Bombing raids took a deadly toll on civilian populations during the Second World War. Yet the bombs were not the only hazard during a raid. The British government released a range of informative posters to educate people on how to stay safe. 

Posters

Send children to the country

a monchrome image of an anxious looking mother sitting by the trunk of a tree in a rural scene with two young boys playing with a model aeroplane. A ghost-like figure of Hitler whispers to mother and points towards the city shown in the distance to the right. A speech bubble emerges from his mouth. text: TAKE THEM BACK! TAKE THEM BACK! TAKE THEM BACK! ... DON'T do it Mother - LEAVE THE CHILDREN WHERE THEY ARE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH.
'Don't do it Mother - leave the children where they are'. Date unknown.

'Don't do it Mother - leave the children where they are'. A ghostly Adolf Hitler is depicted encouraging a mother to return her children to their home city in spite of the threat of air attack. 

Posters

Don't forget your gas mask

'Take your gas mask everywhere', 1939. The fear of gas attacks against civilian population prompted the government to issue some 39 million gas masks by September 1939. 

Posters

Shelter at home

a photomontage featuring a couple sleeping inside a Morrison shelter. This image is superimposed over the stylised outline of a house, which incorporates a celestial sky into the roof design. text: SHELTER AT HOME The new Government STEEL INDOOR 'TABLE' SHELTER IS NOW AVAILABLE IN THIS DISTRICT: PARTICULARS FROM [blank text inset] PRINTED FOR H.M. STATIONERY OFFICE BY JOHNSON, RIDDLE and CO., LTD., PENGE. 51/928.
'Shelter at home the new government steel indoor 'table' shelter is now available in this district', 1941.

'Shelter at home the new government steel indoor 'table' shelter is now available in this district', 1941. The Morrison shelter offered people the option to take shelter indoors rather than outside in an Anderson shelter. 

Posters

Or go to a shelter

two lanterns, surrounded by haloes of light. text: City of Westminster. AIR RAID SHELTERS AT NIGHT See the BLUE LIGHT - - it means SHELTER at NIGHT Issued by Westminster City Council, A.R.P. Office, Alhambra House, 31, Charing Cross Rd., W.C.2. 12th. January 1940.
'Air raid shelters at night See the blue light - it means shelter at night', 1940.

'Air raid shelters at night  See the blue light - it means shelter at night', 1940. 

Posters

Leave the clear-up to the experts

a full-length depiction of a young boy pretending to be an AFS firefighter. He wears a home-made AFS badge and attempts to lift a sandbag among the ruins of a bombed house. He is addressed by a real, adult AFS firefighter in uniform. In the background left, a Union Flag flutters atop the rubble. AFS DUDLEY. S. COWES. LEAVE THIS TO US SONNY - YOU OUGHT TO BE OUT OF LONDON MINISTRY OF HEALTH EVACUATION SCHEME PRINTED FOR H.M. STATIONERY OFFICE BY J. WEINER LTD., LONDON, W.C.1. 51-9998.
'Leave this to us sonny - you ought to be out of London'. Date unknown.

'Leave this to us sonny - you ought to be out of London'.  Date unknown. This poster warns of the dangers of anyone other than an AFS firefighter attempting to clear bomb damage. 

Posters

Wear something white

'The blackout - why not wear something white instead?' Date unknown.   

Posters

Get your bike blackout ready

diagram of a bicycle in red against a plain paper background, with labels in red and black indicating necessary features; logos of National Safety First Association and Cyclists' Touring Club at left and right respectively; at the bottom of the text, but above the publisher's notice, is a thick red line with wavy ends. text: LOOK OUT IN THE BLACK-OUT.
'Look out in the blackout', 1939. © The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

'Look out in the blackout', 1939. © Reproduced with kind permission of The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents www.rospa.com.

Posters

Take care on the roads

a depiction of a cat's head, partly in shadow, looking directly at the viewer. In the background is the night sky. text: I've got 9 lives YOU haven't LOOK OUT IN THE BLACKOUT There's danger on the roads Issued by the Ministry of War Transport in conjunction with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Terminal House, 52, Grosvenor Gardens, London, S.W.1. RS/MOI/51-2231.
' I've got 9 lives you haven't'. Date unknown. © The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

'I've got 9 lives you haven't look out in the blackout there's danger on the roads'Date unknown. © Reproduced with kind permission of The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents www.rospa.com.

Posters

Wave something white to flag a bus

 the upper half is a full-length depiction of a businessman, seen in silhouette, trying to flag down a bus with a torch. He shines the torch at the bus driver who looks back angrily at the man. In the lower half, the same man waves a white newspaper instead. text: In the Blackout A flashing torch is dangerous - Wave something WHITE to flag a bus Bruce Angrave 742. 1682 P. 1250. THE BAYNARD PRESS.
'A flashing torch is dangerous - wave something white to flag a bus'. Date unknown. © Transport for London.

'A flashing torch is dangerous - wave something white to flag a bus'.  Date unknown. © Transport for London. Reproduced by kind permission of London Transport Museum.

Posters

Be careful at night

a depiction of a snail wearing a hat and carrying a briefcase and newspaper. The snail leaves a house, going out through a doorway into the night. Stars are visible in the night sky. text: GO WARILY after dark and Get there THE ROYAL SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF ACCIDENTS Issued by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Terminal House, 52, Grosvenor Gardens, London, S.W.1. RS/P/A22 Printed by LOXLEY BROS. LTD.
'Go warily after dark and get there', 1941. © The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

'Go warily after dark and get there', 1941. © Reproduced with kind permission of The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents www.rospa.com.

Posters

Count 15 before moving

a composite image of a woman's face, seen in profile, and a woman's foot, both partly hidden in dark shadows. They are connected by a meandering broken red line. text: g.r. morris Wait! Count 15 slowly before moving in the Blackout Issued by THE NATIONAL 'SAFETY FIRST' ASSOCIATION (Inc.), Terminal House, 52, Grosvenor Gardens, London, S.W.1 BLC/9. PRINTED BY LOXLEY BROTHERS, LTD.
'Wait! Count 15 slowly before moving in the blackout', 1939. © The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

'Wait! Count 15 slowly before moving in the blackout', 1939. © Reproduced with kind permission of The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents www.rospa.com.

Posters

If you're bombed out ask for help

full-length representations of a policeman and ARP warden standing side-by-side and facing the viewer. text: IF YOU ARE BOMBED OUT and have no friends to go to ask a POLICEMAN or your WARDEN where to find your REST CENTRE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH
If you are bombed out and have no friends to go to ask a policeman or your warden where to find your rest centre, 1939.

'If you are bombed out and have no friends to go to ask a policeman or your warden where to find your rest centre', 1939.

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