Cheltenham At War

Gloucestershire Libraries have shared with us some of the WW2 images from their collection held at Cheltenham Library. The following images are from the Cheltenham Chronicle & Gloucestershire Graphic and show different aspects of life on the Home Front for children growing up in Cheltenham during the Second World War.

Cheltenham Children Celebrate VE Day!

EVACUEES. Children living in large cities like Birmingham and London were evacuated to quieter towns like Cheltenham. You can see the evacuee children in this photo are arriving by train to Bishop’s Cleeve wearing name labels and carrying their possessions in a small cardboard box.
WASTE NOT WANT NOT Food and resources were hard to come by, so residents were asked to recycle and mend what they could to help the war effort. Metal items including the WW1 tank that used to stand on Lansdown Road and much of the ornamental ironwork in the town were taken away and melted down. Even kitchen scraps were left in communal bins to help feed the pigs.
KEEPING SAFE: Air raid shelters were built in gardens, public spaces and even inside people’s homes. This photo shows St Paul’s Infant school practising using their gas masks and taking shelter.
MAKE TEA NOT WAR. Cheltenham didn’t escape the Blitz and was bombed in December 1940 and July 1942. Residents of bomb damaged Sherbourne Street gather on their doorstep for a cuppa to keep their spirits up after an air raid and the YMCA serves tea to residents and rescue workers in Brunswick Street.
DIG FOR VICTORY Cheltonians of all ages helped to grow much needed food for local families. This photo shows children helping turn the Old Cemetery in the Lower High Street (now Winston Churchill Gardens) into allotments.











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