The River Thames bursting its banks, rail lines being washed away, villages being turned into islands and soldiers out on the frontline filling sandbags – the Thames Valley has been deluged by the river many times over the past 100 years.

The most severe flooding incidents were in 1928 – when the river burst its banks, inundating parts of central London and drowning 14 people – and 1947, when a sudden thaw after a severe winter added to rivers already swollen by torrential rain.

These two events, plus the disastrous North Sea flooding of 1953 that devastated Canvey Island, killing 53 people, led to the construction of the Thames Flood Barrier at Woolwich, which protects central London.

IBTimesUK looks back at a century of flooding on the Thames.

1915 Berkshire
December 1915: A man with a wooden leg cycles down a flooded road in BerkshireGetty
1915 pony
December 1915: A man and a boy make a journey by pony and trap on the Staines to Windsor Road after flooding in the Thames ValleyGetty
1926 Shepperton
November 1926: A chivalrous grocer's boy gives a lift to a young damsel in distress during floods at SheppertonGetty
1926 staines
January 1926: Two women cross a flooded road near Staines, Middlesex, by means of a makeshift raft and a poleGetty
1926 windsor bench
1926: Children sit on a park bench which has been flooded by the Thames at WindsorGetty
1928 rotherhithe
1928: Men rescue residents in Rotherhithe, south London, after the Thames broke its banksGetty
1928 moat
1928: A section of the moat at the Tower of London back under water for first time in centuriesGetty
1928 pets
January 1928: A mobile PDSA (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals) clinic attends to animal flood victims in LondonGetty
1933 bike
February 1933: A cyclist lifts up his legs to avoid the splashing as he pedals down a flooded lane in the Thames ValleyGetty
1935 bike
January 1935: An errand boy reaches for his sinking bicycle in EtonGetty
1940 eton laundry
February 1940: A laundry van makes its way along a flooded road in Eton, after the River Thames burst its banksGetty
1946 wraysbury
November 1946: Furniture is rowed down a flooded street after homes were evacuated in Wraysbury, BuckinghamshireGetty
1947 berkshire
March 1947: Members of an army unit help rescue people from their flooded homes in MaidenheadGetty
1947 maidenhead
March 1947: WVS women, assisted by the army, deliver emergency supplies in flooded MaidenheadGetty
1954 milkman
December 1954: A sign rising out of floodwater provides a handy resting place for milk bottles being collected by milkman Bill Turner at Old Windsor, BuckinghamshireGetty
1958 putney
January 1958: Children stand on the railings at Putney Embankment, London, after the Thames goes over the topGetty
May 1975: Sir Reginald Goodwin, leader of the Greater London Council, visits the site of the Thames flood barrier to inspect construction progressGetty