Zeppelin crash centenary to be marked in UK village

Posted on centenarynews.com on 17 August 2016
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The forced-landing of a German Zeppelin near a village in eastern England 100 years ago will be marked with a two-day programme of events in September 2016.

'Zepfest' at Little Wigborough will include audio tours, illustrated with period photographs, of the site where the First World War airship L33 came down with a loud bang in the early hours of September 24th 1916.

Talks and displays will recall the shock and alarm caused by the crash and its immediate aftermath in the Essex countryside.

"This was a momentous local event in the Great War," explains Sir Bob Russell, present-day High Steward of Colchester.

"I recall my late father-in-law telling me how, as a teenager, he and friends had cycled from Colchester to see the massive metal skeleton frame of the Zeppelin."

The crew of more than 20 escaped unhurt, setting fire to the wreckage to destroy technical details of interest to the British. They were taken into custody after being discovered by a local policeman on his bicycle.

The Zeppelin's skeleton was examined and the plans were later used as a basis for the construction of the British airships R33 and R34.

Zepfest's programme on September 24-25th includes:
*Walks of the crash site, comparing it with 1916 photos
*Ilustrated talks
*Zeppelin archive film and audio show
*Static displays about Zeppelins & L33 with artefacts, memorabilia, photographs and documents
*Zeppelin art display
*WW1 aircraft, vehicles and simulators
*Flypast of WW1 planes from nearby Stow Maries Aerodrome (weather permitting)
*Great War Living History group demonstrations - the Great War Society
*Heavy horses and wagon rides - Hawthorn Heavy Horses 

Colchester High Steward Sir Bob Russell said: "I congratulate the organisers of this commemorative event for their research and presentation. It reflects our social and war-time history from a century ago, and I am confident it is something which will appeal to people of all ages."

Visit the Zepfest website for ticket information. The events will take place in fields around Copt Hall in Little Wigborough, near Colchester, Essex. 

'Zepfest' is appealing for the loan of memorabilia and souvenirs of the crash. Bits of L33's wreckage were made into artefacts, including brooches and ashtrays. Contact the organisers via the 'Zepfest' webite.

Information & images supplied by Zepfest

Posted by: CN Editorial Team