Express & Star

14 perfectly preserved photographs that show impressive Black Country spirit during WWII

The Express & Star archive is a remarkable journey through time and thanks to the Archive Photo Project we've unearthed a treasure trove of meticulously preserved photographs that serve as a poignant testament to the unwavering Black Country spirit during the tumultuous years of World War II.

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A public house in Tipton, 1940, following a bombing.

The below images are captivating and painstakingly preserved as part of a recent restoration project. They offer a rare glimpse into the lives, sacrifices, and resilience of the Black Country and Staffordshire communities during one of the region's greatest times of adversity.

Each photograph in this collection is a portal to the past, a window into the extraordinary history of our patch during WW2.

From smiling wounded soldiers and bomb-damaged homes to picnics and evacuated children - the images reflect a community that stood firm in the face of global upheaval.

They evoke the heart and soul of an era when every citizen, regardless of age or gender, played a crucial role in the war effort.

As we embark on this visual journey through history, we invite you to immerse yourself in the captivating stories told by these 14 preserved photographs. These images provide a unique and invaluable window into the past, preserving not only the events of a bygone era but also the indomitable spirit that continues to inspire us to this day.


A bomb was dropped on Beckminster Special School in 1940.
Ryle Street in Bloxwich after a bombing raid in 1940.
A public house in Tipton, 1940, following a bombing.
A house wrecked by a bomb in Rowley Regis in November 1940.
A house in Willenhall after a bombing in November 1940.
Children evacuated from Smethwick in September 1939.
Children evacuees arrive at the Salvation Army headquarters in Broad Street, Bilston in October 1940.
Evacuees from London were entertained to tea at the Congregational Church Hall, Tettenhall Wood in November 1940.
Land Army girls in their sitting room in Wombourne in April 1946.
Members of Bilston WVS collecting aluminium for the Ministry of Aircraft production in July 1941.
Cannock WVS members holding a picnic with their mobile kitchen at Teddesley Park.
Wounded soldiers with their captured Nazi flag at Wordsley Emergency Hospital in 1943.
Wounded soldiers arriving at Royal Hospital, Wolverhampton in June 1944.

If you have any images from the past stashed away, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact