You are not logged in.
Zeppelin LZ40 (L10) in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- Zeppelin LZ40 (L10) during the Great War -

Great War>War in the Air
skip to content

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to accept cookies.

If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.

    Site Home

    Great War


    Add Stories & Photos


    Allied Army

    Day by Day

    War in the Air

    Prisoners of War

    The Royal Navy

    Training for War

    The Battles

    Those Who Served


    Civilian Service

    Women at War

    Life on Home Front

    Central Powers Army

    Central Powers' Navy


    World War Two


    Add Stories & Photos

    Time Capsule


    Help & FAQ's

    Our Facebook Page




    Contact us

    Great War Books

World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great

Zeppelin LZ40 (L10)

13th May 1915 Maiden Flight LZ40 (L10)  Zeppelin LZ40(L10)

  • Production Ref: LZ40
  • Class type: P
  • Tactical Ref: L10
  • Usage: Military.
  • First Flight: 13th May 1915


8 reconnaissance missions around the North Sea and 5 attacks on England dropping a total of 9,900 kg (21,800 lb) of bombs. Destroyed in a thunderstorm on 3 September 1915 near Cuxhaven killing 19 crew members.

4th June 1915 Air Raid  Zeppelin L.10 dropped bombs on Gravesend, strong winds led the commander to misjudge his position, his target had been London.

15th Jun 1915 Zeppelin bombs Tyneside.  On Tuesday 15th June 1915 Zeppelin LZ40(L10) commanded by Kapitan Leutnant Hirsch crossed the coast north of Blyth and headed directly for Wallsend where bombs were dropped on the Marine Engineering Works causing severe damage. 7 Heavy Explosive and 5 Incendiary Bombs then fell on Palmer's Works at Jarrow where 17 men died and 72 were injured.

North of the river again, bombs fell at Willington where they damaged Cookson's Antimony Works and Pochin's Chemical Works and several houses; a policeman died at Willington Quay.

The L10 then headed for the sea dropping bombs on Haxton Colliery and South Shields on the way.

It flew over Palmer’s Shipyard about 2340, dropped its bombs killing 17 persons and injuring 72.

There was a Memorial with 12 names on, at one time in the Stirling Foundry in Jarrow, once part of the Palmer Shipyard.

The bombing must have been highly censured at the time having just a few lines in the Shields Gazette on Thursday 17th June 1915. It just stated 16 killed which included a policeman and 40 injured when a Zeppelin bombed Jarrow. On Friday 18th in the Shields Gazette there was another small column regarding the inquest which noted the following 14 had been killed in the yard:

  • Albert Bramley 54
  • Matthew Carter 55
  • Karl Johan W. Kalnin 22
  • Joseph Lane 67 (Marine Engineer)
  • Robert Thomas Nixon 32
  • Frederick Pinnock 31
  • Lawrence Frazer Sanderson 16
  • Thomas Henry Smith 23
  • Ralph Snaith 48
  • William Stamford 40
  • Joseph Beckwith Thornicroft 31
  • William Grieves Turner 20
  • John George Windle 27
  • William Ernest Cook Young 16

It also added Ann Isabella Laughlin 62 living near to the yard, died from shock. It also stated there was an inquest for a policeman (no name given) who was killed over in Willington Quay.

These two died later from their wounds: John Cuthbert Davison 31 (Fitter and Turner) and George Ward 18 (Apprentice Fitter and Turner)

The Zeppelin LZ40 (L10) was destroyed by lightning near Cuxhaven off the Neuwerk Island in Germany on 3rd September 1915.

There follows some further summary and eye witness accounts.

  • Zeppelin Specification
  • Production Number: LZ-40
  • Tactical Number or Name:L10
  • Type/Class:P
  • Usage:military
  • First Flight:13 May 1915
  • Summary
  • LZ-40 flew eight reconnaissance missions around the North Sea.
  • She participated in five attacks on England, dropping 9,900 kg of bombs.
  • She flew in the great raid on London of 17-18 August 1915 during which Leyton was bombed causing ten deaths and injuring 48 people.
  • She was destroyed in a thunderstorm on 3 September 1915 near Cuxhaven.

