Zeppelin Letters – paperback edition coming soon

I have started work revising my book Zeppelin Letters, London during the First World War. It is being prepared for a full colour paperback edition which will be available for sale later in 2021. The image below shows the new cover.

I plan to re-release the Kindle edition at the same time as the paperback for those who prefer eBooks, this will also be fully illustrated and in the same format as the paperback. Watch this space for updates, or visit my Amazon author page: LINK

Prices to be announced.

Interesting but sad collection for sale

A very interesting collection has just gone up for sale on the online auction site eBay. I haven’t put the link here because in a few months time it will be taken down, but you should be able to find it by searching for the title “Zeppelin Cased WW1 German Medal Set And Watch With Descriptive Inscription”, if you are interested in purchasing for the “buy it now” price of £1,435.

I don’t think I could own this kind of souvenir, nice as it is, because I would be constantly reminded of the poor airman who died when his Zeppelin was the first one to be shot down over the United Kingdom. The Lot description follows:

Here we have a very interesting set of awards and belongings from a German WW1 Airman taken by a Hertfordshire Police officer. This is actually a very special find because this set was taken off the body of an airman from the first ever zeppelin to be shot down over the United Kingdom. The set is comprised of a wound medal, an Iron Cross Second Class, the Austrian Patriotic Badge 1914 and an engraved pocket watch. The inscription on the pocket watch reads ‘Taken from German airman by PC Green, Cuffley, 4th September 1914’. The Iron Cross is the screw on variant and has no factory markings. The Austrian Patriotic Badge is marked with a six pointed star and the makers mark ‘H.S.’. The wound medal is unmarked and has a bar clasp. The watch has a brushed steel face with Arabic numerals in gold, a secondary seconds dial and gold hands. The watch’s serial number is 1485360 and was made by Doxa of Switzerland.

Dimensions: The box is 8 inches (20.5 cm) wide by 4.75 inches (12 cm) deep and 1.5 inches (4 cm) high.

Condition: The set is in good condition for its age. The wound medal has had some of the blackening wear off. The Iron Cross is in brilliant condition. The brass of the Patriotic Badge has aged and has a nice deep finish. The watch and its engravings are in good condition for their age, it only runs a little bit.

 

Haunted London: 9th September 1915

Haunted London by Richard JonesThe following is an extract from the excellent book Haunted London, by Richard Jones (clicking on the book cover will take you to Amazon).

The Dolphin Tavern
44 Red Lion Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1R 4PF

The Dolphin Tavern is very much a locals’ pub and boasts an interior that is functional rather than fashionable. On one of its walls you can see a battered old clock, the hands of which are frozen at 10.40 pm, much as they have been for almost 90 years. It was at this precise moment on 9 September 1915 that a Zeppelin bomb crashed onto the pub and reduced it to a smouldering heap of twisted rubble. Three customers were killed and several others were seriously injured in the tragedy.

thedolphintavernThe clock was dragged from the ruins, and when the pub was rebuilt, it was placed on the wall as a permanent memorial to that night when death and destruction rained down from above. And, every so often, as the staff are tidying up after another day’s trading, their attention is drawn to the clock. As they gaze upon its face, they hear a ghostly, mournful whistling that grows lower and lower, until all is quiet once more.

Click here to view the Dolphin Tavern on Google Street View.

George Vernon Hatch

George Vernon Hatch

George Hatch, here photographed in 1940, was a Company Registrar working in London during the war. He also volunteered on a searchlight station for the Civil Defence. Four of his letters appear in the book. It is great to find a photograph of him at last. Thanks to Professor David Hatch for sending me this image.

The Zeppelin Hat

The Zeppelin Hat

This rather embarrassed looking girl is wearing a very odd creation photographed for the Central News Photo Service, New York, in August 1918:

“Our photo shows one of the latest freak fashions that has made its appearance in the “Zeppelin Hat” designed by Maison Lewis, London. It can certainly claim to be topical. It is the opinion amongst millinery critics that it will not become very popular in the United States.”

This photograph was offered for sale on eBay by Historic Images.