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

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My fascination with the German air raids on Britain in the First World War led to countless weeks of research at the UK's National Archives in London exploring the Air Ministry: Air Historical Branch: Papers (Series 1) (AIR 1), and those of the War Office: Military Headquarters: Correspondence and Papers, First World War series (WO 158). These sources offer an extraordinary insight into the effect of these air raids on Britain in WW1 and I have used the raw information to create this website.


This website offers an account of all 103 German air raids on Britain in WW1. I have also used this information to create a Raid Index listing the names of all places bombed, alongside the date of the raid, to make it easier for visitors to track down the story of the raids in their own areas. This is the first time an Index of this type has been created and can be accessed from the 'Raid Index' tab. The Index clearly demonstrates the random nature of German bombing in WW1 at a time when aerial navigation was in its infancy.


Because of the huge amount of work I have undertaken to create this website I would appreciate it if you get in touch with me first via the 'Contact' tab if you wish to use any of my text for purposes other than private research as I retain the copyright.




Ian Castle

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The content of this website is copyright © Ian Castle unless otherwise stated. No part of this website may be reproduced in any form or linked to any other website without permission of Ian Castle

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Essex Police Military History Club


Thursday 1st October 2020



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Can You Help?

This website was four years in the making, as I ventured back and forth to the National Archives in Kew, London, collecting the information I needed to tell the story of the German air raids on Britain in the First World War - the First Blitz. The website has proved far more popular than I had imagined and I hope it is providing answers to the questions many people have about the history of where they live and of their families who lived through this extraordinary time.


To achieve this, inevitably I have had to invest a fair amount of money and continue to do so to keep the website available and online.


If you have found the website useful, interesting or helpful, would you be happy to make a small donation towards the upkeep of the website? Even just a £1 (or a dollar) would help offset these running costs, although if you’d like to give more…. If you can help just click on the button below and make a donation through PayPal.


Many thanks for considering this.