General Collection Information
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Blitz in the UK, Ancestry commissioned 80 artworks based on historical records. Inspired by the War Artists Advisory Committee, each piece offers a historic, yet artistic depiction of life during a turbulent time period.
The artworks in the collection were created by the following artists: Adebayo Bolaji, Nathan Bowen, Luke Brookes, Gareth Brown, Elliot Byrne, Andy Council, Tom Cox, Laura Crouch, Harri Davidson, Sam Dawson, Alex Francis, Sophie Green, Nay Groves, Chloe Hall, Jack Holland, Matt Joyce, Charlotte Leadley, Shana Lohrey, Anna Marrow, Greg McIndoe, Liu Mengxia, Megan Menzies, Ryan Mosley, Katie Pinch, Danielle Rhoda, Jenny Shufflebotham, Danni Simpson, Katie Smith, Michael Snodgrass, Scott Wilson, Amy Kate Wolfe, Krystal Wong, and Joey Yu.
Using this Collection
The collection is organized by location. You may browse the collection in its entirety, or you may click on one of the following localities:
Clicking on an artwork will bring up the title of the piece, the artist’s name, and a link to the original record that inspired the piece.
For further insights into your ancestor’s World War II experience, try Story Scout! Simply enter your ancestors’ names and possible places of residence for a personalized history.
Collection in Context
In 1939, the Ministry of Information formed the War Artists Advisory Committee (WAAC). Designed to promote the war effort while keeping artists employed, the WAAC also created a historic narrative of World War II. At the end of the war, the WAAC art collection contained 5,570 pieces.
Inspired by the WAAC, Ancestry launched a campaign to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Blitz in the UK. Shortened from the term blitzkrieg (lightning war), the Blitz refers to the devastating series of aerial bombings by the Luftwaffe which took place between September 7th, 1940 and May 11, 1941. 40,000 British civilians were killed during the course of the Blitz.
Imperial War Museum. “The Blitz Around Britain.” Last Modified 2021. https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/the-blitz-around-britain
Imperial War Museum. “The Secret Purpose of the War Advisory Commitee.” Last Modified 2021.https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/the-secret-purpose-of-the-war-artists-advisory-committee
Lbbonline.com “Ancestry Turns Back the Clock on Piccadilly Lights in Nostalgic Showcase of Illuminated Signs.” Last Modified September 11, 2020. https://www.lbbonline.com/news/ancestry-turns-back-the-clock-on-piccadilly-lights-in-nostalgic-showcase-of-illuminated-signs
The Drum. “Ancestry: The Blitz by Red Consultancy.” Last Modified September 2020. https://www.thedrum.com/creative-works/project/red-consultancy-ancestry-the-blitz
Langford, Robin. “Ancestry Commemorates 80 Years Since the Blitz with New Art Collection. Net imperative. Last Modified September 8, 2020. https://www.netimperative.com/2020/09/08/ancestry-commemorates-80-years-since-the-blitz-with-new-art-collection/