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Mysteries

Unknown Local Soldiers

Photographed by local Greenstreet photograph A.E.Ferris - but who are they?

Source Documents

- 26th December 1914 - Dundee Courier
- 26th December 1914 - Derby Daily Telegraph
- 16th April 1915 - Dover Express
- 16th April 1915 - Sheffield Evening Telegraph
- 20th April 1915 - South Eastern Gazette

Artefacts

- 1916 List of aerial attacks on Britain

 

Imperial War Museum War Partnership logoFirst World War - Bombing Raids in Kent and elsewhere

World War 1 soldier at restFor our part of Kent the story of bombing comes close to home on 16th April 1915 ... and the death of a blackbird! Although there were other sightings and random bombings at other times.

This page is intended to draw together newspaper reports that would have been discussed with some nervousness at the time. The German Zeppelins were technically far advanced over what the Allies could muster and could operate at heights that made it difficult for British aeroplanes to deal with. There were also several aircraft reported flying over Kent dropping bombs and being chased by our own fliers and anti-aircraft guns.

An extended list of all war-time airship and aeroplane raids has been transcribed to the bottom of this page.

At the same time, there was also nervousness arising from bombardment of the east coast from German ships.


26th December 1914: Dundee Courier

"Another Aeroplane Raid. A hostile aeroplane appeared above Sheerness yesterday. It didn’t get any time to do damage. The defending squadron proved its readiness and alacrity.
While the German machine was not brought down it was damaged sufficiently to make its return to its base uncertain. The incident will confirm our confidence in our naval and military aviators. They know what to expect, and they stand prepared."


26th December 1914: Derby Daily Telegraph
The Aeroplane Raid on Sheerness – Fortunate to get away. – Fired at by the Troop.
Reports received at Chatham police head-quarters from the country districts of Cliffe and Hoo state that many shots were fired at the hostile aeroplane which appeared over the Thames yesterday, and that the aviator was fortunate to get away. The aeroplane passed within sight of Rochester, Chatham, and Gillingham, and was fired at by the troops, who were on the look-out.


Reported in The Times on 26th December 1914. TWO GERMAN AIR RAIDS.- AEROPLANES AT DOVER AND OVER THE THAMES. – INVADERS DRIVEN OFF. FIGHT IN THE AIR NEAR SOUTHEND.
The following announcements are issued by the Secretary to the War Office:-
FRIDAY. [25th December 1914]
A hostile aeroplane was sighted to-day at 12.35 p.m. flying very high east to west over Sheerness. British aircraft went up in pursuit and engaged the enemy, who, after being hit three or four times, was driven off seaward.
THURSDAY, 1.55 p.m. [24th December 1914]
An enemy’s aeroplane was seen over Dover this morning about 10.55. It dropped a bomb which fell in a garden and exploded, but did no damage. The aeroplane was only seen for a few seconds, and left again over sea. British aircraft went up at once, but did not see the enemy again. The weather was foggy and cloudy.
(FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.)
SHEERNESS, DEC. 25.
The threatened German air raid has to some extent become an accomplished fact. On Christmas Eve and again yesterday a German aeroplane visited these shores, but in neither case was any damage done. On Christmas Eve an aeroplane appeared over Dover and dropped a bomb in the garden of a local resident, and then, pursued by British aircraft, was forced to beat a hasty retreat to its base in Belgium. Yesterday, however, the German airman was more venturesome. Under the cover of a dense fog he succeeded in eluding the watchers on the coast as far as Sheerness, and was there lost sight of. The aeroplane was next seen flying over the S.E. and C.R. pier at West-street, Gravesend, and continued up the river as far as Erith. Here the aeroplane was located, and the visitor was forced to turn, being pursued by a British biplane some distance down the Thames and across Essex towards the North Sea. The enemy had to run the gauntlet of a heavy fire from anti-aircraft guns at different points from Erith down the Thames, and it is reported that one at least of the guns found a mark.
SIGHTED OVER SHEPPEY.
At 12.45 the enemy aeroplane was sighted over Sheppey, slightly to the south of Sheerness. The machine was flying at a great height, estimated at about 9,000ft. Just when it was approaching the water, anti-aircraft guns fired upon it, but without effect, as far as could be seen, the great height of the enemy’s machine apparently being out of range of the guns. Seven rounds were fired, and the machine, obscured by the fog, continued its flight. As soon as an alarm could be given, three British aeroplanes went in pursuit. One of them made directly for the German, while the other two went in other directions for the purpose of outflanking if possible. Owing, however, to the great speed and high altitude at which it was flying, the German machine was lost in the fog.
The weather condition were certainly favourable to the German. Hidden by the fog, and with practically no wind to contend against, he was able to make his way across the Kentish marshes before he was rediscovered. Just before 1 o’clock, the German machine was seen over the West-street Pier, flying towards London.
Six rounds were fired by anti-aircraft guns while warning was immediately conveyed by telegram to the other anti-aircraft gun stations. In spite of the misty weather, it was possible to distinguish the machine, which was of the Albatross type. The shells from the aircraft guns could be seen bursting above and around the machine, which immediately made a complete half-circle and, apparently mounting to a higher altitude, turned and made its way back.
BRITISH BIPLANE’S PURSUIT.
Within a few minutes a British biplane appeared from a westerly direction in full pursuit of the German airman, although not flying at so great a height. At 13 minutes past 1 the German aeroplane was seen, closely followed by its pursuer, who was evidently endeavouring to head the enemy off. Eight minutes earlier warning had been received in the town of the presence of an enemy aeroplane in the Thames district. At the time at which the Albatross passed over the town on its return journey the first intimation that they had that the aeroplane was an undesirable visitor was the firing of guns lower down the river a few minutes later.
The pursuit of the Albatross from this point is described as follows by a member of The Times staff, who was an eye-witness:-

