September 2010 sees various events celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Blitz and the Battle of Britain in London.
If you're like me, you may have skipped over most of the 20th century in your Family History Research. But as we now move further into the 21st century, and with more and more 20th century records coming online, it is time to pay more attention to this important period in our own families lives. My own paternal grandfather was killed by a bomb near Croydon, South London in 1944 and my mother was a volunteer Air Raid Precaution (ARP) warden in Central London during the Blitz. So I have a personal interest here.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and Blitz, the Museum of Croydon is running two 'Over Our Skies' exhibitions exploring Croydons role in the events of 1940, both free of charge and both running from 18 September - 31 December 2010.
Croydon's Battle of Britain - Local Studies Library & Archives, Level 3, Croydon Clocktower
Discover Croydon's vital strategic role in this historic battle. Using archive material and oral history, the exhibition looks at what daily life would have been like for Croydon residents, as well as the enduring legacy of the Battle for the borough.
Croydon's Blitz - Museum of Croydon, level 1, Croydon Clocktower
A collaboration between the Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation, local people who lived through the Blitz and the Museum of Croydon, this exhibition explores experiences of childhood for Croydon residents during the Blitz.
For more information, see http://www.museumofcroydon.com/ixbin/indexplus?record=ART6282
London Transport Museum
Although the Blitz experience tours of Aldwych Underground station this weekend have now sold out (maybe they will consider doing this again in the future), London Transport Museum is hosting an exhibition called "Under Attack: London, Coventry, Dresden" together with a series of related talks. For more information, see http://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/whatson/131.aspx#underattack
West End at War
Finally, for pitcures of some of the devastation that took place in London during the Blitz, take a look at the West End at War website: http://www.westendatwar.org.uk