Report on Tyneside Raid: Tuesday 15th June 1915. Censorship forbade newspapers like the Shields Gazette reporting it at the time. Even now, the story of the death and devastation that a Zeppelin visited on Jarrow during the First World War is still coming together like a jigsaw and integral to that, Philip Strong believes, could be eyewitness accounts handed down through the generations.

Philip, who lives in New South Wales, Australia, lost his great uncle, Joseph Lane, in the raid on the night of June 15, 1915. Sixteen of the dead were from Palmer’s shipyard, among them Joseph, a 67-year-old engineer, born in Ireland, and whose home was in Bede Burn Road.

Philip, who has researched the episode in impressive detail, says: “Some stories must have been passed down through Jarrow families about the bombing. What did the survivors say?”

One eyewitness account he has turned up is that of Captain Hugh Tweedie RN. He was supervising the fitting out of two Monitor-class warships at Palmer’s, the Marshal Soult at Hebburn and the Marshal Ney at Jarrow. On the evening of June 15, a Tuesday, Tweedie had returned to his lodgings at the North Eastern Hotel, near Jarrow railway station.

Early next morning, Arthur Gowan, managing director of Palmer’s, woke him and told him there had been a Zeppelin raid and he went at once to the shipyard. He found that in the street leading to the yard, every window from every house had been blown out. In the yard itself, “some 50 men” had been killed and injured by a bomb, which had fallen into the main fitting shop where work had been going on in night shifts.

The erecting shop was also hit, where considerable damage had been done to a series of destroyers’ engines which were being built. Out in the shipyard, a bomb had fallen near the Marshal Ney and splinters had pierced the side and deck plating.

Says Philip: “Captain Tweedie said that the Zeppelin had come quite low down in the absence of any anti-aircraft guns. There was no organisation for putting-out the lights and that, under the circumstances, it was lucky that far more damage had not been done. “Perhaps he was referring to the ships in the yard. Was this due to the glass-sectioned roofs of the engine works shops? The glare from the roofs would make the ships a target, but placed the shipyard in shadow.” Life, though, did go on and, the next day, Hugh Tweedie’s wife, Constance, launched the Marshal Ney.

Strict censorship was imposed on the Press, which simply reported that there had been a Zeppelin raid in the area at about 2340. No locations were given.

However, an inquest report described what probably happened to the night-shift workers in the main fitting shop: “A night manager said at about 2315 he heard a loud report and saw a flash. This was followed by others in rapid succession. A bomb dropped on the roof. Witness was about 25 or 30 feet from it, and he was struck by splinters on the back and head, the latter being cut. As near as he could estimate three or four bombs fell on the roof, two more being more powerful than the others.”

The newspapers named the victims, and Philip has gleaned information on some of their occupations from the 1911 Census. They were:

  • Lawrence Fraser Sanderson;
  • Matthew Carter, ship fitter;
  • Joseph Beckwith Thorneycroft, sea-going engineer;
  • John George Windle, screwing machine fitter;
  • Karl Johan W. Kalnin;
  • William Erskine Cook Young;
  • William Grieves Turner, apprentice engineer’s fitter;
  • Joseph Lane, mechanical engineer;
  • Robert Thomas Nixon, mechanic turner and fitter;
  • Frederick Pinnock;
  • Albert Bramley, colliery above ground labourer;
  • Thomas Henry Smith, apprentice engineer;
  • Ralph Snaith, turner in turbine works;
  • William Stamford, colliery fitter;
  • George Ward, apprentice fitter and turner;
  • John Cuthbert Davison, fitter and turner.

Raid Sequence of events.

The L10 Zeppelin with Commander Hirsch made landfall just north of Blyth near the Wansbeck River, and then turned south towards the Tyne. Hirsch firstly bombed the North Eastern Marine Engineering works at Willington Quay, Wallsend. His observers reported that on the left there were blast furnaces, a winding river and many industrial plants. He relied on his observers since the newly trialled radio navigation was not effective.