“Just before a quarter past 1 I heard from a westerly direction the heavy droning of a biplane, and looking up saw an aeroplane flying almost against the clouds, while some distance behind was a biplane, which I immediately made out to be a British craft. While watching he flight of the two machines, which I thought was really that of two machines making their way from one base to another. I was startled to hear the boom of a gun, followed in quick succession by other reports. Going to the top room of my house I was able to see the first fight and pursuit between German and British aircraft and British gunnery in Great Britain. For observation purpose the weather was distinctly unfavourable, for the morning fog, which had been particularly dense, had left a white mist behind it over river and countryside. High ground which on a normal day can be easily distinguished was barely visible, but practically the whole great reach of the Thames at this spot could be made out.
The aircraft moved at a great pace. The British craft had a decidedly more southern station when I first saw it, while the other machine, which I afterwards heard was an Albatross, kept a line nearer the centre of the river. The drone of the machines continued, broken only by the guns which were firing with great rapidity from the forts. From my window I saw distinctly shells bursting high in the air in the vicinity of the Albatross.
Far below seagulls were flying inland, apparently startled by the firing. Although the pursued and pursuer were flying at a great height – the German must have been at least 4,000ft. up – the British craft seemed to be gaining. ‘Boom, boom,’ went the guns, and the hills around re-echoed the sounds of the first of real warfare heard in the Thames estuary for centuries. Higher and higher went the Albatross as it passed over the forts. Suddenly it appeared to take a wide sweep in a north-easterly direction, in order evidently to elude British aeroplanes. The British biplane also made a sharp turn, continuing its pursuit of the Albatross, and within a few minutes both machines were lost in a mist, but from the lower reaches of the Thames one could continually hear the boom of guns.
The machine seemed to have a miraculous escape from the shells which burst quite close around it. One onlooker was emphatic that the British gunners scored a hit, but against this must be places the fact that when I last saw the machine disappearing in the mist there was no apparent diminution in its speed. The Albatross continued its way towards Southend, and by this time was sighted by the three aircraft which had set out earlier in the morning from the Isle of Grain, and the chase was continued across Essex.”
[This Issue of The Times also included references to the first REAL bomb to land on British soil in the back garden of a Dover auctioneer (Mr. T.A. Terson), leaving a hole of 14ft. wide and 4 feet deep."


16th April 1915 - Dover Express
KENT AIR RAID. GERMAN AEROPLANE OVER THE SITTINGBOURNE DISTRICT. - Yesterday, between twelve and one o'clock a German seaplane made a raid on Kent. It was first seen at Faversham where five bombs were thrown, but no damage was done as the bombs fell in fields. Two more were thrown at Sittingbourne and raider then went on to Sheerness where it was received with gun fire. After suddenly dropping, it turned back, and there is a report that it was seen over Kingsdown at one o'clock, returning. One blackbird killed and several holes in fields are the only things it accomplished.


