Source 2

Diary of events and report of action taken, by Major Robert Hall, Fire Commander Humber Defences 1916 (AIR 1/569/16/15/142/B)

Transcript

8.40 p.m. 6th Message received from C.R.A. as follows:-

“Following from Headquarters begins – ‘Admiralty reports “zeppelin reported at 7.5 p.m. in the North Sea sean about 100 “miles East of Humber.¬† Tonge lightship reports that the Boulogne “wireless is receiving from two Zeppelins there are in the “North Sea and seen to be proceeding towards England’ message ends

The above was dispatched 8.53 p.m. to all Batteries.

11.50 p.m.6th Bomb explosions were heard in the direction of Hull.  Rifle fire heard in the direction of Sallingborough whilst bomb dropping was going on.

12.10 a.m. 7th Red glare in sky seen in a North-Westerly direction, taken to be flames.

12.15 to 12.25 a.m. 7th Zeppelin in ful sight from the Battery, direction North west to South -East down the river.

12.20 a.m. 7th Sunk and Stallingborough Batteries opened fire with Maxims.  Number of rounds fired from Sunk being 152, & Stallingborough 49.

12.21 a.m. 7th Pom-poms heard to open fire at Killingholme or Immingham About this time a red rocket was sent up from the Examination vessel and also hooting was heard either from the Boom boats of the Examination vessel.

12.30 a.m. 7th The following message sent by F.C. from Sunk to C.R.A. and Headquarters Humber Defences – “Zeppelin passed over Battery between 12.15 and 12.25 a.m. Sunk and Stallingborough Batteries opened fire 12.20 a.m. Killingholme 12.21 a.m. Effects of fire not seen as Zeppelin was flying high towards Grimsby”

About 12.30a.m. 7th. Rifle firing and one explosion heard in the direction of Grimsby,  We could get no communication by either telegraph or telephone to Hull from the time the explosions were heard at 11.50p.m. 6th, till the Zeppelin was seen at 12.15 a.m. 7th over the Battery.

From two approximate angles taken from the tip of the P.W.S.S. at the time the Zeppelin was passing, the height of the Zeppelin was approximately 10,000 feet.  One reading gives just below 10000 ft. and the other reading just over.  It is obvious therefore that the fire from our M.guns could not possibly be effective.

Glossary

Maxim: a machine-gun

pom-pom: nickname for a machine-gun

Sunk: gun battery 5 miles south east of Hull

Stallingborough: gun battery 10 miles south east of Hull

Killingholme, Immingham: gun batteries 8 and 9 miles south east of Hull

CRA = Commander, Royal Artillery

« Return to Zeppelin raids

2. Read this diary of events and report of action taken, by Major Robert Hall, Fire Commander Humber Defences.

  • When did the Fire Commander receive his first information about a raid?
  • What weapons were used to try to shoot down the Zeppelin? How effective were they?
  • Why?