Types of air raid-shelter
in World War Two Britain
Text and images are copyright. All rights reserved.
I was born three months before the Second World War which started in 1939, and I lived in north London. So it was quite normal for me to expect German bombers to fly over our skies and drop bombs. Air-raid sirens gave some warning - although not always enough. As soon as we heard the siren, we made our way to an air-raid shelter (also known as a bomb shelter). There were several types. At the time, I knew, or knew of, the following:
- the indoor shelter that my family used, called a Morrison shelter which is discussed and illustrated on its own page;
- the garden shelter that other families used, called an an Anderson shelter which is also discussed and illustrated on its own page; and
- school shelters which are on their own page.
I learnt later that there were other shelters:
- purpose-built public shelters;
- existing spaces originally designed for other uses but taken over for use as shelters (both on another page) and
- shelters created by large businesses and factories for their employees which were either like the purpose-built public shelters or in adapted and reinforced basements.