We’re delighted to announce the publication of The Thames at War by Gustav Milne and the Thames Discovery Programme.

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The Thames at War presents the results of fieldwork on the Thames foreshore and research in the London Metropolitan Archive by Thames Discovery Programme staff and volunteers, providing a new perspective on how Londoners fought back against the Blitz.

It tells the story of how the London County Council (LCC) set up a top-secret Thames Flood Prevention Emergency Repair team, organised by one of the great unsung heroes of that darkest hour, Sir Thomas Peirson Frank, the LCC’s Chief Engineer.

Low-lying London was very vulnerable to flooding, and the Luftwaffe breached the Thames river wall over 100 times during the Blitz. However, not one of those incidents led to a major flood event, thanks to the effective work of the LCC’s rapid response unit.

Since they worked in secret (to avoid alerting the Luftwaffe to the problem), Thames Flood Prevention Emergency Repair team’s efforts went unrecognised until very recently, when their logbooks were rediscovered in the London Metropolitan Archives, where they had lain unopened for 70 years.

The book also explores the fate of London’s docks and bridges and of the ships, boats and barges lost in the estuary and tideway. This fascinating account pays tribute to the non-combatants who kept the major port running and saved London.


The Thames at War is published by Pen & Sword, and is available to order online from their website.

Pen & Sword are currently offering a 25% discount, just £14.99 per copy, if you use the code THAW25 at checkout.


You can read more about Sir Thomas Peirson Frank and the Thames at War Riverpedia Project in our FROG Blog The Man who saved London from Drowning