In the early morning of 16 September 1940, the Tate Gallery was hit by a high explosive bomb.
Early one morning I was awoken by a terrific explosion to feel the massive building violently shaking and to hear an avalanche
of masonry and glass...
Since the raid was still in progress we could not use our torches, but by the inadequate light of the stars and bursting shells we crept through the
wreckage from room to room, cautiously, because the firing of the A.A guns brought down cascades of loosened roof glass.
Outside the building on the east side, what half an hour before had been a road, pavement, lawn, and flowerbeds was now merged in one indistinguishable
Offices and roofing were destroyed as was all the glass in the building.
This was just the first of an almost nightly barrage of bombs which rained on the building and its grounds.
On 19 December 1940, two incendiary bombs penetrated the roof and set fire to the floorboards in one of the galleries.
A bomb on 11 May 1941 landed in front of the building and buried Frank Dobson's sculpture Truth which luckily sustained no damage.
Bomb damage was made worse by inches of rain which fell through the damaged roof. In its near derelict state with no roof and few doors or
windows it was impossible to work in the building so operations were moved to Eastington Hall and later to Sudely Castle.