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)

17th August 1915 (part 2)

London, Essex, Kent

For casulaties and damage see Part 1

The other Zeppelin which came inland on 17 August, L.11, commanded by Oberleutnant-zur-See H von Buttlar,  did so over Herne Bay at about 21.30 – causing some panic on the pier -  and meandered over Kent for just over two hours. Passing over Canterbury, L.11 headed towards Faversham before turning south. Having flown over Ashford, von Buttlar then circled back and dropped two explosive and 19 incendiary bombs on the town. Two incendiaries fell in Lower Queen’s Road and six fell in two gardens close by, with another dropping in the neighbouring cemetery. The rest were dropped as L.11 continued on a westward path: nine incendiaries and two explosive bombs fell in fields at Barrow Hill owned by a Mr Bridge, killing sheep and a couple of hens, and one incendiary fell in the grounds of a sanatorium on the Maidstone Road.


L.11 then turned northwards and released 16 explosive and 25 incendiary bombs over the countryside south of Faversham, between the villages of Badlesmere and Sheldwich. Of these, one explosive and 10 incendiaries were recorded falling in woods at Sheldwich Lees, and 10 explosive and eight incendiaries near a V.A.D. hospital (probably Lees Court). The only damage recorded was broken windows – including at Badlesmere church. L.11 passed out to sea again over Herne Bay at about 23.35, having caused no casualties and negligible damage, and was sent on her way by 420 rounds of small arms ammunition fired by the 42nd Provisional Battalion.


The AA gun at Faversham Powder Works did not engage L.11 as the manager of the works cut the power to the searchlight, believing it would draw attention to this vital establishment.

von buttlarAA (2) L11a (2)

Zeppelin L.11

Horst Freiherr Treusch von Buttlar-Brandenfels