Posts Tagged ‘First World War’

The Hertford Zeppelin Raid – 13th October 1915

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Zeppelin L15 landing at its base in Nordholz- the Zeppelin that attacked Hertford was of the same type

On night of the 13th October 1915, England experienced one of the worst air raids of the First World War, when five German Zeppelins flew in formation with the intention of bombing London. One of the Zeppelin commanders, Oberleutnant-zur-See Werner Peterson, became lost and, mistaking the curve of the river Lea for the Thames, dropped 48 incendiary and explosive bombs on Hertford.

Annie Swan lived in North House on North Road and described the raid in her book “My Life”

I find it difficult to describe that appalling five minutes’ interlude, while the monster ship with its death-dealing cargo passed slowly over our town, visiting us last and dropping eight bombs on our house and garden. The first of the bombs had destroyed the power station, so that the town was plunged in utter darkness. There were lights from the sky, however, as the incendiary bombs rapidly followed the explosive ones to complete the devilish work.

I had the feeling that it was the Day of Judgement, as we stood there, holding on to one another.

Presently the great monster sailed over us, so low down that it brushed the topmost branches of the old cedar tree on the lawn.

HETFM6036.210 27 and 29 Bull Plain after the Zeppelin raid 13.10.1915 with RT Andrews, founder of Hertford Museum

Bombs landed on the Folly, in Bull Plain outside Lombard House, near Old Cross and along North Road where iron railings were sent flying through the windows of Hertford County Hospital.

Nine people were killed in the zeppelin attack on Hertford. Seven working men, one soldier and a four year old boy. Unusually their names are all listed on the Hertford War Memorial.

The Hertford War Memorial showing the names of those killed in the Zeppelin Raid

James L Gregory, 55, organist of All Saints and professor of music
Ernest Thomas Jolly, 27, bank cashier
John Henry Jevons, 67, Borough Surveyor of Hertford
George Cartledge, 56, linen draper
Charles Waller, 43, labourer
Arthur Hart, 51, labourer
George Stephen Game, 4
Charles Spicer, 30, labourer
Arthur James Cox of Yarmouth, bombardier in the Norfolk Regiment, stationed in Hertford.

If you’d like to learn more about the Zeppelin raid and Hertford during the First World War then visit our exhibition From Bull Plain to the Battlefields or pick up a copy of the accompanying book!

Hertford Sounds

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

As part of our Beautiful Noise exhibition we asked all our visitors what the last song (or piece of music!) they had listened too. Now that our new exhibition is up and running we’ve had time to look at all your responses!


The most popular artist was Taylor Swift with Meghan Trainor in second place. We also had multiple entries for John Shuttleworth, Katie Perry, The Beatles and songs from Disney’s Aladdin.

A lot of our visitors are families so we had songs from Peppa Pig and Maisie Mouse but there’s a real mix of styles on the list from local artists like History of Guns and The McTells to George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue!

You can take a look at the complete list as a pdf here.

This week’s events

Our First World War exhibition From Bull Plain to the Battlefields is now open. Come and lear about the Hertfordshire Regiment’s battles and what life was like on the Home Front in Hertford between 1914 – 1918.

Thursday 8th October is our next Knit & Natter meeting. Bring your knitting or crochet project and drop in from 10.30am for tea and friendly company!

Hertford Country Market will NOT be at the museum this Friday but don’t worry- if you want to pick up your usual goodies they will be outside Waitrose on SATURDAY.

Object of the week- Walter Gunn’s WW1 archive

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Our second object of the week is a little unusual in that it isn’t actually part of our museum collection yet! This wonderful collection of medals, photographs and other ephemera belonging to Private W.H. Gunn will be auctioned on the 24th January and we are hoping to raise enough money to be able to bring the collection to Hertford Museum to become part of the Hertfordshire Regiment Collection.


Walter Gunn survived a gas attached during the First World War when he was a battalion runner and was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry. This collection also includes letters about the gas attach as well as Gunn’s cap badge, pay books, pocket watch and several photographs.

Gunn collection

To help bring this collection to Hertford Museum we need YOUR help though and we are collecting donations online here. If you think you can help then please donate as soon as possible and we will let you know how we get on after the auction!

Any money left after we have purchased the collection, or if we are unsuccessful in our bid, will be put towards our First World War exhibition Hertford at War which will be on display from the end of September 2015.

Commemorating World War One & Contemporary Collecting

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

It was wonderful to see so many people at the Hertford War Memorial on Monday evening. The service to commemorate the start of World War One included readings from one of Julian Grenfell’s poems, hymns and the Last Post as well as a chance for all present to leave bouquets and sprigs of rosemary on the memorial.


Below are some of the photographs we have of the event- we’re always interested in seeing the photographs you take, especially of big civic events like Monday evening.


WW1 commemoration 040814

As our 1970s project has shown this year museum’s are interested in collecting contemporary objects and photographs as well as those from times out of living memory so if you have any images you think we’d be interested in please get in touch!

1970s 5-8-14 (7)

Speaking of the 1970s our activities have been very popular this week and tomorrow is your last chance to try out our Spirograph (if you can get it away from the museum staff!)

World War One Commemorations : 4th August 1914 – 2014

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

This Monday, 4th August 2014, marks the centenary of the start of World War One and there are events taking place across the country to commemorate the anniversary. Here in Hertford there is going to be a special ecumenical service at the War Memorial in Parliment Square.

HETFM6413.5 War Memorial

The service will begin at 8pm but Hertford Museum will be open from 6 – 8 pm that evening to allow anyone attending the service a chance to come and look at our Regimental & World War One collections. We will also be running a simple craft activity for any families planning to attend the service that evening (or who are just out in town). We hope to see lots of you there!


We’re now in the first week of our Summer Holiday activities of course and we’ve seen some amazing warrior themed collages being made as well as some epic tiddlywink battles using the targets that are our second craft activity this week. You’ve still got one day to drop in for our Spears & Sparring activities- next week we’re moving on to some 1970s themed activities including the return of a very popular 70s toy!

spears and sparring 31-7-14 (2)

spears and sparring 31-7-14 (7)

It’s also a Stay & Play Saturday this weekend so there will be toys, books & a free craft activity available if you’re in town.