Air Raids over Faversham Sittingbourne and Sheppey16th April 1915 - Sheffield Evening Telegraph
AIR RAID. TAUBES DROP BOMBS ON KENTISH TOWNS. ENEMY EXCAPES. Futile Visit of German Aviators. BLACKBIRD KILLED.
The Exchange Telegraph Company's Sittingbourne Correspondent telegraphing this afternoon, says just after 12 o'clock a German Taube flew over that district, coming from the direction of Deal.
First of all it flew over Faversham, from where shots were fired at it. The aeroplane reached Sittingbourne it was flying at great height. It then turned inland and returned again, flying at a much lower altitude.
One bomb was dropped in the vicinity of the town falling in an orchard and doing no damage. It made a hole three feet deep knocking off some branches of a fruit tree and killing a blackbird.
When the aeroplane returned a second time it was only about 600 feet up and was easily visible. Another bomb was dropped in a chalk quarry without doing any damage.
Taube in flightThen the Taube seemed to make a semi-circular movement, going off in the direction from which it had come.
Shortly before one o'clock this afternoon, says an Exchange message, a German aeroplane passed over Sheerness. It was fired at by anti-aircraft guns. A later message says the machine, which was a biplane, dipped after being fired on, and a cheer rose from the spectators. Subsequently, however, the machine ascended again and travelled at a high speed across Sheppey in the direction of the sea.
No bombs fell on Sheerness, and as far as is known no bombs were dropped anywhere in Sheppey. The German aeroplane escaped.
On inquiry (says an Exchange message) the Faversham and Sittingbourne police state that British aeroplanes went up in pursuit of the Taube, which fled towards the coast. The result of the chase is unknown.
The "London Echo's" Sittingbourne correspondent say that bombs were dropped by a German aeroplane near Sittingbourne soon after noon to-day, thought, so far as can be gathered, no damage has been done.
Two machines were seen, one flying from south-west to northeast and another from east to west.
It is not certain whether both were German, but the first at least dropped bombs.
One fell on the south-east side of the grounds of Gore Court Park, and one near the house belonging to Messrs. Charles Budley, Limited, some distance away.
The hostile aeroplane was fired upon, and then travelled away in the direction of Faversham.
Gore Court Park, where the bombs fell, is situated on the outskirts of the town, about three-quarters of a mile from the High Street.
An aeroplane, continues the message, flew over Faversham at one o'clock.
As it approached it was immediately attacked by anti-aircraft guns.
So far as I can ascertain it has only dropped one bomb which fell into a field and did no damage except to dig a great hole in the ground.
Two or three aeroplanes from Sheppey have gone in pursuit. There was no undue excitement in the town, people only coming into the streets in a spirit of mild curiosity to see the aeroplane.
When last seen the machine disappeared in a cloud in the direction of Canterbury.
A later message say the bomb fell in the London Road upon a hedge, which was set alight, but no further damage was done.
A police-constable who was within a hundred yards at the time has a portion of the bomb in his possession. He states that he heard two other reports a considerable distance away.
The aeroplane came from the direction of Sittingbourne, and after circling round Faversham sped away, but returned shortly and again encircled the town. The fragment of bomb picked up was the bottom portion, which is intact. It bears a German name.
The London "Star" says: Our Sittingbourne correspondent wires that another aeroplane believed to be British was seen in the sky shortly afterwards. It was flying at a lower level as if coming from the flying depot at Eastchurch in the Maidstone direction.
It was thought that the second aeroplane was out searching for the first, but had not sighted it.
It is also reported that a German aeroplane has been brought down at Eastchurch, but this is unconfirmed."


The Times reported on 17th April 1915 "EAST COAST AIR RAIDS. A hostile aeroplane flew over Kent yesterday (16th April) about midday, and dropped bombs at Faversham and Sittingbourne. The bombs did no damage.
The attack made by a German airship during the early hours of yesterday upon Lowestoft and the neighbouring country is described to-day.
p5:With regard to the aeroplane visit to Kent, there can be little doubt that it was primarily intended as a reconnaissance, similar to those which took place at Christmas. Here again the bombdropping was entirely haphazard and as futile as ever. But whether, as a reconnaissance, the expedition was equally a failure we cannot tell."


