Leeds nostalgia: Leeds at War

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During the Second World War Leeds often found itself at the sharp end of the hostilities.

The industrial nature of the city meant that Leeds and its inhabitants were under frequent aerial bombardment but one day local people came face to face with their foe when this Messerschmitt 109 was put on display at City Square.

Messerschmitt 109 on display in Leeds City Square.

Messerschmitt 109 on display in Leeds City Square.

Terrible bomb damage was inflicted on many local areas including the Woodpecker Building on York Road but in some ways reparation was made when German prisoners of war were employed building the new Farfield Estate. It was said that some of these men ended up marrying local women and thereby integrating themselves into the population that they had once sought to destroy.

Women from Leeds and the surrounding area were heavily involved in the Women’s Land Army and these four young ladies at Wighall near Tadaster provided support to the farming and agricultural effort.

In 1945 people turned out in vast numbers to celebrate the end of the conflict at VE day in May and then again at VJ Day in August when Leeds said goodbye to the bloodiest war in history.