Criminals of the Blitz

Joshua Levine reveals how the German bombing of British cities in the Second World War created new opportunities for lawlessness...

A Black Market camera seller

This article was first published in the September 2015 issue of BBC History Magazine

Wally Thompson was a hardworking thief who always looked to exploit a situation. During a heavy air raid in 1941, he drove a stolen lorry into a narrow street in London Bridge. An air raid precaution (ARP) member, Thompson was wearing his uniform; it allowed him to move around London freely and unsuspected. Alongside him in the lorry were the members of his gang – Batesy, Bob and ‘Spider’.

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