Narrow Escapes - Aberdeen Evening Express

17th April 1915: "The first fell in a meadow within a few feet of the main London and Dover line, and close to a signal box.  It made a cylindrical hole in the ground, as though a drain pipe had been driven in.  The second fell on Ashford Road, close to its junction with the London road.  This apparently was an incendiary bomb, for the stake fencing adjoining a meadow caught fire.  Several people had narrow escapes, a constable being within a hundred yards of the spot where the missile fell.  The third bomb alighted in a field near some cottages and engine sheds, and a fourth fell in a plantation.  These formed craters about four feet deep and about the same measurement in breadth.  A boy was in a shed a few yards away from where the fourth bomb dropped, and he escaped unhurt, although branches of trees in the vicinity were cut off.  Quite close to where the second bomb fell, near the railway, is a military hospital in which there are some 30 wounded."

The Partin Bomb: At Grovehurst, about two miles north-east of Sittingbourne on the road to Sheerness, a bomb was dropped, and buried itself in the ground without exploding, while as a parting shot another bomb was dropped, and exploded harmlessly in a chalk pit on Cryall’s farm, just outside the town. From the time the aeroplane first appeared until it finally disappeared, about half an hour elapsed. There was not the slightest trace of panic amongst the inhabitants and no undue excitement.


Zeppelins and the "Rumour Mill" - fire-breathing cars.....signalling the enemy....

Reported by The Times on 19th April 1915 - "AFTER THE AIR RAID. - THE "MYSTERY" CAR OF MALDON. - A BERLIN FABLE. (from our Special Correspondent). MALDON, APRIL, 18.
Since the visit of the Zeppelin early on Friday morning the Maldon district has been full of rumours of mysterious motor-cars with flaming headlights which, passing along the highways, guided the airship to the area where the majority of bombs were dropped.

Of all the stories of motorist spies which have been retailed during the last day or two the only one which has a plausible appearance is that of a car with exceptionally brilliant headlights which is alleged to have passed along the road through Lathington a short distance in front of the Zeppelin. To this there are several independent witnesses who all agree in their story. Two London ladies staying at the Hut, which s about 300 yards from the road, say that this car passed along in front of the Zeppelin. At about midnight Mr. and Mrs. Woods, who live at the Cottage, both saw the flaring headlamps, which lit up their bed room, some time before they heard the engines of the car. It was travelling quite slowly. A few minutes later the car was heard by an old couple in the village of Mundon, two or three miles away. Nearly half an hour later it was heard by the same people making its return journey, but, as was noticed, with headlights of much diminished brilliance.

CAR FROM NOWHERE

But this mysterious car, the existence of which a number of people are prepared to swear to, apparently came from nowhere and vanished into thin air. Before it passed the Cottage and the Hut it was seen about a mile distant as it came along from near the junction of two roads, one of which comes from Burnham, and the other from Southminster. Near the junction of these roads is a fairly populous district, and there were many people awake on Friday morning who are prepared to swear that no car passed along either road in the direction of Lathington. On the Maldon side of Lathington nearly a mile from the spot at which the motor-car was seen is a police station. The officer who was on duty along this stretch of road states quite definitely that no car from Burnham was seen by him between 11.30 and 12.30, but that at about half-past 12 a car passed him from the opposite direction containing several Southminster people whom he knew.

Altogether the evidence is very contradictory. If the car really existed it cannot have gone so far as Lathington police station, and there is no side road upon which it could have turned off. It may be said that the lights could have been extinguished and the car taken into one of the fields, but in that case it could never have passed through Mundon, where the inhabitants believe it went to pick up the men who, according to their firm belief, had been signalling to the Zeppelin."


