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Family’s Blitz memories shared and displayed

5 July 2019 by Kay

Formal portrait photo of a smartly dressed young girl

Elizabeth as a child. Courtesy of Jean Phillips

As part of our exhibition Blitzed: Liverpool Lives we are gathering responses to the images and first-hand experiences featured in the exhibition.

Jean Phillips kindly contacted us via our Facebook page with information about her family in response to the photograph of Louisa Street, Everton. I have added this poignant information to the exhibition alongside the Museum label.

Portrait photo of Margaret Lea

Margaret Lea. Courtesy of Jean Phillips

Jean tells us more:

“My mum’s family all lived in Anfield and Everton, with her aunt’s family living on Louisa Street. My great aunt, Margaret Lea (aged 60); her daughter, Elizabeth Allmark (aged 32); son, Geoffrey Lea (aged 21) and grandson, Stanley Allmark (aged 5) were all killed when the shelter on their street was hit. So ironic that a place of supposed safety became the complete opposite. They are all recorded in the list of civilian deaths.

I believe the man in the trilby hat looking towards the camera is Stanley Allmark. He was a coal merchant based on Beacon Lane in Everton. He must have felt desperate to have lost his wife and son like this.

Although I didn’t know these people, I feel so sad that they died like this. Even now I get emotional about it. I don’t think my gran ever got over it. She then lost my granddad to cancer in 1941 and her brother in 1943 in a shunting accident at the Royal Ordnance Factory; so tragic. Sadly lots of other families had similar losses.

I know that she would be very proud to be included in your exhibition.”

You can leave your responses in the comments book in the exhibition, share via Museum of Liverpool social media or come along to one of our workshops. Selected responses will be displayed in the exhibition.

At least eight people were killed when two air raid shelters were destroyed in Louisa Street, 16 October 1940. The human tragedy of the war is laid bare by the abandoned ladies’ shoe on top of the rubble of the shelter. It is further etched on the faces of the workers and residents.

People with the rubble from bombed buildings

Louisa Street, Everton. 16 October 1940. © Merseyside Police

John – evacuee and media star!

18 June 2019 by Kay

Our new exhibition, Blitzed: Liverpool Lives brings together dramatic images of Blitz-damaged Liverpool alongside evocative spoken memories of people who experienced the aerial bombardment first-hand. One of those people is John McEwan. John grew up in Salisbury Street, Everton and was evacuated after his family had a very close shave. John’s is one of many interviews in our Liverpool Voices archive which I spent many hours listening to and selecting highlights to be included in the exhibition.

John was invited to our press call the day before the exhibition opened to be interviewed by the local media. Just before it began I had the pleasure of showing him around the exhibition. He listened to the audio of himself in the central ‘cinema area’ and read his quote I used to bring to life a photograph of children outside of bombed homes. It brought back lots of memories for him and he was an absolute pro, recalling many experiences for Radio Merseyside, The Guide Liverpool, Liverpool Echo, Culture Liverpool, Wirral Globe etc.

Read this transcript of John’s audio in the exhibition –
“My dad would be home on leave and he heard sirens and the blackout was on and he made his way home expecting to find my mother and the three children, Betty, Tommy and myself in the air raid shelter.   When he went to the air raid shelter we weren’t there. He then went to the house and my mum was under the kitchen table, or under the dining table, with the three children.   Obviously my dad was very concerned about this. I don’t know exactly what went on other than the fact that the decision was made to evacuate us.  My mother was also pregnant at the time with my younger brother Peter, who is a year younger than myself. And as a result the three children, myself, Betty and Tommy were evacuated to St Joseph’s Children’s Home in Freshfield near Southport, and that would be sometime in 1940, in around maybe the autumn of 1940. Read more…

Remembering victims of the May Blitz, 1941

4 May 2016 by Claire

tinted portrait on a mirror

Mirror featuring image of Peter Johnson, aged 15

Here at Museum of Liverpool, we receive many generous, interesting, and often poignant donations of objects to our collections. Recently, we were contacted by a lady called Janet, who wished to kindly donate items that had originally belonged to her late grandmother, Margaret Johnson. The items relate to Margaret’s children who were tragically killed in the May Blitz, the most concentrated series of air attacks on any British city area outside London during the Second World War. Read more…

Jet the dog – Liverpool superhero (to curators and small boys!)

19 October 2015 by Kay

man in uniform with a black dog

Painting of Jet by Alfred Kemp Wiffen, 1949. Presented by Mrs Babcock Cleaver in 1967, accession number WAG 7004

Jet has always been a hero close to my heart. I was initially introduced to his story whilst working on my first exhibition here at National Museums Liverpool – Spirit of the Blitz at Merseyside Maritime Museum in 2003. We included the bronze bust and oil painting shown here of Jet, from the Walker Art Gallery collections, which took pride of place. The exhibition even had a specially designed Jet the Dog children’s trail. We also interviewed his owner’s daughter, Lillias Ward about Jet’s wartime heroics Read more…



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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.