1944 in the United Kingdom
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|1944 in the United Kingdom:|
|1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945 | 1946|
|Individual countries of the United Kingdom|
|England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales|
|Sport, Television and music|
Events from the year 1944 in the United Kingdom. This year is dominated by World War II.
- January – Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Service officially formed
- 21–22 January – World War II: Start of Operation Steinbock (the "Baby Blitz"), a nocturnal Luftwaffe bombing offensive chiefly targeted at the Greater London area (continues until May). On this attack, few aircraft reach the target area.
- 10 February – PAYE (Pay as you earn) system of tax collection introduced.
- 26 February – World War II: Last heavy air-raids on London.
- 10 March – Lifting of prohibition on married women working as teachers.
- 28 April – Allied convoy T4, forming part of amphibious Exercise Tiger (a full-scale rehearsal for the Normandy landings) in Start Bay off the Devon coast, is attacked by E-boats, resulting in the deaths of 749 American servicemen from LSTs.
- 29 May – Thunderstorms lead to severe flooding, particularly around Holmfirth.
- 5 June – World War II: Final preparations for the Normandy landings take place in the south of England. Group Captain James Stagg correctly forecasts a brief improvement in weather conditions over the English Channel which will permit the following day's landings to take place (having been deferred from today due to unfavourable weather). The BBC transmits a coded message (the second line of a poem by Paul Verlaine) to underground resistance fighters in France warning that the invasion of Europe is about to begin.
- 6 June – World War II: D-Day for the Normandy landings: 155,000 Allied troops land on the beaches of Normandy in France, beginning Operation Overlord and the Invasion of Normandy.
- 13 June – World War II: The first V-1 flying bomb attack on London takes place. Eight civilians were killed in the blast. The bomb earns the nickname "doodlebug".
- 3 August – The Education Act, promoted by Rab Butler, creates a Tripartite System of secondary education in England and Wales with Secondary Modern, Technical, and Grammar schools, entrance being determined in most cases by the results of the Eleven plus exam.
- 12 August - The V-1 flying bomb campaign against London by the Germans reaches its 60th day, with more than 6,000 deaths, 17,000 injuries and damage or destruction to around 1 million buildings.
- 20 August – American Liberty ship SS Richard Montgomery is wrecked off the Nore in the Thames Estuary with around 1,400 tonnes of explosives on board, never recovered.
- 21 August – Dumbarton Oaks Conference opens in Washington, D.C.: American, British, Chinese, French and Soviet representatives meet to plan the foundation of the United Nations.
- 7 September – The Belgian government leaves the UK and returns to Belgium following the liberation of Brussels on 3 September.
- 8 September – World War II: The first V-2 rocket attack on London takes place, striking in the Chiswick district of the city and resulting in the deaths of three people.
- 17 September – World War II: Restrictions imposed by the Blackout are relaxed.
- 25 September - V-2 rockets aimed at Ipswich and Norwich by the Germans miss their targets by a distance.
- 9 October – Fourth Moscow Conference: Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin begin a nine-day conference in Moscow to discuss the future of Europe.
- 23 October – The Allies recognise Charles de Gaulle's cabinet as the provisional government of France.
- 12 November – World War II: Sinking of the German battleship Tirpitz by RAF Lancaster bombers.
- 22 November – Release of Laurence Olivier's Henry V, the first work of Shakespeare filmed in colour.
- 25 November – World War II: A V-2 rocket destroys the Woolworths store in New Cross Road, south east London, killing 168, the highest death toll from one of these weapons. More than 100 people survive with injuries.
- 27 November – RAF Fauld explosion: Between 3,450 and 3,930 tons (3,500 and 4,000 tonnes) of ordnance explodes at an underground storage depot in Staffordshire leaving about 75 dead and a crater 1,200 metres (0.75 miles) across and 120 metres (400 ft) deep, one of the largest explosions in history and the largest on UK soil.
- 3 December – World War II: The Home Guard is stood down.
- 24 December – World War II: Fifty German V-1 flying bombs, air-launched from Heinkel He 111 bombers flying over the North Sea, target Manchester, killing at least 27 and injuring more than 100 in the Oldham area.
- The 1944 Summer Olympics, scheduled for London, are not held due to World War II.
- Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act makes arrangements for postwar provision of adequate housing for all who need it.
- Ministry of Works builds the first demonstration temporary prefab houses designed for postwar reconstruction (in Northolt).
- Council of Industrial Design established.
- H. E. Bates' novel Fair Stood the Wind for France.
- Joyce Carey's novel The Horse's Mouth.
- Agatha Christie's novels Towards Zero and Death Comes as the End.
- L. P. Hartley's novel The Shrimp and the Anemone, first in the Eustace and Hilda trilogy.
- F. W. Hayek's book The Road to Serfdom.
- W. Somerset Maugham’s novel The Razor's Edge.
- L. T. C. Rolt's book Narrow Boat.
