80th anniversary of the Blitz

Portsmouth came under enemy bombing attack during the Second World War, from July 1940 to July 1944. This was part of the air raids on the UK known as the Blitz. In co-operation with Portsmouth Libraries and Archives Service, we are marking the 80th anniversary of the Blitz by adding new information to our website.

The Blitz brought the war to every person in the city, and changed every aspect of normal life. Its effects can still be seen around Portsmouth today. Led by the city council and with dedicated efforts by civilian emergency services, voluntary organisations and the armed forces, Portsmouth people pulled together to help recover from these attacks.

During the war, 930 people were killed by bombing in Portsmouth, and 1,216 hospitalised. Around 20% of the city’s houses were destroyed or badly damaged. Many people lost their homes and possessions in an instant.


The Blue Anchor pub was badly damaged in the first air raid on Portsmouth, on 11 July 1940 (photo courtesy of The News, Portsmouth).