7 September 2010
Rare color film of Winston Churchill and of bomb damage inflicted on London during World War II has surfaced on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Blitz.
The footage shows the destruction of several London landmarks, including the flagship John Lewis store on Oxford Street, and of bombing victims being treated by medical personnel.
The film was released Monday by Westminster City Council to mark the anniversary of the devastating German bombing campaign that began September 7, 1940, and continued until May 1941.
The footage was taken by an air raid warden and mayor of Marylebone, A.E. Reneson Coucher. It was recently found by his family in their attic, unseen for decades.
In the 20-minute long film, titled "Pages From St. Marylebone's War Diary," Britain's wartime leader, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, is seen reviewing a parade of civil defense workers in Hyde Park.
The ruins of London landmarks are shown, as a bright red double-decker bus drives through rubble-strewn streets.
There are also training exercises of civil defense workers extinguishing fires with buckets and hand-pumps.
"West End at War" (Westminster City Council)