The Commander perceived he was under fire from shore batteries, and probably immediately crossed the river, bombed the Hebburn Colliery, lined up the lights of the Palmers' blast furnaces and their Engineering Works for a straight bombing run. Perhaps the two reports which an inquest witness later reported, were actually bombs on the blast furnaces? This witness then said that half a minute later there were 14 reports…. perhaps the 7 explosive bombs and 5 incendiaries which were said to have been dropped on Palmers engineering construction department, killing 16 workmen.

Hirsch then continued on an arc across the river to bomb the chemical plants at Howdon near Willington Quay (Cookson's Antimony Works and Pochin's Chemical Works).

The L10 went out to sea via South Shields, leaving a scenic railway ablaze near the Haxton Colliery Staithes (coal loading piers).

5/16th June 1915 After the attack by L 10 on Tyneside on 15–16 June the short summer nights discouraged further raids for some months, and the remaining Army Zeppelins were re-assigned to the Eastern and Balkan fronts. The Navy resumed raids on Britain in August.  More info.

12th Aug 1915 Zeppelin Raids on Britain  The four Zeppelin raid was repeated on the night of the 12th/13th August. Two of the Zeppelins again had to turn back, but LZ 40 (L 10) and another Zeppelin continued. LZ 40 was able to bomb Harwich, destroying two houses. One bomb fell in the middle of a street in a crowd staring at the Zeppelin. When it exploded it killed men, eleven women and nine children. Though the anti-aircraft guns fired at them, they were able to get away. The other Zeppelin, found no target and was barely able to make it home due to a violent storm over the North Sea.

17th August 1915 Zeppelin raid on London  A third four Zeppelin raid tried to reach London on the night of the 17th–18th of August; two turned back with mechanical problems, LZ41(L11) bombed Ashford and Faversham in Kent in the belief it was Woolwich, but LZ40(L10) became the first Navy airship to reach London. L 10 was also misnavigated, mistaking the reservoirs of the Lea Valley for the Thames, and consequently dropped its bombs on Walthamstow and Leytonstone. 10 people were killed, 48 injured and property damage to the railway station and housing was estimated at £30,750.

Guns were fired at L 10 and a few aircraft took off in pursuit, but the Zeppelin suffered no damage in the raid. L 10 was destroyed a little over two weeks later when it was struck by lightning and caught fire off Cuxhaven, and the entire crew was killed.

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Want to know more about Zeppelin LZ40 (L10) ?

There are:5 articles tagged Zeppelin LZ40 (L10) available in our Library

Those known to have served with

Zeppelin LZ40 (L10)

during the Great War 1914-1918.

    The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

    Looking for help with Family History Research?   

    Please see Family History FAQ's

    We are unable to provide individual research free of charge, but do offer a paid service at competitive rates, the small profit from these services will be put towards the costs of keeping this website running. For more information please see our Research Services Leaflet

    Can you help?

    The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors.

    If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.

    If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.


    • The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website

      This website has been running for 16 years and receives in excess of a million hits per month. The website and our group will continue long after the 2014-18 events are over. We hope that people will continue to support us by submitting material and stories in addition to submitting to the new websites set up for the anniversary.

    • We are looking for volunteers to help with researching the activities of units of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Territorial Force, Regular Army, Pals Battalions, Kitchener's New Armies, Voluntary Organisations and the Ships of the Royal Navy. We currently have a huge backlog of stories and historical documents which need to be edited or transcribed for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

    Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to the Great War. If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted.

    We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates, add a comment or ask a question.

    If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.

    Aug 2017

        Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 234727 your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

    World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
    Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.

    Want to know more about Zeppelin LZ40 (L10) ?

    There are:5 articles tagged Zeppelin LZ40 (L10) available in our Library

    Recomended Reading.

    Available at discounted prices.


      Suggest a link

      The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.

      This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.

      If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.

      Hosted by:

      The Wartime Memories Project Website

      is archived for preservation by the British Library

      Website © Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVII
      - All Rights Reserved