Air Raid Shelters

The Morrison Shelter

John Anderson's original proposal was that the Anderson shelter should be erected indoors, but faced with the grisly picture of what might happen if the building collapsed, a fire broke out, and the people inside the shelter were roasted, it was approved for outdoor use only.
In 1941, when wartime experience had been gained, an indoor shelter was brought into use by John Anderson's successor at the Home Office, Herbert Morrison.

Using the Morrison shelter as a table
Using the Morrison shelter as a table.

The Morrison shelter was approximately 6 feet 6 inches (2m) long, 4 feet (1.2m) wide and 2 feet 6 inches (0.75m) high. When not in use as a shelter it could be used as a table (see illustration) by temporarily removing the welded wire mesh sides.
Whilst the Anderson was constructed of 14 corrugated sheets, and required some digging to let it into the ground, the Morrison consisted of some 219 parts (not including 48 nuts and bolts) and came with 3 tools with which to assemble it. a two-tier Morrison shelter
These shelters were distributed free to most people and over 500 000 had been distributed by November 1941.
The Morrison was extremely effective, if assembled correctly, and undoubtedly saved many lives.

Copyright © 2002 Peter N. Risbey.