This circular was sent to all Lloyds Bank branches on 6th October 1917. At the time, air raids were ‘of daily occurrence’, particularly in London and on the Kent coast.
Aware of the ‘incessant' strain this placed on staff in the ‘danger zones’, the letter appealed to men working elsewhere to swap places with their colleagues for a time: ‘Bachelors preferred, of course.’
Aerial attacks on civilians were a new and terrifying form of warfare. Initially carried out by Zeppelin airships, bomber aircraft were also used from 1917.
The first airship raid took place over Norfolk in January 1915, killing two and injuring 16. By the end of the war, almost 1,500 people had died as a result of aerial bombardments.
The psychological impact of the raids was profound. Attack from the air brought the war directly to the civilian population, and raids were feared and dreaded.