The ‘Blitz’ was a sustained campaign of aerial bombing attacks on British towns and cities carried out by the Luftwaffe (German Air Force).
It began on 7 September, when German bombers attacked London, killing 430 people and injuring 1,600, and continued for 57 consecutive nights, and often during daytime, too.
On 10 – 11 May 1941, London experienced its most destructive raid. German bombers dropped 711 tons of high explosive and 2,393 incendiaries, killing 1,436 civilians. Many buildings were reduced to rubble, and a great many more, including the Charterhouse, were badly damaged.
The Brothers were evacuated on June 3rd 1941 to Godalming, Surrey, where Charterhouse School is based. There they stayed in interval houses until the Charterhouse re-opened on April 7th, 1951.
The Brothers numbered 60 on the outbreak of the war in 1939. Yet only 13 returned to the Charterhouse in 1951. Of these, 6 were between 82 and 88 years of age, and 7 were between 73 and 79 years.
The last Brother to be appointed was on November 6th 1938.
The fall in numbers from 60 Brothers in September 1939 to 13 Brothers at April 7th, 1951 was owing to:
Deaths from natural causes – 44
Deaths by bombing – 1
Removal by the governors – 1
Resignation – 1
The following photographs reveal the extent of the damage the Charterhouse sustained during the Blitz on 10 – 11 May 1941.