Tuesday, February 20, 2024

WW1 in Thurrock: Zeppelins and the price of milk!

IN October 1916 the editor of the “Grays and Tilbury Gazette had this to say on the Zeppelin raids and the price of milk.”Last week was Zepp week-the week of the Essex bag of two big Zepps. Their descent dwarfed into comparative nothingness all other events and announcements of the week, yet there were others of importance.One of far greater importance , a Zepp overhead can excite very many people and terrorise here and there a weakling, but the projected duly announced-raising of the price of milk sold by retail is a heavy blow aimed at the efficiency of every household, more especially at those full of babies and children of tender age.Were we able to appreciate passing events in their true perspective we should say: “That Zeppelin may kill a few people young and old; this increased price may kill many, mostly young, and, therefore, most valuable. That Zeppelin may maim fifty or a hundred young and old, this increased price may hinder the natural development of many thousands . This further raising of the price of milk, accompanied by the high price of sugar, may be for the nation worse than a lost battle .Whilst other agencies are allowed to exploit the national situation, I am not going to throw stones at anyone. Yet I do strongly feel that any price for milk in excess of 6d. a quart challenges baby-life, and, as the lads pass more rapidly away as the year lengthens, we cannot avoid thinking of the future and of the national need for men. Baby-life is of supreme importance. Not only is there violent death in battle to be thought of, but from high places come warnings as to the spread of insidious disease.If the nation must have young manhood, it should make haste to save our young children and babies. It is a Governmental duty equally urgent as war preparation. At any rate, that is my view, and in respect of it the call shall be clear and unmistakeable. Mr Pretyman’s statement against a higher wholesale figure than 1s and 4d per gallon is certain to stiffen resistance.


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