1941 War Damage Act Insurance Documents Related to The Blitz Bombings

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On offer is a fine example of the minutiae of war from World War Two (WWII). The document is an insurance policy from the Royal Insurance Company, accompanied by a Notice to Policyholders explanation page issued by the British government under the War Damage Act of 1941. 

Carrying the header War Damage Act 1941, this insurance policy is a direct result of the frightful months of the Blitz, which was the German air bombing of widespread civilian areas of London and the south of England during the early years of WWII. The civilian bombing of England destroyed some quarter of a million homes and resulted in the deaths of over 60,000 Britons including nearly 8,000 children. Another nearly 100,000 people were seriously injured.

In an attempt to deal with the widespread destruction of personal property, in 1940, the UK government undertook to meet the cost of all war damage and losses, partly funding this pledge via a tax levy on insurance policies which had excluded this sort of risk. This scheme is still in force today, widened to cover terrorism and other non-insurable risks.

In March 1941, the War Damages Act was passed which levied a compulsory annual premium on all property owners, backed by Treasury funding. It provided contents and buildings insurance against bombing for every dwelling in the country. 

This policy was issued to Walter Henry Clancy of Southampton, England, on  July 5th, 1941. The Southampton port was heavily bombed with approximately 2,300 bombs amounting to over 470 tonnes of high explosives dropped on the city. Nearly 45,000 buildings were heavily damaged or destroyed. Our informal research has not discovered any additional biographical information about Clancy.

For a historian, especially of WWII and the civilian bombing attacks, this document is a direct connection to those harrowing times and offers mute testimony to the suffering and losses endured during the war. It would be an excellent addition to a collection.

This is a 2-part typed document, consisting of the policy itself and the accompanying explanation page. The policy measures 8.5 inches by 6.75 inches and is in very good condition. The document is accompanied by a page measuring 9.5 inches by 6.0 inches. Both are in excellent condition.

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