8th Apr 1916. Zeppelin Raids



During Friday night last week five Zeppelins raided the East Coast, and as a result 43 persons were killed and 66 injured. One of the Zeppelins was hit by gunfire and eventually fell into the sea off the mouth of the Thames. The crew surrendered, and the airship was taken in tow, but unfortunately broke in two and sank. A machine gun, petrol tank, and other pieces of machinery from an airship were also found on land, and it is believed another of the raiders had been damaged.

A number of our aeroplanes went up to attack the raiders. Lieut Brandon, R.F.C, on rising to 6,000ft, at 9.45 p.m, saw a Zeppelin about 3,000ft. above him. At 9,000ft. he got over it and attacked, dropping several bombs, three of which he believes took effect. At 10 p.m. he over the airship again, and let off two more bombs over her nose. His own machine was hit many times by machine-gun bullets.

This may have been the Zeppelin which dropped the machine gun, ammunition, petrol tank, and machinery.

Another raid was made on the North-east Coast on Saturday night, when eight dwelling-house were demolished and a fire caused. Sixteen persons were killed and 100 injured.

A third raid on Sunday night and Monday morning covered a large area, but the casualty list was very light, in comparison with the enemy’s expenditure of energy and bombs. Six airships took part in the raid, and dropped in the South-Eastern Counties of Scotland, on the North-East Coast of England, and in the Eastern Counties 188 bombs. The 53 bombs dropped by force of the Zeppelins in Scotland killed 10 persons and injured 11. In England 135 bombs were dropped—so far as is known—without causing a single casualty.

A Zeppelin again visited England very early on Tuesday morning, crossing the East Anglian Coast between two and three o’clock. Apparently it was not long over land. It did no damage and caused no casualties. Though several explosions have been reported, no fragments of bombs have been discovered.

Three Zeppelins visited the North-East Coast during Wednesday night. One was fired at, and numerous observers stated that it was struck. They dropped 48 bombs, and the casualties were 1 child killed and 8 persons injured. No military damage was caused.

“ Another Zeppelin was hit somewhere off the coast of this country at the same time as the L15, and I don’t think it was possible for it to be saved.” Mr Tennant made this positive assertion in the House of Commons when answering criticisms in another forcible speech by Mr Pemberton Billing.


A Rugbeian in one of the anti-aircraft gun batteries writes :—“ Our guns fetched the Zepp down, and we are claiming the prize (£500) offered by the Lord Mayor for the first one brought down. I saw the whole thing from start to finish—it was magnificent. When first discovered by our lights the bird was flying towards London. Then one of our guns got going and almost at once hit her twice in the tail. That proved a bit too much for her. Immediately she turned round and tried to clear out, but one of our other guns took it up, and she was hit again. The airship was now in a parlous state, and the last we saw of her she was gradually coming down tail first. We are very keen here, and heaps of people have been congratulating us.”


Boys under military age who have left school may now be enrolled in the University College, Nottingham, O.T.C., with a view of obtaining commissions in the Army. Suitable boys are urgently needed, and, as will be seen by advertisement in another column, Capt S R Trotman, the O.C., will supply all particulars.

Signaller J Goodman, R.F.A, in a letter from France to Mr W T C Hodges, says :-“ Up to now we have had some very hot positions as regards telephone communications. We have been in two attacks made by the Germans, and have also been gassed. This occurred on the 19th December, 1915, and we had to wear our gas helmets for five hours.”-Mr Hodges has also received communications from the Rev R W Dugdale and Sergt G H Renshaw (captain of the Rugby Football Club), both of whom are keeping well.

Sergt-Major J Tait, of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, who was in the heavy fighting at Sulva Bay and Chocolate Hill, has returned home from Egypt.


Pte A Norman, 3rd Rifle Brigade, of .York Place, Rugby, who, as we reported last week has been awarded the D.C.M, gained this honour for conspicuous gallantry in volunteering to carry an important message to headquarters nearly a mile away. He succeeded in getting through under heavy shell fire, and on another occasion he did the same thing. This is the second St Matthew’s boy who has won the D.C.M ; two others have won the Military Cross, and six have been mentioned in despatches.


Thursday. Present : Messrs J Johnson (chairman), W Dunn, H Tarbox. J H Walker, T Flowers, T Ewart, and C E Boughton-Leigh. Military representative : Mr M E T Wratislaw.


