It was 100 years ago today aerial warfare first came to Bury St Edmunds and it is being marked with a museum exhibition and a Blue Plaque.
Though the raid early on April 30, 1915 horrified people for whom total warfare was unimaginable, the only casualty was a dog. A year later, a Zeppelin raid killed seven in Bury.
It it was only in January 1915 that the first four people killed in a UK air raid Norfolk suffered the first four people killed in an air raid in the UK.
At about 40 minutes after midnight on April 30, 1915, Zeppelin LZ38 arrived over Bury, dropping a high explosive bomb on Northgate Avenue which left a 22ft crater and knocked over a tree. But that was followed by a trail of incendiary bombs.
They did significant damge, including destroying four shops next to what is now Waterstones in Buttermarket . They also reduced the three-storey St Andrew’s Hall and Pettit’s Stables to the two-storeys that are now Denny Brothers’ shop on the corner of St Andrew’s Street South and King’s road.
Moyse’s Hall is running its latest World War One exhibition which includes Bury artist Sara Muzira’s new work, in print, charcoal, chalk, paint and ink, of the raid.
Sara said: “: “Through the work, I wanted to capture the intensity of the raid and bombing and the range of reactions and emotions from anxiety, horror and shock, to despair and perhaps even a sense of terrified excitement for such a small town as Bury St Edmunds. “
A ‘Pot Luck’ trail also looks at the lives of 20 locals in WW1.
A Blue Plaque to mark the raid is currently being made to be installed by the Bury Society on Denny Brothers’ shop at the end of May.
The society’s Martyn Taylor said: “There’s no public recognition of it anywhere in the town and, hopefully, this will address that omission.”