Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Recently when looking back on stories my mum had told me I think I mentioned that airships were used to bomb London and other parts of England.  This is a story that mum told in her book "The Clock of Time" on that very subject.

"In the early days of the war we experienced raids by airships, and we could see them quite clearly.  When they came after we had gone to bed at night, we all got up and went out into the street in various stages of dress or undress to watch the airships, which were clearly visible in the sky and looked like large silver cigars.  When they started to come our way we all took cover.  Then came the weapon which put paid to these airships.  I was told it was invented by an Australian.  It was an inflammable bullet to be fired into an airship from above to ignite the gas and set it on fire.  There was some delay in using it because of the danger to a 'plane which would have to fly above the airship, fire the bullet, and endeavour to escape before being caught in the explosion.

Eventually a Royal Air Force pilot named Robinson volunteered to fly a 'plane and use the new bullet.  Many of us saw it happen.  The airship came over intending to drop its bombs and then we saw the little 'plane high above.  The next minute there was a terrific explosion and the airship was enveloped in flames.  Although they were the enemy, most of us felt sorry for the crew of this mighty airship, as they all died in the conflagration.

The wreckage dropped not too far from us in Cuffley, North London, and people tried to get near the place where it landed.  However, the heat was too intense and nobody could have escaped.

Needless to say, the pilot of the little 'plane was decorated for his bravery and became a hero over night.  His photograph was everywhere.  That bullet put paid to the airships."

I abhor war of any kind but the above is an event that took place in the early 20th century and is a very interesting part of our history.


  1. My mother (an Englishwoman) told us that her house was bombed in Bristol in the second world war and that she spent two days under the rubble listening to the ambulances over head. In her later years she became a stranger to the truth, but if true it would have been very, very frightening indeed.

    1. I am sure it is quite possible this did happen to your mother. A lady I knew told me that during a bombing raid on Manchester a nearby blast blew her clean through their front room window so some weird and horrible things did happen during WW2.