Ancestry unveils art collection created to commemorate 80th anniversary of The Blitz


04 September 2020
YMCA, copyright Nay Groves/Ancestry Blitz Art
Each of the 80 pieces of art is inspired by a historical record and true story from The Blitz.

The works of art aim to bring to life the extraordinary ‘everyday’ lives and efforts of people all over the country and the British spirit that shone through whilst they lived and served on the home front.

The new collection was inspired by the War Artists Advisory Committee (WAAC) which was established at the outbreak of World War II by the UK Government’s Ministry of Information. Its aim was to compile a comprehensive artistic record of Britain throughout the war and by the end of World War II, included 5,570 pieces. The original records are held at The National Archives, in Kew.

Featured artists

Using artistic mediums ranging from digital illustration to oil painting, 33 artists from around the UK have created contemporary interpretations of records and images. Artists include Megan Menzies who portrayed a wedding ceremony in the ruins of the New Jewin Welsh Chapel, Aldersgate, which was destroyed during the London blitz via oil on canvas. Whilst, Amy Kate Wolfe unveils the bravery of two men who rescued five horses belonging to Great Western Railway whose stables were under fire in South Docks, Swansea.

Content continues after advertisements

Preserving stories

Russell James, Family History expert at Ancestry, said: “As we mark the 80th anniversary of the start of The Blitz, a time of tragedy but also a time that truly demonstrated the great British spirit we wanted to pay tribute to the original War Artists Advisory Committee by adding our own update to this important collection of works with 80 new pieces, each inspired by everyday life during The Blitz and throughout World War II.

“By preserving these stories in a new and engaging way, we hope we can shine a light on what our families went through during that time and encourage people now to discover their connection to The Blitz and World War II.’’

Explore the Blitz 80 art collection here.

For family history news, opinion and top tips, sign up for the Family Tree newsletter here.

Content continues after advertisement