image: a view along one of the caves with civilians sitting and lying on bunks lining the walls. In the foreground a woman
stands with her back to the artist, next to a pram. She has a baby in her arms and an infant standing at her side.
Purchased by the War Artists Advisory Committee, 1941
During the late 1930s, the British government began to prepare the civilian population for war. The Air Raid Wardens Service was set up in 1937. Wardens were responsible for reporting incidents, reassuring the public and providing Air Raid Precautions (ARP) advice.
The 'Blitz' – from the German term Blitzkrieg ('lightning war') – was the sustained campaign of aerial bombing attacks on British towns and cities carried out by the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) from September 1940 until May 1941.
The National Health Service was introduced in 1948, giving free healthcare to all. The Family Allowance was established and secondary schools were available for all children over 11. However, there was still great austerity.