On This Day in 1939 the first Anderson Shelter was erected.

anderson shelter

In November 1938, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain placed Sir John Anderson in charge of Air Raid Precautions.

Anderson immediately commissioned the engineer, William Patterson, to design a small and cheap shelter that could be erected in people’s gardens.

The first ‘Anderson’ shelter was erected in a garden in Islington, London on 25 February 1939.

Between then and the outbreak of the war in September, around 1.5 million shelters were distributed to people living in areas expected to be bombed by the Luftwaffe.

During the war a further 2.1 million Anderson shelters were erected.

An estimated 50,000 lives were saved by use of the Anderson shelters although critics think there were better alternatives and only 27% of Londoners actually had their own shelter. 9% of the capital’s residents used public shelters and 4% went down the underground while the majority were either involved in night work or just stayed indoors.

anderson shelter
image credit: By Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

anderson shelter
image credit: By Press Agency photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Anderson shelters were uncomfortable especially in cold weather prompting the government to issue advice to improve the situation.

More information about Anderson shelters on the History for Kids website and on Anderson Bomb Shelters. 

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

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2 Comments

    1. Thankyou, Marcia. Sitting moaning that I’m cold in my centrally overheated home I don’t know how they put up with it. On the other hand, when I was a kid we woke up many wintery mornings to ice on the inside of the windows! Hope you’re having a good weekend. 🙂

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