How South Holland targeted threat from the sky

Capt Leonard Dawes.
Capt Leonard Dawes.
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The first aerial bombing on UK soil on January 19, 1915, resulted in four deaths.

Dr Clive Bond, chairman of the archaeological society involved in the commemorative event, said: “People on the street being attacked by the enemy made a significant impact on the war effort.

“After 19th January, 1915, the war changed for ever. ‘Total war’, including the targeting and threatening of civilians, became integral to war.

“The zeppelin threat led directly to Royal Flying Corps setting up these forward positions (such as the landing ground at Tydd St Mary) to enable the east coast to be patrolled against a new and hardly imagined threat from the sky.

“The Home Defence of the East Coast and the anti-zeppelin RFC squadrons united communities in West Norfolk and South Holland.”

Father Jonathan Sibley said it was important that the events of 100 years ago were commemorated.

He said: “It’s very little known that this happened so it’s important to commemorate it, especially because there is a local family involved, the Dawes, who are commemorated in the church.”