Second World War: Damaged Property

How can I find out what damage a house sustained during the air raids?

During the Second World War the Local Authority was made responsible for housing the people within its boundaries, and to enable it to fulfil this duty it was given powers to repair and make habitable houses which had been damaged by enemy action.

The City Architect was responsible for assessing and supervising the execution of the repairs required. The records were collected in three series:

  1. Record of damage and first aid repairs to individual properties [C TAY/AR]. These records were kept on printed forms. Every time a property was damaged a printed form was filled in giving details of the property, the damage sustained and repair work carried out. They are filed in alphabetical order of streets and numerical order of properties within them with forms relating to terraces filed alphabetically after the houses fronting the street itself. Terraces are not listed and to search for an individual terrace please search under the main street.
  2. Record of damage and repairs to properties owned by the Corporation including first aid posts, police boxes and various properties used by the Corporation during the war [C TAY/CP].
  3. Returns as to damage to property [C TAY/PR] directly consequent upon bombardment or attack from the air (forms W.D.P. I, II and III). These returns were made after each raid to the District Valuer and the Minister of Health. There are three parts to each return and they are filed in chronological order, so if you know the date of a raid you should be able to trace the returns:
    • Part I – a summary for each raid giving the date of the raid and the number of properties affected. They give details as to whether a) totally damaged; b) so badly damaged that demolition is necessary; c) seriously damaged but capable of repair and whether still usable or evacuated or to be evacuated; d) slightly damaged.
    • Part II – a detailed schedule of properties summarised in Part I giving description, address, occupiers name (often omitted), gross value (omitted at first), rateable value and an indication of the extent of damage to contents (generally omitted).
    • Part III – a detailed schedule of properties giving description, address, occupiers name, owners name, gross value, rateable value.