Monday, 22 January 2018

Pre-War Literature and Attitudes Toward Aerial Bombardment

In the decades preceding the First World War, future war fiction brought the concept of war in the air to the forefront of public imagination. The stories focused on the possibilities of weaponised flying machines, and the danger of failing to acknowledge their potential.

Top of an Australian poster. A German Zeppelin is caught in the
beams of two searchlights © IWM (Art.IWM PST 12259).
The art of posters around the war in the air often drew upon the
images depicted - in word and in image -in the pre-war novels.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Women and Work in the First World War - The War in the Air

The merging of the RFC and the RNAS to form the Royal Air Force (RAF) raised fears about losing their specialised female workforce. The WRAF was formed on 1st April 1918 to create a separate women's air service. Their work was divided into clerks and store women, household, technical and non technical. They were not trained at first and recruited according to their existing skills. 

The Role of Women and Work in World War One - General Background

From the late eighteenth century the Industrial Revolution used the labour of women, both single and married. Most women still worked in domestic service,  though many worked in textile production and even in coal mines. They often worked in poor conditions and treated unfairly, arguably like the plight of women in countries described as ‘Third World’ today. 

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Some of Henry Montgomery Martin’s 1918 Photographs of Croydon

Aerial view of Croydon, 1918
A series of photographs that HCAT has copies of - not the originals - gives a great visual glimpse of Croydon / Beddington aerodrome during the war and occasionally leisure activities in Croydon itself. As we have progressed through the project, we've found some information that assist with some context for those photographs. the photographs belonged to and were probably taken Herbert Montgomery Martin, who appears to have been one of the ground crew based at Croydon / Beddington during the war.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Fighting for Air Volunteer Visit to the Local Studies / Museum of Croydon

In the last post, I detailed how six of us had a busy day last Tuesday as we visited the First World War (FWW) galleries at the Imperial War Museum, London; then went to see archival material at the Museum of Croydon. This time, I’ll write up some notes from the Museum of Croydon. . .

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Fighting for Air Visit to the Imperial War Museum

Six of our volunteers had a busy day on Tuesday 12 December as we visited the First World War (FWW) Galleries at the Imperial War Museum, London; then went to see archival material at the Museum of Croydon. Both trips gave us a great perspective on the national and local response to the war and aerial attacks on civilians. We’ll start with the Imperial War Museum. . . 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Air Defences at Croydon

In January 1916, as the aerodrome opened for use, an observation point was established in central Croydon. There were numerous reports of suspected signalling to the enemy Zeppelins during the raids of October 1915. Several volunteer observers and police officers were stationed on the Clock Tower of the Town Hall with a direct phone line and motor car ready to convey police at any point.