1942 in the United Kingdom
|1942 in the United Kingdom|
|1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944|
|Individual countries of the United Kingdom|
|England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales|
|Sport, television and music|
- 1 January
- 10 January – World War II: Liverpool Blitz ends with German bombs dropped in the Stanhope Street area of the city, with nine people dying and many more suffering injuries. Among the houses destroyed in the bombing is the former home of Adolf Hitler's half-brother Alois. Four more people die as a result of their injuries the following day.
- 26 January – World War II: First United States troops for the European Theatre arrive in the UK, at Belfast.
- 29 January – radio programme Desert Island Discs first broadcast on the BBC Forces Programme, presented by Roy Plomley. Vic Oliver is the first castaway. The programme will still be running 75 years later.
- January – Mildenhall Treasure discovered by ploughman Gordon Butcher in Suffolk.
- February–April – Liverpool Chinese seamen strike for improved pay.
- 7 February – soap rationing introduced.
- 15 February – World War II: Arthur Ernest Percival's forces surrender to the Japanese at the Battle of Singapore.
- 25 February – Princess Elizabeth (now Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms) registers for war service.
- April – Women's Timber Corps set up.
- 5 April – World War II: Japanese Navy attacks Colombo in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Royal Navy Cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire are sunk southwest of the island.
- 9 April – World War II: Japanese Navy launches air raid on Trincomalee in Ceylon (Sri Lanka); Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Hermes and Royal Australian Navy Destroyer HMAS Vampire are sunk off the country's East Coast.
- 23 April
- 25–27 April – World War II: "Baedeker Blitz" – Bath Blitz: three bombing raids on Bath kill 417; among the buildings destroyed or badly damaged the Assembly Rooms are gutted.
- 5 May–6 November – World War II: Battle of Madagascar; British commander Robert Sturges leads the invasion of Vichy French-held Madagascar.
- 6 May – The Radio Doctor (Charles Hill) makes his first BBC radio broadcast giving avuncular health care advice.
- 30 May – World War II: over a thousand RAF bombers attack Cologne in Germany.
- 15 June – propaganda film The Next of Kin is commercially released by Ealing Studios.
- July–August – J. Arthur Rank's Odeon Cinemas purchase UK sites of Paramount Cinemas.
- July – military scientists begin testing of anthrax as a biological warfare agent on the Scottish island of Gruinard.
- 10 July – the patriotic Academy Award-winning drama film Mrs. Miniver, starring Greer Garson, is released in London.
- 11 August – traffic admitted onto the new Waterloo Bridge across the River Thames in London.
- 19 August – World War II: British and Canadian troops conduct the Dieppe Raid.
- 25 August – Prince George, Duke of Kent, brother of George VI, is killed in an air crash near Caithness, Scotland.
- 30 August – 2 September: World War II: At the Battle of Alam el Halfa in Egypt, General Montgomery leads the Eighth Army to victory over Field Marshal Rommel's Afrika Korps.
- September – The Brains Trust first broadcast under this title on BBC Home Service radio.
- 12 September – World War II: British transport ship RMS Laconia torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat in the Atlantic, west of Africa, with the loss of around 2,000 lives, mainly Italian prisoners of war.
- 13 September – World War II:
- 17 September – Noël Coward's film In Which We Serve premieres.
- 23 September
- 2 October
- British cruiser Curaçao collides with troopship RMS Queen Mary off the coast of Donegal and sinks: 338 drown.
- World War II: Japanese troopship Lisbon Maru sinks following a torpedo attack the previous day by submarine USS Grouper off the coast of China: 829 are killed, mostly British prisoners of war who (unknown to the attacker) were being held onboard.
- 5 October – Oxford Committee for Famine Relief founded.
- 9 October – the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act passed by the Parliament of Australia formalises Australian autonomy from the U.K.
- 23 October – World War II: British and Commonwealth forces launch a major attack against German and Italian forces in the Second Battle of El Alamein in Egypt.
- 25 October – the milk ration is cut to two and a half pints a week.
- 29 October – a public meeting presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury and with international political figures in attendance at the Royal Albert Hall in London registers outrage over The Holocaust.
- 30 October – World War II: British sailors board German submarine U-559 as it sinks in the Mediterranean and retrieve its Enigma machine and codebooks.
- 31 October – World War II: Canterbury is bombed by the German Luftwaffe, apparently in reprisal for an RAF 1,000 bomber raid on Cologne.
- 4 November – World War II: Second Battle of El Alamein effectively ends with Erwin Rommel forced to order German forces to retreat this evening in the face of pressure from General Montgomery's Eighth Army. Clearing up operations continue until 11 November.
- 8 November – World War II: British and American troops invade French North Africa in Operation Torch.
- 13 November – World War II: Allied troops recapture Tobruk.
- 17 November – Admiral Max Horton takes over from Percy Noble as Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches, with responsibility for the safety of Atlantic convoys.
