Northampton to honour lives lost following Zeppelin raid on town 100 years ago

Elizas great-great-grandson, Wayne Casey.
Elizas great-great-grandson, Wayne Casey.

Northampton will this week mark the centenary of the Zeppelin raid, which killed three women in St James in 1917.

In 1917, 22 bombs were dropped on Northampton from a German Zeppelin Airship killing a woman and her twin daughters. Eliza, Lily and Gladys Gammons, who are buried at Dallington Cemetery. They are believed to be Northampton’s only victims of air raids, which killed more than 500 people throughout Britain during WWI.

The Mayor of Northampton, Northampton Borough Council, St James CE Primary School, where the twins attended school, Sywell Aviation Centre, where the incendiary device is now on display, and the Western Front Association have joined together to commemorate the occasion with a public memorial.

Councillor Gareth Eales, Mayor of Northampton, said: “Although not as well-known as the blitz, German air raids had a devastating effect on communities throughout the UK during the first World War.

“St James lost three innocent lives that night, a mother and her young daughters, and it’s important that we make sure the memory of that event stays with us 100 years later.

“In order to make this the biggest event it can be, I hope as many people as possible can join us on 19 October to commemorate this sad event.”

Members of the public are invited to join proceedings lead by Wayne Casey, Eliza’s great-great-grandson, St James Resident’s Association, and the children of St James Primary School who will recite from newspaper clippings of the time and perform war-time songs.

The event will begin at 12.15pm in St James Square.

For more information visit the Mayor of Northampton Facebook page.