Sywell Aviation Museum News
New Zeppelin relic on display at Sywell Aviation Museum
24th April 2008A very rare relic of First World War aviation has been placed on loan with Sywell Aviation Museum by Kettering Manor House Museum and Art Gallery.
The German Incendiary Bomb was dropped by a Zeppelin in an aborted raid over Britain in 1916. Zeppelin L34 crossed the coast near Cromer at 11.30hrs on the 1st October and came under fire from Nordenfelt 6 pounder anti-aircraft guns sited near Corby. All six shots missed but as was often the way, the captain of the airship dropped his bombs in the hope of hitting a worthwhile target near the AA position.
A stick of seventeen high explosive bombs (including one of 300kg) were dropped in a curving line between Kirby Hall and the southern entrance to Corby railway tunnel. The Zeppelin then veered south and dropped thirteen incendiaries in a line east of the road from Rockingham to Gretton. The airship was noted as passing Easton on the Hill at 12.30 and crossed the coast at 1.30am, dropping the rest of its bombs in the sea.
The effect of the raid was minimal. The bombs mainly fell in open ground, two fell in a pond 'cleaning it out in a most efficient manner' and the only significant damage was a broken telegraph wire.
Several incendiaries and two HE bombs failed to explode. The latter was detonated by Major Montanaro of the Army Ordnance Corps. The incendiaries were made safe and used to raise funds for the County branch of the Red Cross
The example loaned to the Museum is in perfect condition and was stored by Kettering Museum for 90+ years and has is now back on public display at Sywell, where it joins a considerable collection of aircraft ordnance ranging from hand dropped bombs to air to air missiles, and including another WW1 bomb from a raid by Zeppelin L45 on Northampton in 1917.
(With thanks to C Wood & M Gibson for the information)
Sywell Aviation Museum is very grateful to Kettering Museum and Art Gallery for its loan to them.