Five conflicts that brought destruction, fear and unity to London’s streets. This exhibition is now finished.
War in London, an exhibition at London Metropolitan Archives, revealed the effects of five conflicts on Londoners and their city, from the English Civil War to the Cold War. In the year of the 100th anniversary of the Zeppelin air raids of World War One, and the 75th anniversary of the London Blitz during World War Two, this exhibition uncovered historical manuscripts, maps, photographs and films that tell us about the destruction of the city, the threat of imminent invasion and the heroism of ordinary Londoners.
Documents on display showed how Londoners went to war with the King in 1642 and stood in the front line of the city's defences. Records from 1805 tell us about the Londoners who volunteered to defend the capital against Napoleon and images from 1815 show us how they celebrated when Wellington defeated the French at Waterloo.
Stunning photographs from the First World War recorded the effect of the Zeppelin air raids, when bombs fell on London for the first time, and a new version of the iconic Second World War bomb damage maps showed the destruction wrought on the entire central London area.
The exhibition ended with documents and films from the period of the Cold War that aimed to prepare Londoners for the very real possibility of a nuclear attack on the capital.