- 1 December – publication of the Beveridge Report into social insurance.
- 7 December – World War II: British commandos conduct Operation Frankton, a raid on shipping in Bordeaux harbour.
- 16 December – the Trade Union Congress backs the Beveridge Report.
- 30 December – British insurance companies attack the Beveridge Report.
- World War II: Maunsell Forts erected in the Thames Estuary.
- "Flying Officer X" (H. E. Bates)'s short story collection The Greatest People in the World.
- "BB"'s children's story The Little Grey Men.
- Enid Blyton's children's story Five on a Treasure Island, first in The Famous Five series.
- Joyce Carey's novel To Be a Pilgrim.
- Agatha Christie's novels The Body in the Library (Miss Marple), Five Little Pigs (Hercule Poirot) and The Moving Finger (Miss Marple).
- T. S. Eliot's poem Little Gidding, last of the Four Quartets (in October New English Weekly).
- Richard Hillary's wartime autobiography The Last Enemy.
- C. S. Lewis' novel The Screwtape Letters.
- Alker Tripp's text Town Planning and Road Traffic.
- Evelyn Waugh's novel Put Out More Flags.
January – April
- 3 January – John Thaw, English actor (died 2002)
- 5 January – Jan Leeming, TV presenter and newsreader
- 8 January
- 19 January – Michael Crawford, English singer and actor
- 21 January – George Foulkes, Labour MP and peer
- 31 January – Derek Jarman, English director and writer (died 1994)
- 1 February – Terry Jones, Welsh actor and writer
- 2 February – Graham Nash, English musician
- 27 February - Mike Bailey, British footballer
- 28 February – Brian Jones, English rock musician (The Rolling Stones) (died 1969)
- 9 March – John Cale, Welsh composer and musician
- 25 March – Richard O'Brien, English actor and writer
- 27 March
- 28 March
- 1 April
- 5 April – Peter Greenaway, Welsh filmmaker
- 8 April – Roger Chapman, English rock singer (Family, Streetwalkers)
- 12 April – Bill Bryden, Scottish-born theatre director
- 19 April – David Fanshawe, English composer (died 2010)
May – August
- 8 May
- 12 May – Ian Dury, British musician (died 2000)
- 13 May - Jeff Astle, British footballer (died 2002)
- 18 May
- 24 May – Fraser Stoddart, Scottish-born scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- 9 June – Ossie Clark, fashion designer (murdered 1996)
- 10 June - Gordon Burns, British TV Presenter
- 18 June
- 20 June – Andrew Graham, economist and academic
- 24 June
- 1 July – Julia Higgins, polymer scientist
- 4 July – Prince Michael of Kent
- 23 July – Myra Hindley, English murderer (died 2002)
- 26 August – Dennis Turner, British politician
September – December
- 7 September – Richard Block, co-founder of B&Q (Retail) Ltd.
- 15 September – Philip Harris, entrepreneur and educationist
- 17 September – Des Lynam, Irish-born TV sports presenter
- 27 September
- 26 October – Bob Hoskins, English actor (died 2014)
- 24 November
- 29 November – Michael Craze, English actor (died 1998)
- 4 December
- 31 December – Andy Summers, English rock musician
- 16 January – Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, third eldest son of Queen Victoria (born 1850)
- 10 March – Sir William Henry Bragg, physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (born 1862)
- 16 April – Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, granddaughter of Queen Victoria (born 1878)
- 23 May – C. R. Ashbee, designer (born 1863)
- 7 June – Alan Blumlein, electronics engineer (born 1903; killed in military aircraft accident)
- 22 July – Gilbert Joyce, Bishop of Monmouth (born 1866)
- 28 July – Flinders Petrie, Egyptologist (born 1853)
- 10 August – Bob Kelso, Scottish footballer (born 1865)
- 25 August – Prince George, Duke of Kent, fourth eldest son of George V (born 1902; killed in military aircraft accident)
- 4 December – Hugh Malcolm, Scottish Royal Air Force officer, posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross (born 1917; killed in action)
- 22 December – E. H. Jones, Welsh army officer, educationist and writer (born 1883)
- "The Sneyd Colliery Explosion 1st Jan 1942". HealeyHero. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- "Sneyd Pit Disaster". BBC. 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- "Typography versus Hitler — The Book Production War Economy Agreement". Chris Forster. 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
- Shaw, Antony (2005). World War II Day By Day. Staplehurst: Spellmount. ISBN 1-86227-304-9.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- "Liverpool and its Chinese Seamen". Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- "Women's Timber Corps Memorial". Forestry Commission Scotland. Archived from the original on 7 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
- "Britain's 'Anthrax Island'". BBC. 25 July 2001. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- "Mrs. Miniver (1942)". Reel Classics. Archived from the original on 2 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
- "The Brains Trust". Radio Days. Archived from the original on 8 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 389–390. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- "Nazi Atrocities". The Times (49380). London. 1942-10-30. p. 2.