WW1 christmas hospital ward. Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com

By Ben Wheeler

BEAUTIFULLY colourised images showing what life was like for both military personnel and civilians in wartime during the festive season have been released this week.

Korean KP decorates Christmas tree set up in front of serving counter as Christmas dinner is readied for me of the Co. Korea. 25 Dec 51. Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com


The photographs include families celebrating the big day in a London bomb shelter complete with decorations, despite the chaos of The Blitz unfolding in the skies above them.

Christmas For Men of the Royal Air Force Second Tactical Air Force, Volkel, Holland, 1944. Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com


Others show three gunners preparing to fire a shell on New Year’s Eve inscribed with the words ‘For Adolph, unhappy new year,’ whilst an additional image depicts Sgt Hiram Pouty on board a tank playing Santa for British children in Perham Downs.

Shipwrights Build Nativity Model For Ship’s Chapel 24 December 1942, on Board HMS Dunluce, Castle of the Home Fleet. Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com


They are the work of Cardiff-based electrician, Royston Leonard (55), who has painstakingly brought the images into the 21st century.

Grace is said before eating cakes at a Children’s Christmas Party for three-year-olds at an Infants’ School in Stoke-on-Trent, 1952. Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com