The Mount during The Blitz (June 1943)

Mount Pleasant, opened in 1889, is the largest Royal Mail Mail Centre in London, and one of the largest in the world. It sustained significant bomb damage during The Blitz. The first attack was on 16 September 1940, when it was hit by incendiary bombs. It then received further direct raids from incendiaries and high explosives in October and November 1940, and again in January and April 1941. This painting by Francis Nichols shows three firemen standing amid the bombed ruins of the building. Two are holding a hose aiming water at the smoldering roof while another bearing an axe is dampening down a pile of mailbags. Sorting racks and desks and carts lie in ruins around them. The artist was a war artist who was in the Fire Service in London during the Blitz.

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