We’ll Meet Again
Islington on the Home Front in photographs (1939-45)
Dates: Monday 20 April – 11 July 2020
Venue: Online exhibition (links below). Presented by Islington Museum
The 75th anniversary of VE-Day (Victory in Europe), marking the end of the Second World War in Europe, is being commemorated nationally on 8 May 2020.
The Second World War was a conflict fought on several fronts. Not only was victory secured by the forces fighting on the front line, but also by the daily sacrifice and determination of the people they left behind on the ‘Home Front’.
This experience between 1939 and 1945 was unique in British history. Twelve million British families fought their own battle, including those in Islington and Finsbury, who went without all but the most basic necessities. Civilians, alongside men and women in the armed forces not posted abroad, all endured the hardships and sudden angers in what also became known as the ‘people’s war’.
Aspects of the Home Front were common to all: rationing, the blackout and, more terrifyingly, enemy air raids and the threat of untimely death. Like many parts of inner London, the area suffered badly from bombings during the Blitz from 1940-41, and as a target for V1 and V2 rocket attacks on the capital from the summer of 1944. It was to prove a long period of regulation and shortage, uncertainty, boredom, fear and anxiety, and a time of dramatic change.
Children were evacuated, men and women conscripted into the forces or directed into essential war work, homes disrupted, and lives were put on hold for an indefinite duration. Those not called to the armed forces helped the country in many ways: Civil Defence, the Women’s Voluntary Service, working in munitions factories, digging for victory, raising money for the ‘war effort’, or simply making a contribution by remaining cheerful and ‘making do’.
With its title taken from one of the most famous songs of the war, and sung by Vera Lynn, 'We’ll Meet Again: Islington on the Home Front during the Second World War in photograph (1939-45)’ exhibition portrays Islington and Finsbury’s home-front experience during these six historic years. However, despite increasing fatalities and an uncertain future and hardship, Islingtonians and Finsburyites on the Home Front kept ‘calm and carried on’.
Marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe, this photographic exhibition commemorates all who bravely endured life on the Home Front in Islington, Finsbury and beyond.
The full exhibition will be rescheduled for presentation at Islington Museum later in 2020.
'We’ll Meet Again' is dedicated to memory of Islington historian Mary Cosh (1919-2020).
• Visit the ‘We’ll Meet Again’ exhibition homepage
• View the ‘We’ll Meet Again’ exhibition photographic presentation
• View Islington on the Home Front during the Second World War article