28th March – No bell ringing (but singing is ok)

In an effort to bolster the defences against German air raids, a further clause was added to the Defence of the Realm Regulations to prevent the ringing of bells and striking of clocks in those areas where Lights Orders are in effect.

The purpose of Lights Orders is of course to make urban areas harder to spot from the air at night. It is hoped that the prevention of bells and clocks will provide some additional protection in this regard. The order states:

“In any area in which an order made under Regulation 11 or Regulation 12 requiring lights to be extinguished or obscured is in force the ringing and chiming of bells and the striking of clocks audible in any street or other open space shall be prohibited between the hours between which lights are so required to be extinguished or obscured, except in cases where special permission is obtained from the competent military authority, and if any person having control of any bells or clock allows the bells to be rung or chimed or the clock to strike in contravention of the provisions of this Regulation he shall be guilty of a summary offence against these Regulations.”

The Home Office had received many other suggestions for securing silence from various authorities, including proposals to prohibit singing, whistling, shouting in the streets, and even the barking of dogs. None of these were seriously considered.


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