Author Jerry White will talk about his new book London’s First Air War, 1915-1918. Jerry White gives an overview of the Zeppeline raids, and the shortcomings in London’s defences they exposed.
London’s First Air War, 1915-1918
Air raids on London by Zeppelin airships were expected from the moment war was declared. Early precautions included a blackout at night and the installation of guns on prominent buildings and in the parks. Even so, raids finally began from the end of May 1915, provoking a mix of responses among the Londoners from sangfroid to blind panic. When the air cover by fighter aircraft became more effective against Zeppelins during 1916, the Germans switched to the use of heavy bombing planes, which proved generally immune from attack by London’s air defences. The civilian authorities’ response to the air attack was lacklustre throughout the bombing campaign. Jerry White gives an overview of the raids, and the shortcomings in London’s defences they exposed.
Professor Jerry White
Professor Jerry White has been writing London history since the early 1970s, much of it while pursuing a career in local government. He is a former Chief Executive of the London Borough of Hackney, and retired as Local Government Ombudsman in 2009. In 1975 he was lucky enough to become associated with Raphael Samuel and became a member of the editorial collective of History Workshop Journal from 1976.
His first two books were oral histories of contrasting London communities. From 1997 he was engaged on a largescale study of modern London, beginning with London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People, winner of the Wolfson History Prize in 2002; this was followed by London in the Nineteenth Century: ‘A Human Awful Wonder of God’, and the final volume of the trilogy, London in the Eighteenth Century: A Great and Monstrous Thing, was published by the Bodley Head in 2012. He has been associated with History and Policy since 2003.
He was awarded the Hon. Degree of D. Litt. by the University of London in 2005 and was elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2008. Since 2009 he has been teaching London history at Birkbeck. His Zeppelin Nights. London in the First World War was published in May this year; it has recently won the Spear’s Book Award for Social History of the Year.
Bletchley Park will be open throughout the day for guests
14.00 - Talk in The Teleprinter Hall
15.00 - Q & A Session The Teleprinter Hall
15.15 - Tea & Cake served in the Mansion Cafe followed by a book signing.
Tickets are £25 per person (tickets include day entry to Bletchley Park Park) or £20 per person for season ticket holders. Tickets available for Friends of Bletchley Park from 1 December by contacting the shop on 01908 272684 (please leave a message and the shop will call you back). Normal tickets on sale from 6 January.
No refunds available less than two weeks before the event.