Long Sutton World War One commemoration

Father Joanthon Sibley with the Dawes family window in St Mary's Church Long Sutton. Photo: SG070115-102TW
Father Joanthon Sibley with the Dawes family window in St Mary's Church Long Sutton. Photo: SG070115-102TW
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The part played by this area in defending the skies against the “zeppelin enemy” during World War 1 is to be commemorated.

An exhibition and service at St Mary’s Church, Long Sutton, will mark the 100th anniversary of the first British bombing by zeppelins of towns along the East Coast.

The exhibition – to run in the church from Monday, January 19 to Wednesday, January 21 – will finish with a talk on Military Flying in Lincolnshire from 1914 to 1918 by Phil Bonner, aviation development officer at Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire, at 4.30pm on Wednesday. Afterwards, at about 5.30pm, there will be a service and act of commemoration led by Father Jonathan Sibley.

After the zeppelin attacks, the fenland and Wash areas become the home of newly formed Royal Flying Corps squadrons.

One landing ground was a site at Tydd St Mary, that is now farmland.

Members of West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Archaeological Society together with local Air Cadets have carried out fieldwork at the site and uncovered artifacts close to what was the flight office and hangar.

This will be on display at the exhibition along with photographs of the town at the start of the First World War submitted by Long Sutton & District Civic Society members Judy and Andrew Sadd.

Judy said they would also be exhibiting information about Capt Leonard Dawes, a member of the Royal Flying Corps, whose family is commemorated with a stained glass window in the church at Long Sutton.

Judy said: “Captain Dawes was born in Long Sutton and his grandfather was the curate at Sutton St James.

“His father Edwin Dawes was a wine and spirit merchant in Long Sutton. They had a shop at Little London. Until his retirement almost two years ago my husband worked at the same shop, which is still a wine merchants, Peatling’s.

“Captain Dawes was mentioned in despatches and he was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur from the French for his efforts.”