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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Zeppelin Raid on London


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I thought that people might enjoy this letter written by my Great Grandfather, James MacPherson Brown.

It was written in late 1915 from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders to his brothers, Willie who was serving in the RAMC in Egypt and Jack who was in the KOSB at Gallipoli.

The family ran a Woollen mill in Galashiels which had an office in Golden Square and whilst visiting the London office Jim as he was known witnessed an air raid and described this novel event in great detail to his brothers.




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Fascinating letter, many thanks for posting.

Interesting that he claims there were two raids on London on the night of 13th October when there was only one. He says he was in Holborn at 11.30 when a second raid started. L.15, the London raider was well away by then. At about 23.20, L.14 started bombing Croydon, and at about 23.50, L.13 bombed Woolwich, but neither of these could be confused with Holborn. Intriguing.


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Hi Ian, I had read about the theatre land raids but never twigged that the second set of Zeppelins bombed outer london. So did my great grandfather embroider events? Maybe he wanted to present his experience in a more "dangerous" light to his brothers on active service? Or perhaps he went out in the first raid, wanted to relate his experience but didn't want to admit he deliberately placed himself in danger? The other alternative is that he did go out and the "bombs" he saw fall and explode were shells from AA guns falling short? I have thought it odd that he mentions seeing people thrown about by the "bombs" but doesn't mention their injuries or seeing bodies. He was a respected member of his community- I never met him but my Grandfather, his son, was a man of great integrity - but I know that James had a way with words, loved writing poetry ( he was a fan of Robert Service) So perhaps the chance of embellishing a good tale was too much!

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