The Great War: Panic in the Villages?

As Zeppelin raids continued, including on the Cambridge area,  German bombers continued raiding London, and Germany was making strides on the Western Front, a fear seems to have gripped the British mainland. Extreme circumstances produced extreme suggestions, like this letter in the ‘Cambridge Chronicle’ from F.L. Nicholls, Of Fulbourn:

“Sir – What is to prevent a flight of enemy aeroplanes landing in our villages, leaving one or two of their number with machine guns to protect the planes while the remainder carry death and destruction to everyone and everything they come across? ….

In every village we now have volunteers; some of these should always be ready with machine guns and grenades at home, and … a small supply of machine guns should be provided for use in case of emergency. Will this be done or shall we have to wait till some massacre of innocent civilian women and children and old people has taken place?”

Thankfully for the streets of Haslingfield and Fulbourn the German threat was thwarted in early 1918.

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