16 June 1917 – Public Outrage

Following the bombing of London on 13 June, there has been a wave of public anger against the failure to protect the city.

Public meetings have been held around London to discuss the lack of warnings and to call for reprisals against German cities.

The issues have also been raised in parliament by William Johnson-Hicks and Noel Pemberton-Billing on 14 June and by Captain Richard Barnett on 15 June who both asked why warnings were not issued to allow the public to take defensive actions.

In both cases the Government has stated that the matter had been discussed widely and  belief was that air raid warnings tended only to drive people into the streets and cause panic. It was also reported that some people had taken taxis from the West End to watch the raid. Furthermore, warnings everytime there was a risk of a raid would totally disrupt the life of the city.

The Times supported the Government position in an editorial this morning “Air Attack Warnings”.  Flight Magazine was also supportive of the position quoting various examples where parents had besieged schools trying to get children out.


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