Amazing Vintage Photographs of River Thames Floods From Between the 1910s and 1950s

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The River Thames bursting its banks, rail lines being washed away, villages being turned into islands and soldiers out on the frontline filling sandbags – the Thames Valley has been deluged by the river many times over the past 100 years.

The most severe flooding incidents were in 1928 – when the river burst its banks, inundating parts of central London and drowning 14 people – and 1947, when a sudden thaw after a severe winter added to rivers already swollen by torrential rain.

These two events, plus the disastrous North Sea flooding of 1953 that devastated Canvey Island, killing 53 people, led to the construction of the Thames Flood Barrier at Woolwich, which protects central London.

Here are some historical photographs documented flooding on the Thames from between the 1910s and 1950s.

December 1915: A man with a wooden leg cycles down a flooded road in Berkshire.

December 1915: A man and a boy make a journey by pony and trap on the Staines to Windsor Road after flooding in the Thames Valley.

November 1926: A chivalrous grocer’s boy gives a lift to a young damsel in distress during floods at Shepperton.

January 1926: Two women cross a flooded road near Staines, Middlesex, by means of a makeshift raft and a pole.

1926: Children sit on a park bench which has been flooded by the Thames at Windsor.

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