12th May 1915 – Anti-German riots in Southend

Following the Zeppelin raid on Southend by LZ38 on the 10th of May, in which one person was killed and properties damaged, anti-german rioting broke out in the town and five shops in the High Street and Queens Road, alleged to have been German or Austrian owned, were wrecked.

Bomb damage in Southend

It’s unclear whether this is related to the note found attached to an unexploded bomb from the Zeppelin which read: “You English. We have come + we’ll come again soon. Kill or cure. German.”, or whether it is part of the general anti-german feeling being whipped up following the sinking of the SS Lusitania on the 7th and reports about the use of gas by the Germans on 22 April near Ypres. Similar rioting took place in Liverpool on the 8th and in Manchester on the 10th.

In response to the raids, further patrols are being carried out. Unfortunately a Voisin from 1 Squadron RNAS was lost today attempting to attack a Zeppelin returning from England over Dixmunde. The crew Flight Lieutenant J O Groves and Lieutenant Commander H Dobell were captured and made prisoner.

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