Bomb raids pass over Richmond |
Although air raids are more commonly associated with the Second World War, German planes pursued a strategic bombing campaign during the First World War.
However, although the planned targets were military, such as training camps and munitions factories, location equipment on board the planes were so poor, bombs often fell on civilian targets.
On 7 July, 22 Gotha aeroplanes flew over southern England. The bombing raid resulted in 57 deaths and 193 injuries.
From the following week’s Richmond Herald, 14 July 1917:
‘Saturday’s Air Raid’
“Great excitement was caused on Saturday morning last throughout the district covered by the circulation of this journal, for although no German bomb fell within the area, large numbers of people witnessed the bursting of the shrapnel from our anti-aircraft guns, and many saw several of the raiding aeroplanes. Of panic there was no sign; the predominant feeling appeared to be one of curiosity. Danger was obviously not apprehended otherwise there would have been a more general and widespread rush for shelter… The firing did not last long, and excitement soon died away.”