Firemen on a Roof

W Matvyn Wright, 1910 - 1983

Firemen on a Roof

W Matvyn Wright 1910 - 1983


A dramatic scene of firefighters in action during the Second World War Blitz, with four firemen standing on a London roof aiming a hose over an unseen fire to the left. Two men stand side by side to the left, steadying the hose with their faces lit by the flames. There are two more men behind them to the right, one supporting the hose, standing on a ladder, whilst the fourth fireman moves away from the flames. St Paul's Cathedral is visible against the night sky in the top left-hand corner, surrounded by burning buildings. The sky is full of smoke. Matvyn Wright, himself an auxiliary fireman, captures the striking image of the heroic firefighter that became something of a symbol of the London Blitz.

Display Label

Firemen on a Roof 1941 W.Matvyn Wright born 1910 Oil on panel This dramatic scene shows fire-fighters on a London roof during the Blitz in the Second World War. Fire raged all around the area of St.Paul's Cathedral, which can be seen in the background on the left. Despite the terrible bombing the Cathedral survived. Materials during the war were in short supply. This is painted on one half of a salvaged ping-pong table. Presented by H M Government War Artists Advisory Committee 1947.395

Object Name

Firemen on a Roof

Creators Name

W Matvyn Wright

Date Created



Panel: 122cm x 121.1cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint


Gift of H.M. Government War Artists' Advisory Committee.


© The Artist (Orphan Work - No traceable rights holder found. If you have any information regarding the rights holder for this work please contact the gallery. Manchester Art Gallery operates a take down policy should a rights holder object to publication of an image)

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