A Lawford Heath farmer attended in support of an application for exemption for one of his men, but the Clerk said this was made too late, and he had now received notice from the Military Authorities that the man had joined the colours.—The Chairman : There is nothing more to be said. You cannot get him out again.—Applicant : If we can’t get him back, he must stop, I suppose.


DALE.—In loving Memory of our dear son and brother, George Frank Dale, who was killed at Ypres, March 22nd, 1915.

Although he has gone from our sight, he is not forgotten by those who loved him.
“ Sleep on, beloved ; sleep, and take thy rest ;
We loved thee well, but Jesus loved thee best,
And has taken thee to thy eternal rest.”

PRESTIDGE.—In loving Memory of our dear son and brother, Joseph Prestidge, Barby, killed in action in France, April 11th, 1915.

“ He steeps not in his native land,
But under foreign skies,
Far from those that loved him best,
But in a hero’s grave he lies.”

Dale, George Frank. Died 22nd Mar 1915


Picture of George Frank Dale from the Rugby Advertiser


George Frank Dale was born 1896 at Easenhall, Warwickshire to Wallace and Catherine Dale, the eldest of six children.  On the 1911 census Wallace was a gardener’s labourer and Frank, aged 14, a general labourer on a farm.  He seems to have been called Frank rather than George by his family.

He enlisted at the start of the war on the 2nd September 1914, as a rifleman (No. Z/238) in the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own).

He was over 6ft tall and went to France on the 26th January 1915, the Battalion having landed at Havre on the 23rd August 1914 as part of the 11th Brigade, 4th Division.

Frank was killed on the front line on the 22nd March 1915

The Quarter Master Sergeant of the Company wrote to Mrs Dale “Regret to inform you your son killed in action yesterday morning.  We all sympathise deeply with you and deplore the loss of a willing and promising young soldier. May lessen the pain if you know he died an absolutely painless death.  Wm H West CQM Sgt “B” Co Rifle Bde”.

Several Rifleman died of wounds or were killed in action on the 22nd March 1915 and subsequent two days, suggesting that they were casualties of shell fire on the 22nd March 1915.

All are buried in Strand Military Cemetery, Comines – Warneton Hainaut, Belgium.  The Cemetery proper was established in what is now Plots 1 – V1 and Frank’s body was recovered and buried here. The inscription added to the gravestone by his family reads:
He Sleeps in Peace.

George was awarded Victory and British war Medals and the 1915 Star.

Frank’s family put memorial notices in the Rugby Advertiser on the anniversary of his death. That of 24th Mar 1917 reads:
In Loving Memory of our dear son and brother, George Frank Dale, who was killed at Ypres on 22nd March 1915.
Although he has gone from our sight, he is not forgotten by those who loves him.
“Sleep on, beloved: sleep and take your rest’
We loved thee well, but Jesus loved thee best,
and has taken thee to thy eternal rest.”

There was a Brass Plaque in Easenhall Chapel to the men of Easenhall who fell in the Great War. The Chapel is now a private residence.



Dale, Harry. Died 1 Nov 1914

Harry Dale was killed or died as a result of enemy action 1st November 1914.

He was an able seaman aboard the HMS Good Hope which was sunk with all hands in the Pacific Ocean off the Chilean coast at the battle of Coronel.

Harry had been at sea before for 12 years and 5 years in the reserve, and had been one of the crew of the ships accompanying King George V and Queen Mary when they were Prince and Princess of Wales making a tour of the overseas dominions. Harry had belonged to the Portsmouth command. Fanny, his wife, had received a letter from him, posted at Cape Horn, before the battle saying that the HMS Good Hope had been chasing the Germans and had several scrapes but were all right. He had been living at 88 Abbey Street, Rugby with his wife Fanny and his daughter, also Fanny, aged 8 years.

Harry had been born in Birmingham in 1879 and his wife had also been born there. On the 1891 census he had been living in King Edwards Road with his mother Harriet and younger sister Lilly Maud. On the 1901 census he is listed as a member of the crew on board HMS St George has an able seaman. Harry and Fanny were married in Birmingham in 1902.

On the 1911 census he and his family are living at 120 Abbey Street Rugby and he is working as a labourer, for the B.T.H. Company in the wiring department where he had been working for 5 to 6 years, and was a member of the B.T.H. Fire Brigade and, according to his obituary, in the Rugby Advertiser 21st November 1914, he was popular with all who knew him.

Biography of Harry Dale. Rugby Advertiser 21 Nov 1914

Biography of Harry Dale. Rugby Advertiser 21 Nov 1914