The First Blitz in 100 Objects

The First Blitz in 100 Objects

by Ian Castle

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Overview

The First World War ushered in many new and increasingly deadly weapons, along with strategies for using them. No more so than Germany’s sustained aerial bombing campaign against Britain, which opened an entirely new theater of war — the Home Front. It was a shocking awakening to 20th Century warfare for the military and civilians alike.

The centenary commemorations of the war, ending in 2018, brought renewed attention to this campaign, so often hidden in the shadow of the Blitz of the Second World War. Many Britons heard, some for the first time, how taking on the German airships and airplanes in this First Blitz laid the ground rules for how the nation would face up to and ultimately defeat that later aerial campaign.

There are still fascinating glimpses of this first air campaign to be found in the streets of our towns and cities. Often unnoticed, each tells its own dramatic tale of death and destruction, or maybe of heroism and narrow escapes. In museums the length and breadth of Britain there are tantalizing reminders of the air raids, from complete aircraft that defended this country to relics of great Zeppelins that initially brought terror to the British population but ultimately were doomed to become nothing more than great heaps of burnt and twisted wreckage.

This first-time assault from the air both terrified and fascinated our forebears. Unexpectedly, a significant trade in air raid souvenirs developed, from postcards of wrecked houses and bomb craters to china models of Zeppelins and their bombs, and pieces of Zeppelin wreckage too. And amongst the 100 Objects brought together in this book, there can also be found tales of resilience and determination as well as humor, which all have their place in the story of this First Blitz.

Whether you choose to read this book in the comfort of your own home or are encouraged to get out and explore the visible heritage of this dramatic time in Britain’s history, spare a thought for the courage and sacrifice displayed by those on both sides who played their part in the story it tells.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526732897
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 04/26/2020
Series: In 100 Objects Series
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Ian Castle began writing military history over thirty years ago but for the last twelve years has focused on Germany’s First World War air raids against Britain. Initially exploring the London raids, his later research extended to include attacks across the whole country. He is currently working on a three-volume history of the raids. In addition to writing books, Ian regularly contributes articles to magazines and journals and has been involved in a number of television documentaries detailing this early air campaign. Besides giving regular talks on the subject, Ian has also built an extensive website highlighting these early air raids.

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Acknowledgments 8

1 German Airship Girders 10

2 1-pdr 'Pom-Pom' Gun 12

3 201b Hales Bomb 14

4 The First Bomb on Britain 16

5 Graves of Britain's First Air Raid Victims - Great Yarmouth 18

6 Glass from St Mary's Church -Snettisham 21

7 Crested China 23

8 Souvenir Postcard of a Raid on Britain 26

9 The Southend Standard 28

10 Souvenirs from the Imperial Bazaar - Ramsgate 32

11 16 Alkham Road - London 36

12 Zeppelin Bomb Markers -Gravesend 38

13 The Hull Zeppelin Raid Photographs 41

14 Reginald Warneford, VC, Memorial - London 43

15 The LZ 37 Memorial - Ghent 46

16 Zeplo 49

17 Palmer's Shipbuilding & Iron Company Plaque 51

18 Air Raid Insurance 53

19 Zeppelin Raid Memorial - Goole 56

20 3-inch 20 cwt Anti-Aircraft Gun - Dover 58

21 Woodbridge Postcards 60

22 German Commemorative Medallion 62

23 'In Memoriam' Cards 64

24 Queen Square Bomb Plaque - London 66

25 The Dolphin Taverns Clock - London 68

26 Farringdon Road Plaque - London 70

27 The Wrotham Park Bone 72

28 The Gateway of St Bartholomew-the-Great - London 74

29 Hamertohs Grocery Shop - East Dereham 76

30 AA Gun Position on One Tree Hill- London 79

31 Agnes Robins' Grave - Margate 81

32 Mobile 13-pdr Anti-Aircraft Gun 83

33 War Memorial - Hertford 85

34 No. 68 Bus - London 88

35 Lincoln's Inn Chapel - London 90

36 Zeppelin Incendiary Bomb (Naval) 93

37 King's Royal Rifle Corps Memorial - Dover 95

38 Damaged Brickwork - Walsall 97

39 Granite Bomb Markers - Loughborough 99

40 Crown Derby China 102

41 The Trawler King Stephen 104

42 The Manchester Regiment, Memorial-Cleethorpes 107

43 The Wakefield Medal 110

44 Ranken Dart 112

45 Zeppelin L 15 Relics 114

46 Carbonit High-Explosive Bomb - Edinburgh 116

47 The Bomb on Lauriston Place - Edinburgh 118

48 Bombs on Danby High Moor 120

49 A Souvenir of Zeppelin L 20 123

50 Explosive and Incendiary Bullets 125

51 'Super Zeppelin' Gondolas 128

52 Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c 130

53 Severndroog Castle - London 132

54 Spähkorb or Sub-Cloud Car 135

55 H. Scott Orr's 'Destruction of a Zeppelin 137

56 The Cuffley Red Cross Souvenirs 141

57 The Church of St Mary the Virgin - Essendon 143

58 Souvenir Matchbox Cover 146

59 Silver Watch - Little Wigborough 151

60 Zeppelin Souvenirs - Essex 155

61 The Windows of St John's Church-Washingborough 158

62 Silver 'Zeppelin Cup - Hornchurch 160

63 A Zeppelin Victim - Holcombe 162

64 A Child's Sewing Cards - Sheffield 164

65 Heinrich Mathy's Binoculars 167

66 Zeppelin Cross Church of St Mary the Virgin and All Saints - Potter's Bar 170

67 'A Pledge of Love' 172

68 Fit Sub-Lt Gerard Fane's Flying Helmet 174

69 Comic Postcards 176

70 Stow Maries Aerodrome - Near Maldon 178

71 Tontine Street - Folkestone 181

72 P.u.W Bombs 183

73 Sopwith Pup N5182 186

74 Plaques to the Memory of PC Alfred Smith 188

75 Sidney Elkin's Collar 190

76 Upper North Street School Memorials - London 192

77 Souvenir Napkin - 13 June 1917 195

78 Glove from the Crew of L 48 - Theberton 197

79 St Peter's Church Cemetery -Theberton 200

80 Church of St Edmund the King & Martyr - City of London 203

81 16th Century Chest, Ironmongers' Hall - City of London 205

82 Iron Cross, 1st Class 207

83 2nd Lt Wilfred Salmon's 'Wings' 210

84 Matchbox Cover 213

85 The Drill Hall - Chatham 215

86 Cleopatra's Needle - London 219

87 Pigeon N.U.R.P./17/F. 16331 222

88 Sound Mirror - Dover 225

89 The Internal Gangway of Zeppelin L 49 228

90 Gotha GV 906/16 - Rochford 230

91 Gotha GV 674/16 - Near Canterbury 232

92 10 Stone Buildings - London 234

93 St Paul's Church - London 237

94 Gatehouse Clock - Kew Bridge Waterworks 239

95 The Kerley Family Grave - London 241

96 The Royal Hospital - London 243

97 F.E.2b Tail Boom - Annfield Plain 246

98 Damaged Milestone - Bold Heath 249

99 An Unexploded British Anti-Aircraft Shell 252

100 Grave Markers, German Military Cemetery - Cannock Chase 254

Endnotes 257

Index 261

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