The British Railways can “take it” [ebook]


Spiral bound booklet, 8.5”x 7” 28pp. inc. striking colour front cover, and stunning rear coloured cover of Bullied Merchant Navy “Pacific”.  Undated, but from internal evidence (no mention of flying bomb or rocket damage, or of “D DAY”, but pictures of train loads of tanks being moved), late 1943, or early 1944.


Internal photos of bomb damage and emergency repairs, and of the British Railways contribution to the War Effort. The phrase “Britain Can Take It” was coined by American journalist Ed Murrow, in his broadcasts to the USA during the Blitz of 1940/1. It was adopted by the British Ministry of information for use in various contexts. The individual railway companies had more or less suspended their own advertising for the duration, but issued joint poster and leaflets under the style “British Railways” foreshadowing the nationalisation of the network which would take place in 1948.

The coloured covers can be seen as something of a morale booster. The crimson LMS “Pacific had long since been painted plain black, and had the streamlined casing removed to ease maintenance. The Bulleid “Pacific” had been built in 1942, and after a brief appearance in full colour for the benefit of the company directors spent the war years painted black. The artist depicts it in the vivid malachite green livery which would be reapplied in peacetime

A most unusual wartime publication.

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