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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Images of British Catholicism during the Second World War


The website of The Imperial War Museums covers conflicts, especially those involving Britain and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present day

The Museum in South London  is one of the essential sights to see

The website displays many items in the collections which often are not on display

Here are some images from The Second World War showing some Catholic events during that particular conflict


In 1941, at the conclusion of a special week of prayer for France, a High Mass was celebrated at Westminster Cathedral, for France and the occupied countries. The service was led by Cardinal Hinsley. 

A priest, probably Father Dixon, stands in the roofless shell of St George's Roman Catholic Cathedral, on the corner of St George's Road and Lambeth Road in Southwark, South East London. The Cathedral was severely damaged by an incendiary bomb attack in 1942

Led by the Holy Cross and two sailors carrying candles, the procession nears the shrine at Carfin in Scotland. Father John Wilson, a naval chaplain led more then a hundred Catholic naval officers, ratings and Wrens of HM ships and establishments 

Father Whitestone in his cabin checking a list of men recently drafted to the ship in September 1940

Squadron Leader T Sweeney of Cork, Eire the Roman Catholic chaplain of an RAF Wing operating in Central Burma, conducting Mass in a wooden pagoda which has been made into a chapel (about 1942)

The Roman Catholic Chaplain to 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment, Captain the Reverend W R Thomas, receives the Military Cross from General Montgomery for gallantry during the Normandy landings (17th July 1944)

Two British Army chaplains, Rev Leslie H Hardman, Senior Jewish Chaplain to the 2nd Army, and the Roman Catholic Padre Father M C Morrison, conduct a service over one of the mass graves in Belsen Concentration Camp before it is filled in

Father Dunstan Dobbins, a Franciscan Friar and Roman Catholic chaplain in the Royal Navy, talking to members of his flock on board HMS RENOWN at Scapa Flow

A Roman Catholic padre, Father Condron, gives a cup of tea to a wounded soldier at No 35 Casualty Clearing Station, 6 October 1944.

It is 6:15pm on a Saturday in 1943. French Canadian soldiers kneel in prayer or read religious texts during a period of meditation during a religious retreat in the chapel at Campion House, Osterley, Middlesex