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Transport for London Corporate Archives World War II Showcase

Welcome to the Transport for London Corporate Archives World War II showcase.

Ordinarily, this website will host a wide range of material from the TfL archives collections. From November 2020 until June 2021, however, we are dedicating our online collections portal to the memory of all of our predecessor staff who served during World War II.

22,580 London Passenger Transport Board (TfL’s predecessor company) staff served in the armed forces during WWII. But service to the war effort was not limited to fighting overseas. In London, our staff showed great resilience, determination, and sacrifice to shelter civilians from bombings, keep transport services running during air raids, provide aid to staff and their families who were in need, and undertake manufacturing for the war effort.

This showcase uses material available to staff remotely during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 to shed light on some of the stories of the London Passenger Transport Board at War. Much more material is available for in-person consultation once we return to offices.

Select a story to view more images relating to that topic and to read a contextual narrative giving you further background. When read in sequence the contexts will form a ‘story’ and it is recommended that the best way of achieving this effect is to view each story in Gallery mode (available once you have clicked into the story). For a consolidated view of the story narratives and accessible videos with audio you can visit the Consolidated War Stories.

Please also feel free to visit as many times as you like – our intention is to make more material available when possible, including videos.


Showcase Topics

Our vehicles were utilised to support the war effort wherever they helped most. Using original material from the Corporate Archives collections we bring you an example.

What does it take to feed a workforce during a war? Using original material from the Corporate Archives collections, we shed some light on how the London Passenger Transport Board did it...

Did you know we built planes? In this story we use original material from the Transport for London collections to tell the story of how we helped build the Halifax plane.

Some exploits of London Passenger Transport Board staff during World War II will never be known, but some have been documented for posterity. We highlight some of the courageous actions taken by staff, which will be remembered forever.

"One of the marvels of London" was how one journalist described the success with which the London Passenger Transport Board maintained its services during the air raids. Using original material from the Corporate Archives we shed some light on the industry and loyalty put to the test.

Who were the London Passenger Transport Board men who served in WWII? Using material from the TfL Corporate Archives we introduce you to some of these men and their stories.

Who was the London Passenger Transport Board employee that took part in one of the most daring World War II raids? Why did Hollywood come knocking at his door? Using Transport for London's archive material we have a look at a real-life hero.

"The Home Guard is the essence of democratic unity". We use original material from Transport for London's Corporate Archives collections to introduce our own 'Dad's Army' to you...

"Transport kept London alive" claimed The Times in a 1945 article. So how was the vast network protected in order to keep running? Using original material from the Corporate Archives collections we bring you some of the answers...

So many staff, both on and off-duty, displayed great courage during WWII. Using original material from the Corporate Archives collections we highlight just a few...

What was it like to be evacuated? We use original materials from the Corporate Archives collections to give an insight into the experience.

What was it like to shelter in the tubes? Using original archival material and first hand accounts from the Transport for London collections, we bring you the story of the shelterers, both known and unknown....

What equipment did the London Passenger Transport Board manufacture? What materials were salvaged to support production? Using archival records from Transport for London's collections we show you how the organisation made the most of materials available to support the war effort.

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How were the tube shelters set up? Who was responsible? Using original material from the Corporate Archives collection we bring you some insights into providing shelter to people...

What did the London Passenger Transport Board do to look after its staff who were involved in the war effort? Using the TfL Corporate Archives collections we shine a light on how the organisation came to be a truly supportive entity.

Who were the women who helped keep London moving during World War Two? What jobs did they do? And what response did they receive? Using original archival material from Transport for London's collection we will bring you a glimpse of their world.


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