Muslim community Cardiff 1943

Photograph of Muslim community in Cardiff 1943
Lent by the Imperial War Museum

Eric Kennington, ‘Head of T.E. Lawrence’ 1926
Eric Kennington
Head of T.E. Lawrence 1926
© The estate of Eric Kennington

Photograph of Muslim community in Cardiff 1943

Lent by the Imperial War Museum

This photograph captures everyday life in British Muslim communities during the Second World War.

This shows young Welsh girls in Butetown receiving Islamic teaching in a neighbourhood home, as the local mosque was bombed by the Germans in 1940-1.

Also on display

Photograph of Imam Abdul Majid leading congregation in prayer 1941

This picture shows the Imam leading prayer in a tent set up alongside the mosque in Woking. The soldiers were from the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, many of whom chose to spend their leave at this mosque.

Photograph of the Shah Jahan Mosque 1945

This was the first purpose-built mosque constructed in Britain.

What do these photographs suggest about British Muslim identity during times of war? Are they a celebration of a particular set of values?

Eric Kennington, Head of T.E. Lawrence 1926

object: 413 x 425 x 254 mm
© Tate

As British liaison officer during the Arab Revolt (1916–18), ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (as he was popularly known), fought alongside Arab forces, publishing his exploits in the autobiographical Seven Pillars of Wisdom. During his service, Lawrence lived closely with the local people and adopted many customs and traditions including the wearing of his trademark headdress and robes which were given to him by Prince Faisal.

Lawrence earned the respect of his hosts and despite misgivings in some quarters, was widely admired in England for his intrepid ventures, becoming an outspoken advocate for the cause of Arab independence after the war.