West Hartlepool’s 3rd Zeppelin Raid of the First World War

Zeppelins

On 13th March 1918 L.42, L.52 and L.56 Zeppelins set out to raid industrial areas in the North East of England. Poor weather resulted in two of the Zeppelins being forced to turn back. The third, L.42, could already see the British coast when it received the order to return to Germany. The captain decided … Read more

First Case of Spanish Influenza: 11th March 1918

Private Albert Gitchell became the first documented case of what became known as ‘Spanish Flu’. The US Army cook reported symptoms of a “bad cold”. He was soon followed by Corporel L. Drake. By noon of the same day, the camp surgeon had seen over 100 men displaying the same symptoms. The infection had taken … Read more

Battle of Neuve Chapelle

Neuve Chapelle Christ

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle The Battle of Neuve Chapelle was the first offensive campaign fought by the British Expeditionary Force during the First World War. Prior to this date, engagements had been defensive in nature, or engagements such as those undertaken in ‘the race for the sea’. It, therefore, provides the earliest example of … Read more

Bombardment of Smyrna

British warships bombard Smyrna

Bombardment of Smyrna, 5th March 1915 Smyrna was the site of an Ottoman fort. It, like many forts, was subjected to naval bombardment prior to the Gallipoli landings. This diary is penned by Grace Williamson (1865 Smyrna – 1945 Smyrna), daughter William Williamson merchant who had migrated from Yorkshire, England and Elizabeth née Barker whose … Read more

First Trench Raids on the Western Front, 28th February 1915

Night Raid. Artwork depicting men setting out on a Trench Raid.

On 28th February 1915, 100 men from Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry raided German trenches in the dead of night. The raid was a success, destroying 30 metres of German positions near Ypres. Some sources claim that this was the first Trench Raid on the Western Front of The First World War (1). It was … Read more

Eric Robinson’s Victoria Cross, 26th February 1915

Eric Robinson VC

Eric Robinson was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions of the 26th February 1915. Robinson was one of a demolition party from HMS Vengeance set ashore at Kum Kale, Gallipoli. A party accompanied by Royal Marines landed at around 2 pm, under Maj Granville Heriot DSO. The objective was to destroy any Ottoman guns … Read more

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