The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day
2nd September 1916On this day:
- Daily Battery Activity 236th London Brigade 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery record in their war diary:
One Section of A236 Battery removed and placed alongside C236 Battery.
Heavy artillery began their bombardment for the attack of the 3rd, 14th, and 15th Corps.
- Zeppelin raid on London The biggest raid to date was launched on 2–3 September, with 12 German Navy airships and four from the German Army taking part. A combination of rain and snowstorms scattered the airships while they were still over the North Sea. None of the naval airships reached London, and only the army's LZ 98 and the newly commissioned Schütte-Lanz SL 11 achieved their objective.
SL 11 came in over Foulness with the intention of attacking the capital from the northwest. It dropped a few bombs over London Colney and South Mimms before it was picked up by a searchlight over Hornsey at about 0150 and subjected to an intense but ineffective barrage. It was lost in cloud over Wood Green but rediscovered by the searchlights at Waltham Abbey as it bombed Ponders End. At around 0215 one of the three aircraft in the sky that night finally came into range, a BE2c piloted by Lt. William Leefe Robinson flying from Suttons Farm. Robinson fired three drums of ammunition from his Lewis gun, one on each of three passes. After he emptied the third drum, the airship began burning from the stern and was quickly enveloped in flames. It fell to the ground near Cuffley, witnessed by the crews of four of the naval Zeppelins. There were no survivors.
For bringing down the first rigid airship downed on British soil and the first 'night fighter' victory Leefe Robinson received the Victoria Cross.
The pieces of SL 11 were gathered up and sold by the Red Cross to raise money for wounded soldiers.
For unknown reasons, when the SL 11 became the first German airship to be shot down over England, it was described officially and in the press as Zeppelin L 21 (LZ 61's tactical number). This mis-identification persisted for decades, even though it is clear that the authorities were always aware of SL 11's correct identity. It has been suggested that the reason for this confusion was a calculation by the authorities that the downing of a hated and feared Zeppelin "baby killer"' would play better with the public than the destruction of an almost unknown Schütte-Lanz type. The loss of SL 11 ended the German Army's interest in raids on Britain.
- 2nd September 1916 3rd Canadian Tunnelling Coy War Diary
- 2nd September 1916 Routine and inspections
- 2nd September 1916 Move to new billets
- 2nd Sep 1916 No Boots
- 2nd Sep 1916 Shelling
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