Path of the air raids20th April 1915 - South Eastern Gazette reported on the path of the bombs. "It cannot be said, our Faversham correspondent writes, that the inhabitants were much alarmed by the presence of the German airman over the town. There was nothing approaching panic; indeed, the sense of danger was exceeded by curiosity, and the people flocked into the streets. The actual number of bombs dropped was five - roughly, in a line of about a mile and a quarter. The first fell in the meadow in front of the Mount Military Hospital (where there were 30 wounded soldiers), and within only a few feet of the railway line and a signal box. The second dropped in the centre of the Ashford Road, and set fire to the fencing of the football ground. The outbreak,, however, was very soon extinguished. Several people had narrow escapes from this bomb, including a local clergyman (the Rev. F.H. Barnett), Mrs. Philip Heath (wife of a Factory Inspector), and Police Constable Hopper. They were within a hundred yards or so of the bomb when it fell. The third bomb fell in a field behind some cottages and the engine sheds of the County and Rural Councils; the fourth fell in a fruit plantation at Macknade; and the fifth and last in a hop garden at Colkins. Not one of the bombs, therefore, caused either personal injury or damage - remarkable sequence of good fortune.
Our Sittingbourne correspondent says that directly after the appearance of the Taube over that town, another air machine, flying considerably lower and carrying a pilot, was seen following it. The Taube could barely be distinguished; but when it executed a circling movement its wings glittered in the sunlight. The German circled the district twice, during which three bombs were dropped, and then he darted off in the direction from which he had come, leaving his pursuer - said to be a Frenchman - far in the rear. One bomb fell in an orchard near Gore Court Park, where it exploded and damaged a tree, killing a blackbird. Some people were walking about 50 yards off, but they were unhurt. Another bomb fell in an earth-pit in Messrs. Burley's brickfield at Cryalls, Borden, a mile westwards from Gore Court Park. This exploded and threw up a cloud of earth, but that was all. The third bomb fell in a brickfield at Grovehurst, Milton, two miles due north of Gore Court, in the direction of Sheppey. This bomb embedded itself in the earth without exploding. The whole raid lasted about twenty minutes. Before one could realise what had happened the daring raider had gone, and, in spite of rifle and gun fire at Sittingbourne, Faversham, and from some guns at Sheerness, the German succeeded in quitting Kent unscathed.
From the course taken by the Taube, it is thought that the machine came from Zeebrugge. It is described as a biplane fitted with floats. The opinion is held that it was on a scouting expedition.
At Deal, shortly before one o'clock, the buzz of an aeroplane caused many of the inhabitants to go into the streets and stare at the clouds, but nothing was to be seen, even with the aid of telescopes, as there were heavy banks of clouds. People at Kingsdown, a little village two miles away, claim to have seen a German aeroplane emerge from the clouds, and they say that it came south at a great height - a mere speck in the sky - and was apparently travelling towards Dunkirk. Shortly afterwards a number of British airmen were seen giving chase.


Reported in The Times 17th May 1915 "LATE WAR NEWS. ZEPPELIN OVER KENT COAST.- MANY BOMBS DROPPED ON RAMSGATE.- THREE PEOPLE INJURED.
A Zeppelin passed over Kent coast towns early this morning and dropped between 20 and 30 bombs on Ramsgate. The first bomb, which was of the incendiary type, struck the Bull and George hotel, High-street, passed through two floors, and exploded in the basement. Three visitors at the hotel were injured.
The airship was next reported at Broadstairs and Margate, and from the latter town passed out to sea. Later it was reported off Dover and Folkestone.


Reported in The Times on 18th May 1915: "THE ZEPPELIN RAID IN KENT.- LITTLE DAMAGE DONE. – INVADER BOMBED OFF NIEUPORT.
A measure of retaliation has overtaken the Zeppelin which, as stated in our later editions yesterday, passed over Kent coast towns early yesterday morning and dropped a number of bombs on Ramsgate.
An Admiralty message, published on page 8, states that after being chased by aircraft from Eastchurch and Westgate as far as the West hinder Lightship, she was attacked and bombed off Nieuport by British naval machines, and is believed to have been severely damaged."

(From our Correspondent.) RAMSGATE, Monday, 2.20.
A Zeppelin airship passed over Ramsgate at 1.30 this morning, and dropped six incendiary bombs.
Fires are reported to have broken out in several places. One bomb struck the Bull and George Hotel, in high-street, where three people have been seriously injured as a result of the explosion.
A member of the staff of the hotel states that the bomb struck the roof within a few feet of the main frontage and passed through two floors into the basement.
The immediate effect of the explosion was to blow out practically the whole of the hotel front.
At the time the bomb fell the hotel was in complete darkness, every one having retired.
Many visitors were in residence, and it was found that three – two women and a man – had been injured, the man seriously. They were promptly removed to the General Hospital.
The fire which had been started by the bomb was quickly extinguished.

LATER.

It has now been ascertained that between 20 and 30 bombs were dropped into the town. Two fell in the park, and beyond ploughing up the ground did no damage. The fourth bomb fell behind the Thanet Hospital, but, fortunately, the effects of the explosion did not reach the building.

