Docklands at War 1939 - 1945

The docks were an obvious target for Hitler's air force and late in the afternoon of Saturday 7 September 1940, the Luftwaffe launched a massive daylight raid on London. Ninety consecutive night time raids followed. A collection of stunning paintings by William Ware (1915 - 1997) illustrate the intensity of the Blitz on London's docks. Other exhibits explore the Port's role in the Dunkirk rescue, and secret projects such as construction of the Maunsell Forts Pipe Line Under The Ocean and the huge breakwaters for the Mulberry Harbours. The gallery contains a life-size replica of a Port of London Authority (PLA) shelter constructed during the war. The PLA built two hundred of these shelters and they saved the lives of many people. One of the Museum's most treasured possessions is a flag that flew from the bow of one of the first landing crafts to reach France during the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944. It was found among the effects of George Sluman, a former waterman who was coxswain of the craft.

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