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Old 28-09-2012, 01:38 PM
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Default Zeppelin raid on Togston 2nd 3rd April 1916

3rd April, 1916.

Colonel R. Scott,

Lesbury.

Dear Sir,

EMERGENCY COMMITTEE,

Doubtless you have heard that this district was visited by Zeppelins on Sunday night the 2nd inst?.

The first intimation was given by the Sergt. Of Police, who reported at 8-30 pm, that two Zeppelins were advised on the coast in this district and that the gas would be shut off, and all lights withdrawn. About 11 o’clock, all special constables were called up for duty, and commenced to patrol the town. At 11-30 heavy reports were heard some distance away in a south-westerly direction, gradually becoming silent for a time. Close upon midnight heavy explosions and flashes of light were heard, and observed in the direction of Broomhill, and rapidly coming nearer Amble.

About eight reports followed in quick succession near to Togston Hall, and at the same time the beat of the engines was distinctly heard as the Zeppelin approached the town. In a few minutes it appeared to pass right over the main street, and making seaward. Nothing could be seen of the airship itself, not with standing the night was not dark but some haze obscured a clear outlook.

Beyond some large holes being torn in the fields, some breakage of glass, and fallen ceilings in the cottages at Togston Barns, no other damage has been reported up to the time of writing. All special constables were dismissed at 2-30 am after visiting Broomhill, Radcliffe and Togston to investigate and report.

Too strong a representation cannot be made to the North Eastern Railway Co, for the prodigality of light at the various siding and station on the Amble branch line, as it appeared quite evident that these lights served as a guide to those in charge of the Zeppelin in laying their course. Pilots bringing vessels along the coast have reported that while at Seaham, Sunderland, Blyth etc, there is total darkness yet from outside Coquet Island, Amble furnishes quite a cluster of lights on the railway system which I cannot help but think might be considerably curtailed, or screened to afford greater caution.

The lamps are on the automatic principle of burning night and day which from a labour saving point may be commended but in time of danger such as the present public safety must have the first consideration, and I shall be glad if you can exercise any influence towards having this looked into and remedied. Yours Faithfully...
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Old 28-09-2012, 01:46 PM
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Obviously Togston wasn't the target!



The handle of a Zeppelin bomb is mounted on an exterior wall of Togston Hall apparently. Souvenir of the said "Togston Zeppelin Raid":

http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co...-house-togston-

built into wall low down on left is plaque 'ZEPPELIN BOMB HANDLE 2-3 APRIL 1916 J.U.M.'; attached handle broken.
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Old 28-09-2012, 02:08 PM
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Googling about for info on this raid - the target was Rosyth Dockyard.

Gott im Himmel! Seriously lost then.


A Zeppelin bomb from the raid dropped on Edinburgh
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Old 30-09-2012, 09:08 AM
Alan J. Alan J. is offline
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Default Raid Togston Barns 1916

My wifes grandfather, James Gray, was the tennant farmer in Togston Barns at the time of the raid. There is a photo of people looking at the crater in some of the local publications and he is identifialbe on it.
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Old 19-11-2012, 04:19 PM
Dave Dave is offline
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Hi, have just recieved an email from a cousin in Canada, her Grandfather moved from Hauxley to Coldcoats farm,Ponteland around 1915, and said that in her grandmothers diary there were references to the children watching the searchlights "looking for zepplins", and that a bombs had been dropped a couple of miles from the farm, this would have been around 1916. Wonder if was the same raid.
Dave F
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Old 29-12-2012, 06:04 PM
Graeme Graeme is offline
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Four Imperial Navy Zeppelins had departed for the Firth of Forth on 02/04/16 - L13, L14, L16 and L22. L13 returned to base with engine trouble whilst the other three continued as planned. However, northerly winds disrupted any intended co-ordination.

L14 (Kapitanleutnant Bocker) made landfall at St Abbs Head and skirted the coast around to Dunbar before bombing Leith and Edinburgh between 2330 and 0015 as he failed to find the Rosyth dockyard or the Forth Rail Bridge(!).

L16 (Oberleutnant-sur-Zee Peterson) crossed the coast "eight miles north of Blyth" at 2300 and after dropping bombs randomly during a 90-minute meander which took the Zeppelin as far south as Cramlington Aerodrome, returned north and headed out to sea near her original landfall point.

L22 (Kapitanleutnant Dietrich) dropped bombs on and around Berwick between 2115 and 2145, claiming to have attacked factories in Newcastle. L22 then flew north and finally dropped more bombs on Edinburgh at 2350.

The two Army Zeppelins that operated that night (LZ88 and LZ90) raided London so can be ruled out.

It would appear that L16 was the Zeppelin in question. Navigation was notoriously poor due to a lack of instrumentation and easily identifiable ground features, whilst wind could easily push raiders well off course.

The local response by the Royal Flying Corps that evening was to send two BE.2c aircraft up from Cramlington, both machines being from 36 (Home Defence) Squadron. One hit a ditch on landing, caught fire and was destroyed, although the pilot escaped unhurt.

On the night of 2nd/3rd May 1916, L11 (Korvettenkapitan Schutze) crossed the coast at Holy Island intending to strike Rosyth or the Forth Rail Bridge, but headed south and flew over Amble at around 2320, heading out to sea again. Two bombs were dropped on land but I am not sure where.

Last edited by Graeme; 29-12-2012 at 06:33 PM. Reason: Extra information re May 1916 raid.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:29 AM
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A very nice photograph (mentioned above) from the Alan J. Collection.

Locals inspecting Zeppelin bomb crater at Togston 1916.
Alan's wife's grandfather, James Gray, was tennant farmer at Togston Barns at the time and is on the picture 2nd left.

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Old 27-03-2013, 04:17 PM
Megz Megz is offline
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Default Togston Barns Farmhouse

Hi - Interesting to see James Grey in the pic. Do you have any pics of Togston Barns Farmhouse when he was there? Just a long shot really as I doubt he would have had a camera.
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