Abandoned boy holding a stuffed toy animal amid ruins following German aerial bombing of London

Abandoned boy holding a stuffed toy animal amid ruins following German aerial bombing of London

Toni Frissell’s famous image of an abandoned boy clutching a stuffed animal in the rubble of 1945 London. The boy did in fact survive the war. In the photo he’s actually sitting outside where his house used to be. The child is sitting alone in the ruble with his stuffed animal. Nazi Germany continued to bomb London up until 1945 using a variety of delivery methods. The “Little Blitz” of 1944 was the last time Nazi Germany employed aircraft to drop bombs over England. The Nazi Germany was using V-1 and V-2 rockets in 1945.

Toni Frissell after the War:

“I was told he had come back from playing and found his house a shambles—his mother, father and brother dead under the rubble…he was looking up at the sky, his face an expression of both confusion and defiance. The defiance made him look like a young Winston Churchill. This photograph was used by IBM to publicize a show in London. The boy grew up to become a truck driver after the war, and walking past the IBM offices, he recognized his picture.”

Toni Frissell was one of the most famous fashion photographers of the day, working with both Cecil Beaton and Edward Steichen. During the WWII, Frissell volunteered for the American Red Cross, later becoming the official photographer of the Women’s Army Corps. She traveled to the European front twice, and spent time in London documenting the horrors of war above and below the ground.

He is shocked.

He is shocked.

Colored version.