When the present is too painful to think about, there is always the past to retreat into.
Japanese planes forced down an airliner which was flying from Hong Kong to Wuchow to-day [24 August 1938], and, it is reported, machine-gunned the passengers.
Of 18 people in the plane it is believed that 15 have either been killed or drowned, as the machine, which landed on the Macao River, sank.
The pilot, named Woods, and a Chinese passenger, both of whom were wounded, have arrived at Macao, the Portuguese province at the mouth of the Canton River.
Woods said that after he had landed the machine on the west side of the river, four of the 12 Japanese planes that had forced it down, dived and machine-gunned the helpless passengers.1
Well, there's no respite there.
The turbulent Mohmand tribes who have been gathering ominously on the North-West Frontier of India under incitement by Congress Party and communist agitators to strike a blow at the British administration, failed to heed the warnings to disperse contained in leaflets dropped by aeroplanes which flew over the tribal country in the vicinity of the border, and to-day [9 March 1932] they incurred the penalty stated in the warnings, when scores of their villages were bombed by Royal Air Force 'planes from Risalpur and Kohat. Several villages were wrecked and set on fire, Tribesmen hidden on the mountain tops turned fierce rifle fire on the 'planes, which replied with machine guns.
The bombing will continue until the raiders return to their mountain fortresses. One section of the tribesmen, which was threatening the approaches to the remote British outpost at Chitral is reported to have dispersed.2
No respite there either.
When the airmail leaves Parafield for Perth tomorrow mornining [sic] it will carry a highly-bred Nawab with it -- Higham Nawab of Warncourt, a six-weeks-old Persion [sic] kitten, dusty black in color, and about nine inches long.
The Nawab comes from a distinguished family. He was bred by Miss A. E. Jarmyn, of Prospect. His mother is Higham Gipsy, a litter sister to Higham Roulette, a South Australian grand champion Persian. The Nawab will go to Perth in a specially light matchwood box, and he will be in the care of the pilot of the mail plane.
He has been sold to Miss A. G. Cohen, of Buckingham Hill, Western Australia, who will call for him when the mail plane arrives.
Miss Jarmyn thinks that the Nawab will not be airsick because he is so small. She will give him a good breakfast before he goes, to make him comfortable and sleepy.3
That will do! Except – this is on the same page:
Mr. Baldwin stressed the probable horrors of aerial warfare. The greatest fear among ordinary people of all nations, he said, was fear of the air. It was well for the man in the street to understand that no power could protect him from air-bombing. The only defence in aerial warfare was to kill more people than the enemy killed.4
There's no escaping the present, or the past.