Mixing It: The Changing Faces of Wartime Britain at IWM North reveals the forgotten histories of those who came to Britain during WWII and how the national and ethnic diversity of the British population changedThe Indian test pilot
Flying Officer P C Ramachandran AFC, of the Indian Air Force, in the cockpit of a Spitfire prior to a test flight in 1942. During World War Two over 17,000 Indians volunteered to join the RAF alongside 25,000 Indians who fought in the Indian Air Force. Thirty seven officers from Indian Air Force flew with the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain in 1940.
© IWM D9503
Eight hundred men volunteered for the British Honduras Forestry Unit crossing the Atlantic to work in camps deep within Scottish forests. The men worked mainly on the production of pit props, pit wood, and wood pulp.
© IWM D 6390
Dutch child refugees
In 1945 Britain took refugee children from Holland, which had just suffered a crippling a winter of famine. Here a group of Dutch refugee children walk away from the ship upon which they have just arrived. They have berthed at Tilbury Docks in Essex and will be taken to a rest centre, before onward transport to a hostel.
© IWM (D 24054)
American Red Cross Nurse
From the beginning of 1942 thousands of American service personnel began pouring into Britain. Here a woman from the American Red Cross is seen serving coffee to recently arrived GIs.
© IWM H 37401
The first all Australian crew in Bomber Command to complete a tour of operations (with No 466 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force) stand in front of their Vickers Wellington bomber at RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire. Left to right: Flight Sergeant J P Hetherington (bomb aimer), Pilot Officer A C Winston (rear gunner), Pilot Officer J H Cameron (captain), Flight Sergeant J Samuels (W/O - air gunner), and Pilot Officer J J Allan (navigator).
© IWM CH 11173
January 1942, German U-boat prisoners arrive in Greenock, Scotland. Initially, when the threat of a German invasion of Britiain remained real, many German POWs were shipped to Canada and the US. By the end of the war over half a million were held in Britain.
© IWM A 7072
From July 1941, Italian prisoners captured in the Middle East were brought to Britain. This was the first major influx of prisoners of war to the country. After the the Italian surrender in 1943, 100,000 Italians volunteered to work as 'co-operators'. They were given considerable freedom and mixed with local people.
© IWM A 8469
A further contingent of airmen of the RNZAF arrive in Britain to serve with the RAF. The men are armourers, and wireless operators for ground duties. New Zealanders of No. 75 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operated as a bomber unit in World War II.
© IWM CH 1224
Polish soldiers enjoying coffee at a milk bar, London, 1940. By March 1944, the Polish armed forces fighting under British command numbered 195,000 including about 20,000 personnel in the Polish Air Force and 3,000 in the Polish Navy.
© IWM D 1733
West Indian Technicians
Labour shortages meant that Britain turned to the colonies for skilled labour during World War Two. Here West Indian war workers in Britain - Jamaican technicians - pose for a photo outside West India House in London.
© IWM L24
- Mixing It: The Changing Faces of Wartime Britain is at the WaterWay Gallery, IWM North until February 2016. Free Entry, Donations Welcome @IWMNorth; iwm.org.uk
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