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1915: Cuckfield and Haywards Heath soldiers witness Zeppelin Raid in Norfolk

West Sussex Gazette - Thursday 28 January 1915


The 6th (Cyclist) Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment is stationed along the Norfolk coast. Corporal G.M.Denman, son of Mr. John Denman, of Cuckfield, is one of them, a despatch rider. and he was on post duty at Sheringham at the time of the Zeppelin raid. He observed a Zeppelin 400 or 500 feet up, saw bombs discharged from it, and was the first to report the matter to headquarters at Holt. Other Cuckfield and Haywards Heath men saw the discharge of bombs at Brancaster. The 6th Battalion extends as far as Hunstanton. and when the wrecks occurred off there, the Territorials helped to recover the bodies.

Damage in St Peter's Plain, Yarmouth, caused by the January 1915 air raid in which two residents died (image by Clifford Temple - colourised)

Sussex Agricultural Express - Friday 29 January 1915

THE ZEPPELIN RAlD.—With the 6th (Cyclist) Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment on the Norfolk Coast, are several Cuckfield and Heath boys. One is Lance Corporal G. M. Denman, son of Mr. John Denman, one of Cuckfield's Urban Councillors. He is a despatch rider, and was post duty at Sherringham at the time of the Zeppelin raid. He not only saw a “Zep" but observed the bombs it dropped and was the first to report the incident to Headquarters at Holt. Some of the Haywards Heath and Cuckfield chaps saw the discharge of bombs at Brancaster, so may said be seeing " life."

On the morning of 19 January 1915, 2 German Zeppelin airships, the L3 and L4, took off from Fuhlsbüttel in Hamburg, Germany. The airships had been heading for the Humber, but bad weather led them to reroute and discharge their bombs over Norfolk. The Zeppelin airships crossed the Norfolk coastline at about 8.30pm



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