In order that they should be worthily and promptly recognised, I have decided to create, at once, a new mark of honour for men and women in all walks of civilian life. I propose to give my name to this new distinction, which will consist of the George Cross, which will rank next to the Victoria Cross, and the George Medal for wider distribution.
The Ministry of Information continued to monitor the state of morale of the man in the street:
1. In London people remain determined, but cheerfulness varies. People are anxiously considering night life in shelters under winter conditions.
2. The Kings speech was generally praised, and the creation of the George Cross and Medal has been widely welcomed.
3. Reports show that most people feel that the evacuation of children to the dominions should proceed. To many the torpedoing was felt as a challenge to go ahead.
4. Rumours and exaggerated stories continue: in particular there are stories of poisonous substances dropped from enemy planes and of ‘secret weapon’ with which we shall eventually stop the night bombing.
5. There is a steady drift towards public and away from private shelters.
6. Except in certain areas invasion talk has receded into the background.
7. ‘Refugees’ continue to move into the country round London. Here a general comment is ‘ no one has learned anything from the problems and failures of last September’.
See TNA INF 1/264