Bomber Command Medal

Some of the attitude still remains the same

Excerpt from an English Squadron Assoication Newsletter

Mrs Prisett from Barlington, who lost her son—the last in the family—in a flying accident and said: "The dead want us to keep smiling, to carry on and win the war, don't they? I have lost everything I have: I am crippled in both legs, but I still have a pair of hands. I shall find some war work"

These are but a few. All over the country there are other like them. Land girls, nurses, firemen, lorry drivers… Unfortunately I haven't met them. I wish I had. …As a nation we have not known the meaning of total war. We have not seen the enemy in our homes, and the courage and determination of the strong has been powerful enough to carry along the weak in its train… Ther is still the Harrogate businessman who oozes properity and good living and lack of worries, who has never heard a bomb or a shell, who said to me: "Of course, you boys are too young to understand what war means; Do you realize that I've been losing £50 a week since it started?" Of the retired colonel from Wetherby who approached us with the remark: "Can't you manage to have some consideration for other people? Just because you take off in the middle of the night, there's no need to wake the whole neighbourhood up". Or the young man in Cambridge who, in a pub, boasted that he earned £8 a week and for the past month has managed to get away with scrwing up only fourteen bolts a day. There are not many of these people, it is true. But none the less they exist.

Most evenings people discuss the war. Sometimes they are interested in… tactics or strategy. But sometimes they are interested in neither. They wrap themselves in a mantle of gloom…

If these men and their crab-apple faces were to walk into the crew room down the passage from my office, if they were to come and meet the armourers who give up their afternoon off to load up a cargo of bombs in the right place or the ground crew who cancel their free evening to sit all night on a cold dispersal point wailting for their aircraft to come back, they ought to feel a twinge of conscience. If you could borrow their attention for a moment you might be able to conjure up in them a vision of the men who once frequented these hangars and crew rooms, but do so no more…

If the heart-aches have doubt on how we will win, what hope can those in Germany have.

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