“the quietness was short-lived” – an air raid on London

Sister Blanche Cresswick ARRC.  Photo: Courtesy Newcastle Museum

Sister Blanche Cresswick ARRC. Photo: Courtesy Newcastle Museum

Sister Blanche Cresswick ARRC was a graduate of Newcastle Hospital who served for four years with the Australian Army Nursing Service and was awarded Associate of the Royal Red Cross for her work at No 3 Australian Casualty Clearing Station on the Western Front.  She describes an air raid whilst on leave in London:

“had a glorious night’s sleep during [our] first night in London. … But the quietness was short-lived, for the very next night London was raided by the Gothas, and the big stores just opposite my hotel were blown to pieces.  It seemed as if the Boches had followed us.  We proceeded forthwith to finish our holiday in Scotland….

… Before the news [of the Armistice] we absolutely hated the sight of the moon, and you know what the moon, clear, bright and pleasing, means to the average Australian.  But over there, just before the armistice, she was invariably the harbinger of death, or untold agony to the boys on their beds of pain and suffering, owing to the almost certitude with which a clear moonlight night brought the bombing Gothas overhead.  When we realised all this was over we were able to look calmly and peacefully at the moon again.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 18 February 1919

Click here for other first hand accounts.


© Christine Bramble 2013

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