It is stated that policemen had been watching the Zeppelin from about midnight, but that the airship did not venture over land until 1.30. The Bull and George Hotel has been practically wrecked by a bomb which fell on the roof. The front wall is greatly damaged, and all the windows were smashed by the force of the explosion. There were 12 people, including the staff, in the hotel at the time. When the police and fire brigade arrived groans were heard coming from the lady, and she, along with her husband and another man, stated to be a member of the staff, were conveyed to hospital. Bombs were dropped in the harbour, doing damage to a number of smacks in Chappel-place, St.Lawrence, and in various parts of the town. Bombs were dropped all round the neighbourhood of St. George’s Church, as this is the highest building in the town probably, and it was taken as a target. A shop opposite the Bull and George Hotel had all the windows blown out.
The inhabitants of the town were awakened by the first explosion and practically during the whole of the night people paraded the streets and inspected the damage caused by the bombs. The Zeppelin left concealed in the clouds.
MARGATE UNTOUCHED – (from our correspondent.). Margate, 2.30 a.m. About 1.40 a.m. the sound of the engine of an aircraft aroused a great many people at Margate. A zeppelin was clearly seen flying between 3,000ft. and 4000ft. high. Those who witnessed the passing of the vessel were fearful that bombs would be dropped, but were relieved when it passed over without committing this outrage.
The course of the airship after leaving was directed seaward.
OVER BROADSTAIRS. (from our Correspondence) BROADSTAIRS, 2.40 a.m. Very few people were about shortly after 1.30 a.m. when a Zeppelin passed over the town. It was, however, clearly seen. Much to the relief of the spectators no bombs were dropped.
VISIT TO DOVER. (from our correspondent.) DOVER, 3.15 a.m. – At 2.30 a.m. in the clear weather that prevailed a Zeppelin was seen over the town. It was flying very high. It suddenly swerved round and made off out to sea. So far as could be observed no bombs were dropped.
FOLKESTONE, 3.30 a.m. – A Zeppelin was seen off Folkestone early this morning. It is stated that it was observed earlier in the morning hovering over Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate. No bombs were dropped on this district."


LISTS OF AERIAL ATTACKS

1st February 1916 - War Office Summary

Reported on 2nd February 1916 by Exeter and Plymouth Gazette

220 BOMBS – Dropped on English Counties – Extensive Area – Raiders Hampered By Thick Mist – No Military Damage – 54 Lives Lost – 67 Persons Injured. Official Reports.
The War Office last evening issued the following:-

“The air raid of last night was attempted on an extensive scale but it appears that the raiders were hampered by a thick mist.
After crossing the coast the Zeppelins steered various courses, and  dropped bombs at several towns and in the rural districts in Dearbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Staffordshire. Some damage to property was caused. The casualties notified up to the time of issuing this statement amount - - Killed ....54; Injured ... 67.

The complete list of previous air raids on this country is as under:-

1914    Killed    Injured
December 24 Dover* 0 0
December 24 Sheerness* 0 0
1915      
January 19 Yarmouth and King’s Lynn 4 0
February 21 Colchester and District 0 0
April 14 Tyneside 0 1
April 15 Lowestoft, Maldon 0 0
April 16 Faversham 0 0
April 29 Ipswich, Bury St. Edmunds 0 0
May 10 Southend 1 1
May 16 Ramsgate 1 1
May 27 Southend 2 4
May 31 Outlying London 6 0
June 4 East and South East Coast 24 40
June 6 East Coast 5 40
June 15 North East Coast 16 40
July 3 Harwich 0 0
August 9 East Coast 14 14
August 12 East Coast 6 23
August 17 Eastern Counties 10 36
September 7 Eastern Counties 13 43
September 8 Eastern Counties and London 20 86
September 11 East Coast 0 0
September 12 East Coast 0 0
September 13 Kentish Coast 0 7
October 13 London and Eastern Counties 36 114
    (15 soldiers) (15 soldiers)
1916      
January 23 (two) East Coast of Kent* 1 6
January 24 Dover* 0 0

The last Zeppelin raid was the one on October 13th, recent raids being visits by aeroplanes.
*Aeroplane raids


4th September 1917 reported in the Coventry Evening Telegraph
“Last night’s air raid [3rd September] was carried out by about six enemy aeroplanes which proceeded up the south bank of the Thames Estuary as far as Chatham.
Bombs were dropped on the Isle of Thanet and in the Sheerness-Chatham area between 10.30 and 11.30 p.m.
There were no Army casualties reported at present are:- Killed – 1; Injured – 6.
The material damage was slight. Our machines went up and anti-aircraft guns came into action, but without result.


