June 24, 2018

Amazing Vintage Photographs of River Thames Floods From Between the 1910s and 1950s

The River Thames bursting its banks, rail lines being washed away, villages being turned into islands and soldiers out on the frontline filling sandbags – the Thames Valley has been deluged by the river many times over the past 100 years.

The most severe flooding incidents were in 1928 – when the river burst its banks, inundating parts of central London and drowning 14 people – and 1947, when a sudden thaw after a severe winter added to rivers already swollen by torrential rain.

These two events, plus the disastrous North Sea flooding of 1953 that devastated Canvey Island, killing 53 people, led to the construction of the Thames Flood Barrier at Woolwich, which protects central London.

Here are some historical photographs documented flooding on the Thames from between the 1910s and 1950s.

December 1915: A man with a wooden leg cycles down a flooded road in Berkshire.

December 1915: A man and a boy make a journey by pony and trap on the Staines to Windsor Road after flooding in the Thames Valley.

November 1926: A chivalrous grocer's boy gives a lift to a young damsel in distress during floods at Shepperton.

January 1926: Two women cross a flooded road near Staines, Middlesex, by means of a makeshift raft and a pole.

1926: Children sit on a park bench which has been flooded by the Thames at Windsor.

1928: A section of the moat at the Tower of London back under water for first time in centuries.

January 1928: A mobile PDSA (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals) clinic attends to animal flood victims in London.

1928: Men rescue residents in Rotherhithe, south London, after the Thames broke its banks.

February 1933: A cyclist lifts up his legs to avoid the splashing as he pedals down a flooded lane in the Thames Valley.

January 1935: An errand boy reaches for his sinking bicycle in Eton.

February 1940: A laundry van makes its way along a flooded road in Eton, after the River Thames burst its banks.

November 1946: Furniture is rowed down a flooded street after homes were evacuated in Wraysbury, Buckinghamshire.

March 1947: Members of an army unit help rescue people from their flooded homes in Maidenhead.

March 1947: WVS women, assisted by the army, deliver emergency supplies in flooded Maidenhead.

December 1954: A sign rising out of floodwater provides a handy resting place for milk bottles being collected by milkman Bill Turner at Old Windsor, Buckinghamshire.

January 1958: Children stand on the railings at Putney Embankment, London, after the Thames goes over the top.

(Photos © Getty Images, via IBTimesUK)




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