FOR us today it is difficult to comprehend how older generations coped with the harsh realities of enemy bombing raids while watching sons, brothers and husbands setting off to war.

All of these pictures captures a moment in the early 1940s when communities across the south confronted the terrible aftermath of enemy bombing raids aimed at breaking the will of civilians and crippling Britain’s war effort.

Some photographs show the shattering effect the Blitz had on countless homes, with houses reduced to rubble and families left to pick over what little was left of their belongings.

Other images recall Home Guard recruits signing on to do their “bit’’, and the nonchalant style of the daring young Spitfire pilots of the Battle of Britain.

War time pictures.

Soldiers on parade in what is thought to be Winchester.

The determined spirit which saw people through the long years of war is now part of the nation’s heritage. But looking at these photographs from the Daily Echo archives brings those days back to life again.