5th September 1917 reported in the Western Daily Press
Gotha Bomber"The latest German air raid is to be reckoned amongst the more serious yet recorded. Though the civilian casualties were few and the material damage was insignificant, the facts remain that, through the bombing of naval barracks, over a hundred naval men were killed and that nearly an equal number of men of the same class were wounded. Moreover, the Germans are justified in claiming that their attacks were delivered on places of “military importance,” such as Chatham and Sheerness. The enemy aeroplanes steered their course in the moonlight along the estuary of the Thames, and according to all accounts all of them escaped. The moonlight aeroplane raid on England is practically a new departure, which in future will have to be carefully guarded against. Those who are responsible for the aerial defences of this country must relax their vigilance neither by night nor by day, for the “Gotha” (above) is a much more destructive and dangerous machine than the Zeppelin.


1922 Government Statistical Report - disclosing the final list of airship and aeroplane raids on the UK

Date Locality Civilian Casualties Sailors and Soldiers
  Killed Injured
I. AIRSHIP RAIDS Men Women Children Total Men Women Children Total Killed Injured
1915
January 19th-20th Norfolk 2 2 4 9 4 2 15 1
April 14th-15th Northumberland 1 1 2
April 15th-16th Essex and Suffolk
April 29th-30th Suffolk
May 9th-10th Southend 1 1 1 1 1
May 16th-17th Ramsgate 1 1 2 1 1
May 26th-27th Southend 2 1 3 3 3
May 31st-June 1st East London 1 2 4 7 13 13 7 33 2
June 4th-5th Kent, Essex and East Riding 3 4 1 8
June 6th-7th Hull, Grimsby and East Riding 5 13 6 24 18 13 7 38 2
June 15th-16th Northumberland and Durham 18 18 72 72
August 9th-10th Goole, East Riding, Suffolk and Dover 1 10 6 17 5 6 7 18 3
August 12th-13th East Suffolk and Essex 4 2 6 5 10 9 24
August 17th-18th Kent, Essex and London 7 2 1 10 16 20 12 48
September 7th-8th East Suffolk and London 6 6 6 18 9 15 13 37 1
September 8th-9th North Riding, Norfolk and London 15 3 6 24 50 32 10 92 2 2
September 11th-12th Essex  
September 12th-13th Essex and East Suffolk
September 13th-14th East Suffolk
October 13th-14th Norfolk, Suffolk, Home Counties and London 31 17 6 54 71 27 9 107 17 21
1916
January 31st-February 1st West Suffolk and Midland Counties 29 26 15 70 43 50 19 112 1
March 5th-6th Hull and East Riding, Lincolnshire, Leicester County, Rutland and Kent. 9 4 5 18 22 22 8 52
March 31st-April 1st Lincolnshire, Essex and Suffolk 6 7 4 17 2 3 4 9 31 55
April 1st-2nd Durham County and North Riding (estimates) 13 7 2 22 67 43 18 128 2
April 2nd-3rd East Suffolk, Northumberland, London and Scotland. 10 3 13 6 13 5 24
April 3rd-4th Norfolk
April 5th-6th Yorkshire and Country Durham 1 1 3 1 5 9
April 24th-25th Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk 1 1 1 1
April 25th-26th East Suffolk, Essex, Kent and London 1 1
April 26th-27th Kent
May 2nd-3rd Yorkshire, Northumberland and Scotland 4 3 7 16 8 1 25 2 5
July 28th-29th Lincolnshire and Norfolk
July 31st-August 1st Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Kent
August 2nd-3rd Norfolk, East Suffolk and Kent
August 8th-9th Northumberland, Durham, East Riding, North Riding, Hull and Norfolk 2 4 4 10 5 5 5 15 1
August 23rd-24th East Suffolk
August 24th-25th East Suffolk, Essex, Kent and London 3 4 2 9 9 11 5 25 15
September 2nd-3rd East Riding, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Essex, Herfordshire, Bedfordshire, Kent and London 1 2 1 4 6 5 1 12
