Air Raids on South West Essex in the Great War

Looking for Zeppelins at Leyton

Alan David Simpson

A quarter of a century before the Blitz of 1940, the inhabitants of southwest Essex were terrorized by an earlier aerial menace. Over the course of four years, German Zeppelins, Gothas and Giants flew above their homes, unleashing hundreds of bombs on London. These early air raids are now largely forgotten in local memory, but for the inhabitants o
Date Published :
September 2015
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Illustration :
32 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781473834125
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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In stock
$39.95

Overview
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A quarter of a century before the Blitz of 1940, the inhabitants of southwest Essex were terrorized by an earlier aerial menace. Over the course of four years, German Zeppelins, Gothas and Giants flew above their homes, unleashing hundreds of highly explosive and incendiary bombs on London. During three of these raids, bombs were dropped on Leyton and many others landed elsewhere in southwest Essex. These early air raids are now largely forgotten in local memory, but for the inhabitants of the time the attacks were unprecedented, unexpected and lethal.

In the years since the Great War a great deal of literature has been published on London’s first air raids and about the defense network that evolved around the metropolis, but what happened in the capital’s eastern suburbs and the nearby Essex countryside has received less coverage. This meticulously researched and insightful book attempts to put that right, looking at the area which, in 1914, was part of southwest Essex, but now comprises the London boroughs of Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Havering, Newham, and Barking and Dagenham.

Focusing in particular on Leyton and Ilford, this is the first book to ever examine what happened before and after the raiders reached and bombarded the capital. The author has included a wide range of contemporary letters, diaries and newspaper reports from local sources, plus several previously unseen photographs. To set the story in its wider context, the book also contains a wealth of information about the defense of the London area generally and vivid reports from combatants on both sides.

About The Author
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Alan Simpson has lived most of his life near the border between Essex and London. He developed an interest in local history while at school and studied history at university. After working for many years in the Civil Service, he now works at the Royal College of Surgeons in London. A keen photographer and deltiologist, and a member of the Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society and the Ilford Historical Society, this is Alan’s third book about the history of ‘metropolitan Essex.

REVIEWS
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"This meticulously researched and insightful work looks at the air raids by Zeppelins and airplanes which brought death and destruction to south-west Essex. The author focuses mainly on Leyton and Ilford areas and examines what happened before and after the raiders reached and bombarded the nation's capital. Using a wide range of contemporary letters, diaries and newspaper reports he tells the story of what happened in vivid detail. An excellent history."

- The Great War Magazine

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