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pjpsaint66

Zeppelin raid of 19/20 October

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pjpsaint66

I understand this was called the Silent Raid. My particular interest is the death of Lt Hubert Philip Solomon RAF on 20 October. He is buried at the Gainsborough Cemetery so I assume he was part of the 33 Squadron that was based there as a specialised Zeppelin defence unit.

Does anyone have any knowledge of the nature of his death?

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johnboy

I am not certain that any planes were involved in this raid.

A strike against London in October 1917 was known as "the Silent Raid" because the Zeppelins flew so high they were unseen and unheard. Five of the airships that began that mission did not return home. The French defenses brought down two, one was lost at sea, and two crash-landed.

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Dolphin

2Lt H P Solomon (from New Zealand) of No 33 Home Defence Sqn RFC, was killed in action on the night of 19/20 October 1917 while flying FE2b A5656 on an Anti-Zeppelin patrol from Gainsborough. The aeroplane crashed from about 200 feet, then turned over and caught fire after talking off in mist. The observer, 2Lt H Preston, was thrown clear and unhurt, apart from a severe shaking. The squadron commander, Major A A B Thompson, opined that 2Lt Solomon's thigh-length boots might have become tangled in the aeroplane's controls .

I hope this is useful.

Gareth

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pjpsaint66

Thanks for your responses. I have just been able to access his NZ Army file which includes a letter from the NZ High Commissioner to the NZ Prime Minister advising he was killed "aero accident at Gainsboro (sic) ….Machine caught fire after crashing during air-raid action". So totally in accord with Gareth's response.

Just as a side point I understand that the Zep raid of 19/20 October was aimed for the Midlands (near Gainsborough) but high winds blew them around. The Zep that bombed London was simply there because it had been blown off course. It was the last time a Zep bombed London in WW1.

Thanks again.

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pebrads1

From the Gainsborough News 26th October 1917

FUNERAL OF CAPTAIN SOLOMON

The funeral of Capt. Solomon, of the R.F.C., took place on Wednesday, the Rev. J.S. Fox officiating. The firing party and buglers of the Lincolns, were under the command of Lieut. Hall. The R.F.C. detachment was commanded by Major Thomson, and Capt. Bacon and other officers were present. Among the mourners were Sergt. B. Solomon (Canadians), Mr. W. Scott, J.P., Mr. F.F. Linley, and Mr. R. Aaron. The coffin, draped with the Union Jack, and bearing the deceased officer’s cap and belt, was borne on a motor covered with magnificent floral tributes. Officers of the R.F.C. acted as bearers.

Peter

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