- G. M. Trevelyan's book English Social History: a survey of six centuries from Chaucer to Queen Victoria.
- C.S. Lewis's book The Great Divorce.
January – June
- 9 January – Jimmy Page, guitarist (Led Zeppelin)
- 27 January
- 28 January – John Tavener, English composer of religious music (died 2013)
- 3 February – Dave Davies, British musician (The Kinks)
- 13 February – Jerry Springer, English-born television host
- 14 February – Alan Parker, English film director
- 17 February – Karl Jenkins, Welsh composer
- 24 February – Nicky Hopkins, musician (died 1994)
- 1 March – Roger Daltrey, musician (The Who)
- 7 March – Ranulph Fiennes, adventurer
- 11 March – Don Maclean, British comedian
- 21 March – Mike Jackson, English soldier
- 6 April – Felicity Palmer, English soprano
- 12 April – Lisa Jardine, née Bronowski, Renaissance historian and polymath (died 2015)
- 27 April – Michael Fish, British TV weatherman
- 5 May
- 8 May – Gary Glitter, English singer and convicted sex offender
- 12 May – Sara Kestelman, British actor
- 20 May – Joe Cocker, English singer (died 2014)
- 25 May – Frank Oz, English puppeteer and film director
- 28 May – Patricia Quinn, Northern Irish actress
- 1 June – Colin Blakemore, neurobiologist and academic
- 3 June – Peter Bonfield, businessman
July – December
- 21 July – Tony Scott, English film director
- 27 July – Tony Capstick, English comedian, actor, and musician (died 2003)
- 27 July – Matthew Robinson, English TV & film producer, director, writer
- 2 August – Jim Capaldi, British drummer, singer, and songwriter (Traffic) (died 2005)
- 11 August – Ian McDiarmid, Scottish actor
- 26 August – Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
- 31 August – Roger Dean, British artist
- 22 September – Frazer Hines, British actor
- 26 September – Anne Robinson, British television host
- 30 September – Jimmy Johnstone, Scottish footballer
- 9 October – John Entwistle, English bassist (The Who) (died 2002)
- 15 October – David Trimble, Northern Irish politician, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
- 28 October – Ian Marter, British actor (died 1986)
- 10 November – Tim Rice, lyricist, writer and broadcaster
- 6 December – Jonathan King, British music producer
- 21 December – Bill Atkinson, English footballer
- 1 January – Edwin Lutyens, architect (born 1869)
- 19 January – Emily Winifred Dickson, gynaecologist (born 1866 in Ireland)
- 13 April – Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale, sportsman after whom the brand Lonsdale is named (born 1857)
- 8 May – Ethel Smyth, composer and a leader of the women's suffrage movement (born 1858)
- 28 July – Ralph H. Fowler, astronomer and physicist (born 1889)
- 19 August – Henry Wood, conductor (born 1869)
- 13 September – W. Heath Robinson, cartoonist and illustrator (born 1872)
- 23 October – Charles Glover Barkla, physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (born 1877)
- 26 October ** William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury (born 1881)
- 22 November – Arthur Stanley Eddington, astrophysicist (born 1882)
- Beale, Nick (2005). Kampfflieger: Bombers of the Luftwaffe, vol. 4: Summer 1943–May 1945. Burgess Hill: Classic Publications. p. 315. ISBN 978-1-903223-50-5.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 392–394. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Kynaston, David (2007). Austerity Britain 1945–1951. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-7985-4.
- Small, Ken; Rogerson, Mark (1988). The Forgotten Dead – Why 946 American Servicemen Died off the Coast of Devon in 1944 – and the Man who Discovered their True Story. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 0-7475-0309-5.
- Fenton, Ben (26 April 2004). "The disaster that could have scuppered Overlord". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- Savill, Richard (26 April 2004). "Last of torpedo survivors remembers brave buddies". The Daily Telegraph.
- Wasley, Gerald (1994). Devon at War, 1939–1945. Tiverton: Devon Books. p. 157. ISBN 0-86114-885-1.
- Simons, Paul (2008). Since Records Began. London: Collins. pp. 33–5. ISBN 978-0-00-728463-4.
- Foot, M. R. D. (1999). SOE: An Outline History of the Special Operations Executive 1940–46. London: Pimlico. p. 143. ISBN 0-7126-6585-4.
- "Education Act, 1944" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "Report on the Wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery" (PDF). Southampton: Maritime and Coastguard Agency. November 2000. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "New Cross Woolworth's". Flying Bombs and Rockets. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- Reed, John (1977). "Largest Wartime Explosions: 21 Maintenance Unit, RAF Fauld, Staffs. November 27, 1944". After the Battle 18: 35–40. ISSN 0306-154X..
- "Prefabs – Factory homes for post-War England". English Heritage. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
- Marr, Andrew (2007). A History of Modern Britain. London: Macmillan. p. 81. ISBN 978-1-4050-0538-8.