Royal Commonwealth Society : A fireman with the head of a bomb

Royal Commonwealth Society

<p> Inspecting the nose of a two-ton high explosive bomb which landed in the Society’s Northumberland Avenue headquarters on the night of 16 April 1941. The building was severely damaged again on the night of 10 May 1941. Casualties were remarkably light: one member was killed by the blast on the second floor and another injured, and two members of the service staff, a receptionist and a wine-waiter were seriously injured. The destruction and damage extended to six bedrooms on the fifth floor; most of the offices and the council room on the fourth floor; the ladies room, lounge, drawing, smoking and card rooms on the third floor; and the law library, newspaper room, and two rooms off the library gallery. An estimated 35,000 volumes and 5,000 pamphlets and documents were lost, and many others charred or damaged by water. The building was temporarily closed but reopened within a few weeks once some of the damaged rooms had been made habitable again. However it was not until 1957 that the work of restoration, structural alteration and refurnishing was completed. The nose of the bomb was displayed on the second-floor landing. </p><p> The photograph is one of thirty-one which record the experiences of the Society during the Second World War. </p><p>See Janus record <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0115%2FRCS%2FIIIa'>here</a></p>


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