For enthusiasts and researchers of the Great Eastern Railway

RH010 The GER and the Air Raids

  • RH010 The GER and the Air Raids

REVISED AND MUCH EXPANDED EDITION JANUARY 2018.  Taken from Edwin A Pratt's 1921 book 'British Railways and the Great War'. Fifty-nine fascinating pages from the book are included two to an A4 view, and seven photographic illustrations also feature. This chapter deals with Zeppelin and aircraft raids.

Fourteen of the pages relate directly to the GER (and therefore formed the first edition), but since one of the main routes for the raiders was over East Anglia there are several other references throughout the chapter. All GER stationmasters and other staff across the whole system were responsible for observations of enemy aircraft, and the news was sent by railway telegraph to 'the Military Office at Liverpool Street station', where the accumulating information was plotted by pins on maps. Some of the photographs show Zeppelin routes on specified nights, superimposed on a map of the GER network. In the book these are not really successful: the Zeppelin routes stand out clearly, but the underlying GER map is so faint and blurry that it is impossible to decipher it. The illustrations in the file derived from them are inevitably still poor but rather more comprehensible - a combination of brightness/contrast adjustment and the option to enlarge the image on-screen make the difference.

Many other aspects of air raids are included in the chapter. There were regulations such as instructions about the use of carriage blinds at night, for example, and there is a drawing of a GER signal with a shield fitted to mask the glow from its lamps. The places where the public might seek shelter were considered (such as police stations, museums and public libraries!), but in London the underground turned out to be more popular than the crypt of the Guildhall. Typical incidents during the raids are recorded, including almost two pages of such happenings on the GER.

Other than the GER, the sections of the chapter describing individual railways have not been included here, with two exceptions: the North London Railway, and the Midland Railway (which now had the London Tilbury and Southend as one of its components).

This file has bookmarks to its main sections. It will be available to download as soon as payment has been made. You go to your account and click on ‘Downloads’. New customers create an account as they place their order.

File
Also available on paper M292 (only 14 of the 59 pages, and none of the illustrations, appear there)
Pages 39
File Size (MB) 13.1

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