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)


5th April 1917


On the night of 5 April the sound of an aeroplane engine was heard off the coast of north-east Kent shortly after 10.00pm but low-lying clouds limited any opportunity for observation. A single seaplane of SFA1 came inland near Broadstairs at 10.38pm before dropping four bombs on open land south of the town as the aircraft headed towards Ramsgate. According to a newspaper report ‘one found a billet in a road in a sparsely populated area between two towns, and did no material damage. The others dropped among potato seeds’. A police report confirms the breaking of 11 panes of glass in a greenhouse and at a house, estimating the damage at £4.


Just north of Ramsgate a bomb dropped in the grounds of East Cliff Lodge, the home of Mrs Harriette Sebag-Montefiore, where it damaged a few fruit trees.


From Ramsgate the aircraft continued towards Sandwich dropping three more bombs between the town and the sea where they caused no damage. Two fell close together on marshy ground about three quarters of a mile west of Shingle End Coastguard Station and the third gouged a hole four feet deep on the North Rifle Ranges. All bombs dropped were of the high-explosive type.


The raider then headed out to sea. No aircraft attempted to intercept due to the low clouds.







Casualties: 0 killed,  0 injured


Damage: £4

East Cliff Lodge 1 - Copy.jpg_thumb

East Cliff Lodge at Ramsgate, where a bomb landed in the grounds on 5 April 1917