Birth of a Lancaster

Original Silver Gelatin photograph, 1942

19 x 25 cm

Stamped to reverse “Topical Press Agency Limited, Red Lion Court, Fleet Street London” and (partially obscured) “Certified by Topical Press Agency as passed by censor”

“The Avro Lancaster – the fastest and greatest load carrier of all the world’s heavy bombers, and scourge of the Germans from Cologne to Gdynia, Rostock to Augsburg near Munich, is now being produced so speedily that fresh squadrons are being equipped weekly, and nightly spread terror and destruction through the German industrial centres.

“Photo shown: a girl inspector goes over every detail of fitting work in the bomber’s nose. She is occupying the position that the bomb aimer will take on operational work. Every small part of the plane has undergone stringent inspection.

“Ref number Y7119 Topical Press 2/9/42”

There is nothing new in the world, a pretty girl always captures the attention of the photographer. In war-torn Britain, of course, the contribution of women to the war effort was hugely important, replacing men in factories so that the men could go off to war.

Provenance: from the collection of Philip J R Moyes, author of many books on the RAF, most notably The Pictorial History which ran to several volumes.

Condition: mostly good.