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Lights out the Zeppelins are coming Lights out the Zeppelins are coming The glass roof of /Lights out the Zeppelins are coming Lights out the Zeppelins are coming.

Byline: Duncan Gibbons News reporter

the centre for BritishS the centre for Britisharms production, Covarms production, Cov-entry was a key target aAAAentry was a key target for German bombs for German bombs long before the 1940 Blitz.

After the rst Zeppelin air raids over England killed and injured several people in King's Lynn and Yarmouth in January 1915, anti-aircraft guns were set up in Keresley and Wyken Grange.

Adverts in the local press urged people to stock up on candles in case of blackouts while an article in the Coventry Graphic headlined "Air Raid Precautions in Coventry" revealed the glass roof of the Corn Exchange in Hertford Street was painted over to "prevent the light showing at night." 'e report continued: "All over the city the lights are being reduced as much as possible and though the measure is purely precautionary, it is none the less necessary."

Zeppelins raided Ipswich in April 1915 and London, Southendon, Dover, Ramsgate and Southend the following month, but accuracy was poor and many bombs fell at random on sparesly populated countryside, prompting much ridicule in newspaper cartoons.

'e rst appearance of a Zeppelin in the skies over Coventry was on January 31, 1917, but all the lights were turned o and the ship ew harmlessly overhead on its way to wreak havoc in Staordshire, although an 80-year-old woman in Brook-Brook lyn Avenue, Holbrooks, was apparently so scared she suf-suf fered a stroke and died.

Then on April 12, 1918, raiders dropped bombs in the grounds of Whitley Abbey and on Baginton sewage farm, but no damage was caused. 'e anti-aircraft guns and powerful searchlights were used and aeroplanes were sent up from Radford, but the raiders escaped.

Graham Smith, 76, of Leicestershire, recalled how his father Sidney "remembered being lifted up by his father to see a Zeppelin on its way to bomb Birmingham" while just a toddler living in Green Lane, Finham. Contrary to expectation, it was not easy to ignite the airships' hydrogen using standard bullets and shrapnel.

'e Allies only started to exploit the Zeppelin's great vulnerability to re when a combination of explosive and incendiary ammunition was introduced during 1916.


Warships faced | a new danger from the air. Right, crew from a Zeppelin arrives at a French prison in Salonica after being shot down by British gunners

The glass roof of |the Corn Exchange is painted over to prevent the light showing at night. Below, homes wrecked throughout England from Zeppelin raids

Advice from |the Coventry Graphic and (right) a huge crater after a Zeppelin raid

The charred |wreckage of a Zeppelin after it was shot down

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 12, 2014
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