A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46


No. 90
Daily Report on MORALE
Tuesday, 3rd September, 1940 .

People to-day are more cheerful than any day since air raid warnings became so frequent. This appears to be due to adjustments about sleeping arrangements, and many people slept soundly through last night's raid in the London area. Sleeping downstairs and in shelters is becoming a routine in many parts of the country. In a few localities, the siren question is once more much discussed, but the controversy is no longer general. There are still reports of complaints in certain towns, which have been vigorously bombed, that there is no evidence of searchlight, A.A., or fighter activity. In such places the feeling of resentment against the enemy is mixed with a feeling of dissatisfaction against our own defences. Generally speaking, however, there is the strongest satisfaction with the work of the R.A.F. and A.A. defence, and for the first time reports indicate that really strong feelings directed against the raiders are appearing.

The satisfaction which follows all news of our air attacks on Germany is coupled with the hope, and even the anticipation, that aggressive military action may soon be undertaken by our forces in the Near East.

All reports indicate that there is great confidence in our civil defence services, though there are still grumbles at the lack of Anderson and other shelters in areas originally thought to be safe but now found to be vulnerable.

Rumours of exaggerated air raid damage are still circulating and these appear to be mainly due to letter writers who wish to impress their friends.

Thanks to the drought, the beginnings of a milk shortage are reported from the Southern region, and this may become serious.




3.9.40 .

2. NORTH-EASTERN (Leeds). The biggest raid to date in the W. Riding has left morale high, and civil defence personnel are more confident after successfully facing their first trial. The small number killed has increased confidence in shelters, but there is much dissatisfaction on the subject of sirens and A.A. defence; In Bradford people ask “Why have we no Spitfires?” There is a new and widespread rumour that fires have preceded raids, thus guiding the enemy to their targets.

4. EASTERN (Cambridge). Some anxiety is caused by the way in which air battle losses are reported, and many go to bed believing our losses to be higher in proportion to those of the enemy than finally transpires. Satisfaction is expressed that where raiding has been heaviest, voluntary services have worked smoothly and efficiently. In Luton, after a severe first raid, bombs fell before the warning, which has caused criticism of local authorities, although morale remains high.

6. SOUTHERN (Reading). Enthusiasm for the numerous Spitfire funds shows the temper of the people, in spite of the rise in cost of living, shortages of various commodities, and the ever present threat of air attacks. Milk is a new problem, and some dairymen have had to restrict supplies as the drought has brought down yields of the herds; stocks of winter foodstuffs are now being used and this will aggravate milk shortage later.

8. WALES (Cardiff). People in the Swansea district are depressed by damage and casualties of recent raids, but although their defences and the siren system are the subject of criticism, morale is high. The sinking of the liner taking evacuee children abroad has caused indignation, and increased the uncertainty in the minds of parents as to the advisability of sending children abroad. Complaints are received from North Wales that broadcast reception has lately been very bad after 9 p.m. Exaggerated rumours of air-raid deaths in Swansea were prevalent in both Cardiff and Newport.

10. NORTH-WESTERN (Manchester). After a quiet Sunday and Monday night those in industrial areas are refreshed and cheerful. Many now sleep downstairs or in shelters, and few people are to be seen in the streets after 9 p.m. Renewed interest in evacuation in the poorer districts of Liverpool. Daily figures of Nazi planes destroyed watched with interest and accepted. Evidence of discontent over Means Test in relation to Old Age Pensions supplementary allowance.

12. SOUTH-EASTERN (Tunbridge Wells) . The fixed curfew hour has caused general satisfaction in the areas concerned, as have the new boundaries which are marked by main roads. It is felt that the siren is sounded for too long at night, particularly the piercing note “Raiders Past”, which seems to awaken everyone. Complaints from the Crowborough district that those who have gone there from bombed seaside towns are being charged exorbitantly for board and lodging.


We use cookies to track usage and preferences.

Privacy & Cookie Policy Accept & Close