No News

At least, not of Faversham.

FRIGHTFULNESS IN THE AIR — ZEPP. RAIDS MULTIPLY

was the headline in the Globe on Monday April 3. For the third night in a row, German airships had bombed British targets, this time going beyond the eastern coast as far as Scotland. Casualty numbers for Sunday’s raids were not available, but the previous ones resulted, at least officially, in 59 dead and 166 injured.

The newspaper included details of the Friday and Saturday raids in a Canadian Press Despatch item, which included a report from a “correspondent who visited a portion of the raided area”(1), in an article giving the text of the official Press Bureau bulletins, and in the War Summary, where the newspaper permitted itself some editorial comment: “Germany steadfastly pursues her policy of frightfulness in the air.” (2)

Details about a fire in a French polishing shop (3) (that is a shop where furniture was French-polished) or the leg blown off a woman tram conductor (1) suggest credibility, but it was a war of propaganda. With the dateline Berlin, April 2, the Globe printed “What the Germans Say,” with its long catalogue of bombs “freely dropped” on factories, military camps, on munitions works, and on the heart of London, with the claim that a number of batteries had been silenced. (3) These latter were presumably part of the “defensive methods of dealing with aerial incursions” that the newspaper reported had been greatly improved. (1)

The German report is followed by a “Note by British censor: It is officially stated that the above is absolutely false, except as to the destruction of the L-15.” (3)

One of the Friday raiders was brought down in the Thames estuary by a pilot of the Royal Flying Corps. All but one of its eighteen crew members were rescued (3) after “she came down like a sick bird, flopping at both ends as though they were wings.” (1)

Downed Zeppelin ILN0-1916-0408-0003_1700

(1)  “Three Zeppelin Raids in Three Nights.” The Globe (1844-1936): ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Globe and Mail. April 3, 1916. 1,2
(2) “War Summary.” The Globe (1844-1936): ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Globe and Mail. April 3, 1916. 1,2
(3) “Texts of Official Reports of the Three Raids.” The Globe (1844-1936): ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Globe and Mail. April 3, 1916. 1,2

The image is from the Illustrated London News, April 8, 1916. 4 and is available from The Illustrated First World War.

Copyright 2016. See “More about this Project.”
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