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)

9th/10th August 1915 (part 2)

East Yorks., Kent, Suffolk

For casualties see Part 1 of raid

Zeppelin L.11, attacked Lowestoft, believing it was bombing Harwich. Her commander, Oberleutnant-zur-See H von Buttlar, claimed to have dropped 88 bombs, but as only seven explosive bombs were located on land and four incendiaries fell in the sea close to the shore,  it is presumed the rest fell further out to sea. One also fell on Leggetts Farm at Pakefield causing £2 10s (£2.50) worth of damage. In Lowestoft bombs dropped on The Avenue, Lovewell Road, Lorne Park Road, London Road, Wellington Esplanade (two) and Wellington Road. The bomb at 12 Lovewell Road destroyed the property, and that at No.14: 18-year-old Kate Crawford died and three others were injured. At 2 Wellington Esplanade the blast injured the owner, Miss E. Gridley, and three soldiers of 2/4th Norfolk Regt. billeted there. Casualties in Lowestoft were one killed and seven injured.

 

While all the above raiders escaped unscathed, Zeppelin L.12 was not so lucky. Oberleutnant-zur-See Werner Peterson found himself blown way off course and approached Dover at a low height of about 3500ft, thinking he was over Harwich. Immediately illuminated by searchlights, two 6pdrs, a 3inch gun and five 1pdr pom-poms opened fire. It appears a shell from the 3pdr struck L.12, which immediately climbed to escape, also dropping about 10 bombs. Six landed in the sea while two incendiaries struck the parapet of Admiralty Pier and burnt themselves out, while a third fell through the corrugated iron roof of the Transport Office and set fire to the platform but was quickly extinguished. A final, explosive, bomb fell under the bows of the trawler Equinox, wounding three men.

 

L.12 began to lose a lot of hydrogen due to the damage caused over Dover. She eventually came down in the sea a few miles out from Ostend. Torpedo boats towed her into harbour. Numerous attempts by aircraft to destroy her failed; she finally burst into flames and was destroyed while being hauled out onto the dock.

 

One of the Home Defence aircraft, a Sopwith Tabloid flown by Flight sub-Lieutenant R. Lord from Westgate, crashed on landing and the pilot died from his injuries.

 

(See Part 1 for details of the rest of raid)

 

Lovewell st

Lowestoft. Bomb damage to 12 Lovewell Road (on the corner) where Kate Crawford died. A report issued by the East Suffolk Police states that a bomb fell "On a house and shop...owned by Arthur Stebbings, grocer, and occupied by Mrs Hammond and two children and Kate Crawford, age 18, her niece. The latter was recovered from the debris dead. Mrs Stebbings (sic) and two children were very little hurt. This house, shop, and adjoining house were completely wrecked."