September 23rd-24th Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk, Kent and London 24 12 4 40 57 44 25 126 4
September 25th-26th Lancashire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire 14 17 12 43 7 13 11 31
October 1st-2nd Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Herfordshire and London. 1 1 1
November 27th-28th Durham, Yorkshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire. 1 3 4 16 14 7 37
1917
March 16th-17th Kent and Sussex
May 23rd-24th Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk 1 1
June 16th-17th Kent and Suffolk 2 1 3 5 7 2 14 2
August 21st-22nd East Riding 1 1
September 24th-25th Lincolnshire and Yorkshire 3 3
October 19th-20th Midlands, Eastern Counties and London. 3 12 16 31 24 17 11 52 5 3
1918
March 12th-13th East Riding 1 1
March 13th-14th Durham 2 2 4 8 11 19 9 39
April 12th-13th Lincolnshire, Lancashire and Warwickshire 2 4 1 7 10 6 4 20
August 5th Off the Wash
Total for airship raids 217 171 110 498 587 431 218 1236 58 12
Date Locality Civilian Casualties Sailors and Soldiers
  Killed Injured
II. AEROPLANE RAIDS
1914
December 24th Dover
December 15th Kent
1915
February 21st Essex
April 16th Kent
July 3rd East Suffolk
September 13th Margate 2 2 2 4 6
1916
January 22nd-23rd Dover 1 1 2 1 3 6
January 23rd Kent
February 9th Kent 2 1 3
February 20th Kent and East Suffolk 1 1 1 1
March 1st Broadstairs and Margate 1 1
March 19th Deal, Dover, Margate and Ramsgate 1 3 6 10 4 3 8 15 4 11
April 24th Dover
May 3rd Deal  3 1 4
May 19th-20th Kent and Dover 1 1 1 1
July 9th Kent (North Foreland)
July 9th-10th Dover
August 12th Dover 7
September 22nd Kent and Dover
October 22nd Sheerness
October 23rd Margate 1 1 2
November 28th London 4 6 10
1917
March 1st Kent 1 5 6
March 16th Kent and Margate
March 17th Kent
April 5th Kent and Ramsgate
May 6th-7th London 1 1 1 1 2
May 25th Kent and Folkestone 17 34 26 77 28 51 15 94 18 98
June 5th Essex and Kent 3 3 3 4 1 8 10 26
June 13th Margate, Essex and London 90 25 43 158 213 110 102 425 4 7
July 4th Essex and Suffolk 3 3 1 1 14 29
July 7th Margate and London 38 9 8 55 95 45 50 190 2 3
July 22nd Essex and Suffolk 1 1 1 2 3 12 23
August 12th Essex and Margate 10 13 9 32 13 19 12 44 2
August 22nd Kent 6 1 1 8 4 2 7 13 4 12
September 2nd-3rd Dover 4 2 6 1
September 3rd-4th Kent 1 1 1 3 2 6 131 90
September 4th-5th Home Counties and London 7 8 1 16 20 29 10 59 3 12
September 24th-25th Kent, Essex and London 5 4 2 11 24 24 2 50 10 20
September 25th-26th Kent and London 6 2 8 9 9 3 21 1 2
September 28th-29th Home Counties  
September 29th-30th Kent and London 4 5 4 13 41 34 7 82 1 5
September 30th - October 1st Kent, Essex and London 5 4 9 17 13 3 33 5 5
October 1st-2nd Kent, Essex and London 7 4 11 18 19 4 41
October 29th-30th Essex
October 31st  Kent and Dover
October 31st-November 1st Kent, Essex and London 4 3 1 8 8 9 4 21 2 1
December 6th Kent, Essex and London 1 5 1 7 13 8 6 27 1 1
December 18th Kent, Essex and London 5 5 4 14 42 23 14 79 6
1918
January 28th-29th Kent, Essex and London 22 26 17 65 79 50 31 160 2 6
January 29th-30th Kent, Essex and London 2 3 5 10 7 2 1 10
February 16th-17th Kent, Essex and London 1 5 3 9 3 3 6 3
February 17th-18th Kent, Essex and London 16 4 20 17 9 26 1 6
February 18th-19th Kent, Essex and London
March 7th-8th Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and London 8 9 4 21 9 28 2 39 2
May 19th-20th Kent, Essex and London 17 20 6 43 57 67 26 150 6 27
June 17th Kent
July 18th Kent
July 20th Kent
Totals for aeroplane raids 282 195 142 619 741 585 324 1650 238 400