Zeppelin raids, Gothas and 'Giants'

Britain's First Blitz - 1914 -1918

Ian Castle looks at the World War One air raids on Britain - the First Blitz

40 (3)

Essex, Suffolk

Casualties: 0 killed, 0 injured


Damage: £8

On the night following the solo raid carried out by Army Zeppelin LZ.77, another single Army Zeppelin appeared over England. But, like the previous raid, it achieved nothing of significance.


Commanded by Hauptmann Friedrich George, LZ.74, making her second raid on England in five days, crossed the coast at Walton-on-the-Naze at about 10.45pm and followed a westerly course. There was much ground fog in places, which may be why George passed over Colchester at 11.05pm without attacking the town. Following a north-west course from there, LZ.74 dropped two high explosive (HE) bombs on the village of Wormingford in Essex, which fell harmlessly in a field. Moments later another HE bomb fell at the village of Mount Bures, again without causing injury or damage. From there she turned south but, when over Wakes Colne at about 11.15pm, she circled around to the north east. As LZ.74 approached Dedham at about 11.35pm, a mobile RNAS maxim gun opened fire from a hill near the church at Stratford St. Mary. The gun fired two belts of ammunition and about 30 rounds of incendiary bullets. Attracted by the firing, LZ.74 turned back and dropped 11 HE and five incendiary bombs, which fell on Hills Farm in Stratford St. Mary. A police report stated that bombs fell within 15, 25 and 75 yards of various houses but damage was limited to six panes of glass smashed and some fences broken. Some telegraph wires were also damaged.


Flying eastwards now, at about 11.45pm George took LZ.74 over East Bergholt, where he dropped another four HE bombs and four incendiaries; they caused no damage. Returning to a north east course, LZ.74 then passed over Ipswich without dropping bombs - the fog obscuring much - but at Rushmere Heath another RNAS mobile maxim detachment opened fire. In response, George released four HE bombs over Rushmere - one of which failed to explode - and began to take an evasive zig-zag course. Neither the maxim nor the bombs caused any damage.


Continuing on the same course, at Woodbridge at about 11.50pm, a third mobile RNAS maxim detachment engaged, but poor visibility restricted their efforts. At 12.05am, a fourth mobile maxim gun made a final ineffective attack on LZ.74 as it passed Aldeburgh, before she headed up the coast and headed out to sea near Southwold at 12.18am.


One defence aircraft was airborne from Eastchurch in Kent, forty miles to the south, too far away to have much chance in locating the raider.



12th/13th September 1915


East Bergholt (3)

The four incendiary bombs dropped at East Bergholt


Courtesy of the David Marks Collection