Family mark Bury St Edmunds Zeppelin raid victim’s grave after 98 years

The Bury Free Press' 1916  report on the death of the Dureall family ANL-140514-093739001
The Bury Free Press' 1916 report on the death of the Dureall family ANL-140514-093739001
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The grave of one of Bury St Edmunds’ Zeppelin raid victims will be marked 98 years after the town turned out for her funeral.

Annie Dureall’s grandson Colin Jamieson last year tried to visit her grave in Bury Cemetery while on a trip from his home in Milton Keynes.

“I couldn’t find it and that’s what started me off on the trail,” he said. “That’s when I decided to get a marker.”

He contacted Armstrong Funeral Services in Bury, ‘at random’ from the internet and they immediately agreed to do it for free. Colin said: “I was really touched by that — it was a lovely gesture.”

The marker will be dedicated on June 13 but Armstrong’s put a temporary marker on the grave, which put two sides of the family back in touch.

Frances Dureall, who was married to another of Annie’s grandsons, Brian who died 15 years ago, happened to visit the grave and called the funeral directors.

She said: “When I last saw Colin he was 10 years old in short grey trousers at my wedding 55 years ago. It’s good to be back in touch — he only lives about 20 miles away.”

The Zeppelin airship raid, Bury’s second, was on the night of March 31, 1916. Seven airships raided the east, killing 28, seven of them in Bury, and injuring 44.

A report published in the Bury Free Press on April 8 says the bombs hit ‘a certain ancient and well known town’ but does not name it or the victims for security, though the log of Zeppelin L16 records they knew they hit Bury.

They may have targeted barracks in King’s Road, but they hit homes in Mill Road, where the Durealls lived, and Chalk Road.

The following Thursday crowds lined the streets as the victims’ coffins went to the cemetery.

The BFP published a picture of Annie, her husband Thomas and five children, with labels on the victims. Colin’s mother Evelyn is marked ‘eyes injured’ and he says she was dug out of the rubble blind but regained her sight during nine months in hospital.

Frances’ father-in-law, also Thomas, is marked as ‘nearly suffocated’ and the youngest child, who Frances believes died in her teens, as ‘injured’.

The report says Thomas senior was ‘away serving his country’, but Glyn Thomas, curator of the Suffolk Regiment Museum, says records show he was in the UK from transfer to the Suffolks in 1911 until 2 Btn left for France in December 1916. He had joined the King’s Own Scottish Borderers at 15 in 1897 and was in France until 1919. He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals and the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

Ex-bandsman Thomas Dureall died aged 78.