Hackney under attack: war stories from home

David Mander's  A Hackney Century p36 captions the picture, saying it was a tank day 16 March 1918; the Mayor was Herbert Ormond; there was a lottery; and brass band playing Hearts of Oak - and raised over £112,000 in war bond purchases © Hackney Archives

ONLY THE oldest Londoners have had to endure the horror of attacks on their home.

As Britain marks the outbreak of the First World War a century ago, some of us are moved to wonder how we would have coped with being blitzed.

Some answers may be gleaned next month from Daily life in Hackney during the First World War, a lecture to be given in Dalston next month.

Alkham Street in Stoke Newington, for example, became the first house in the capital in more than 300 years to be attacked when a Zeppelin dropped a bomb on No 16. Nobody was hurt, but the German airship, the size of today’s Gherkin building, went on to drop more bombs on East London that night, killing seven people.

Surprisingly, fewer than 1,500 deaths from air raids are recorded for the whole of Britain in  the 1914-1918 war.

Hamish Scott 220614 

* Daily life in Hackney during the First World War, at the Friends of Hackney Archives annual general meeting, CLR James Library, Dalston Square E8 3BQ, Thursday 3 July 2014 at 6pm. Good disabled access. RSVP to Hackney archives 020 8356 8925 or archives@hackney.gov.uk 

* The picture, reproduced by permission of Hackney archives, shows Hackney Mayor Herbert Ormond leading an appeal for financial contributions to the war effort. From A Hackney Century 1900-1999 by David Mander (Sutton, 1999), £12.99 

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