iron, wood and earth. These varied greatly in size and design according to the materials available.

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There were also communal shelters for people to congregate in and, in London, the Underground system was used as an unofficial shelter. Though the authorities closed stations people took it upon themselves to open them up again and many thousands of people would shelter on the Underground platforms.

For the most part the people who sheltered in the Underground were safe from the bombs that rained down — though on one occasion a bomb did fall through the road into Bank Station and over 200 people were killed in the explosion.

Some people still have old Anderson shelters in their gardens, though they are usually full of mud!