This page gives outline information about the project and its aims and objectives.

Kings Lynn attacked by Zeppelin

Albert Street, King's Lynn, bombed by zeppelin L4, on 19th January 1915 (Imperial War Museum).

Historical Background

Whilst people may be aware that a zeppelin did indeed drop bombs on King's Lynn in the first 'blitz' in 1915, they are not aware of how this relates to their community, their streets in their town. Importantly, the attack by zeppelin L4 on 19th January 1915, not only ushered in total war on Lynn's citizens, killing two people but also resulted in far-reaching changes military thinking. No longer were wars the sole domain of the military, from this point onwards the civilian population was also very closely involved and at risk.

Realising the need to protect the civil popultion from the threat that this attack demonstrated, the government reacted by establishing of a new system of Royal Flying Corps Home Defence.

Landing grounds and squadrons of the new and experimental biplanes, able to fight this new threat, were stationed across the East Coast. One was based at Tydd St Mary, a unit designed to defend Lynn's citizens from what The War Illustrated called the Aerial 'Baby-killers'.

Kings Lynn attacked by Zeppelin

Royal Norfolk Regt about the time of the Great War

Objectives of the Project

Schools will be visited with a dedicated activity game, to enable children to imagine, re-enact and learn about the events of 1915.

Exhibitions and displays will be delivered in Lynn and at Tydd St Mary/Long Sutton, linking both urban and rural communities in this exciting opportunity to learn about WWI. The WWI archaeology and history will come alive as people across King's Lynn and West Norfolk, with South Holland, are invited to get involved in fieldwork, to record what remains of the landing ground at Tydd St Mary, metal detect, systematically field walk and record building footings.

In King's Lynn the streets and locations that were bombed will be explored with a survey and questionnaire for local residents. The survey and questionnaire will then be used, with archives, to explore in exhibitions and displays, how Lynn people who lived in these streets were affected by the 1914-18 War.

  • Who went to war?
  • Where did they serve?
  • Who came back?

The project brings together different communities in Lynn and rural Lincolnshire, to explore a shared past of resilience against a new, unknown threat and defending the homeland.

This project aims to educate the community and commemorate WWI, its early impact on King's Lynn.

Zeppelin, of the type used in First World War

Zeppelin L3, of the type used in First World War

Expected Outcomes

Six project outcomes are envisaged: This project is aimed at increasing participation and learning for all local peoples and will link with local events, such as events by the Friends of Hardwick Road Cemetery WWI Trail, All Saints WWI memorial window, together with exhibition and other local museum initiatives, including events with the Air Training Cadets and the Royal British Legion. There are also national initiatives that this project will contribute to: the Council for British Archaeology, The Home Front Legacy, recording the physical remains of the First World War (www.archaeologyUK.org/first-world-war), the Imperial War Museum First World War Centenary (www.1914.org/about/) and The National Archives, London.

  1. 4 weekend fieldwork and/or Lynn street survey events, actively encouraging local people to participate in recording and learning about WWI
  2. 4 exhibition/display events, covering the results of fieldwork (Tydd St Mary landing ground, WWI airfield), archive studies and Lynn street surveys, all on WWI zeppelin attacks on Lynn and the RAC Home Defence
  3. www-page, linked to Society www-page on project, with blogs of activities, archives
  4. WWI children's activity game on 'Zeppelins over Lynn', covering eye-witness and archive accounts, of the events in 1915. Activity game to be tested and trailed in Primary Schools in St Margaret's and St Nicholas Ward, King's Lynn
  5. Audio/visual casts on Society/Community learning about WWI: doing research in archives, fieldwork, artefacts, interviewing people, studying buildings and streets; sharing findings with the community (made available on the project www-page)
  6. School Study Pack on 'Zeppelins over Lynn' and 'Lynn, the East Coast and RAC Home Defence in WWI.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement: Society members will be involved, and liaise with and facilitate others to take part:

  • community groups;
  • primary schools;
  • church congregations;
  • Heritage-related Trusts;
  • local museums will be involved.

A selection of groups that have shown an interest, or based on previous community heritage-led projects will be involved and include: All Saints Church; Archaeological Project Services; Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk Archive (Norfolk Record Office); Fenland and West Norfolk Aviation Preservation Society; Friends of St Nicholas Chapel, King's Lynn; Heritage Lincolnshire; King's Lynn Forums; Lady of the Annunciation, Catholic Parish, King's Lynn; Marham Heritage Centre; Marham Voices; Minister Community (St Margaret's Church), King's Lynn; Norfolk Environment Service, Norfolk County Council; Norfolk Library Service (Local Studies, King's Lynn); The Discovery Centre, North Lynn; True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum; S. Markillie & Son Ltd, Tydd St Mary (farm for landing ground); St Mary's Church, Tydd St Mary; Tydd St Mary Village Hall; St Margaret's with St Nicholas Forum; South Holland Council (Archives).

A number of primary schools may be involved: Eastgate County Primary; Greyfriars Primary School; St Edmunds Community Foundation School; St Michael's Church of England Primary School; West Lynn Primary School; Whitefriars Church of England School.