Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. Hull Zeppelin raid: 6/7 June 1915
  2. Casualties: 24 people dead and 40 wounded
  3. About 40 bombs dropped on the city
  4. The midnight raid lasted 30 minutes

Live Reporting

By Trevor Gibbons

All times stated are UK

  1. Thank you and goodbye

    Trevor Gibbons

    BBC News, Yorkshire

    Well that's the end of the live page in which we've been remembering the first Zeppelin raid on Hull exactly 100 years ago. Thank you for all your contributions.

    We hope we have shed some light on the fortitude of the Hull citizens and remembered the unfortunate victims.

    Don't forget to listen to the programme on BBC Radio Humberside from 22:00 BST, with the specially-written drama starting at the same time as the first bomb fell towards the city late one Sunday night in June 1915.

  2. BOMB!

    The last hit

    The final bomb from the Zeppelin fell on Humber Dock (pictured here in 1913) at 00.15 on Monday 7 June.

    Humber Dock in 1913

    It hit the bulwarks of the cargo lighter Crocus. The side of ship was shattered and many holes made through its steel plates.

    The raid had lasted 30 minutes and then the Zeppelin headed home.

  3. 'Setting towns on fire'

    Earlier we featured an extract from a letter written by Zeppelin pilot Heinrich Mathy to his wife only hours after returning from the bombing raid.

    In the same letter we can see his determination to press on the German fight, but he admits he'd rather attack a submarine than a settlement.

    L-9 back on the ground

    "...War is war, they've shot at me and it's a nasty fire, and yet fighting submarines is nicer than setting towns on fire. But we'll always give them all we have, the harder [we attack] the earlier they will crumble...

    "Farewell for today. Very deeply kisses you

    "Your Henner".

  4. Coroners' reports

    It wasn't just explosion and fire that killed people during the raid according to coroners' reports. Several deaths were attributed to shock, fear and stress.

    Coroners' reports on several people aged from 36 to 67 included one which noted "fatty degeneration of heart, accelerated by shock of German Zeppelin Air Raid".

    One person - the unfortunate Alfred Wonnison (or possibly Morrison), of Market Place - had his death attributed by the coroner to "shock after his wrongful arrest for being a German spy".

    It was noted he died of cardiac failure, accelerated by shock through being wrongfully arrested by two gunners.

    Jane Ann Booth, 51, died at 2 Alma Street on the 24 July 1915. The coroner noted "vascular and cardiac disease present, accelerated by shock and fear of Zeppelin raid".

  5. Hull's death toll mounts

    June 1915 was the first of eight Zeppelin raids on Hull and by the armistice of 1918, 57 people had been killed and a further 151 injured in raids.

    During World War One there were 51 raids on the UK that dropped an estimated 200 tonnes of bombs that killed 557 people with 1,358 people injured.

    Heinrich Mathy's log book of his Zeppelin flights

    Here we can see details of various Zeppelin flights in the log book of L-9's pilot Heinrich Mathy.

  6. Listen; 'Unprecedented warfare'

    Dr Nick Evans, University of Hull

    Dr Nick Evans tells us why the use of Zeppelins in bombing raids against the civilian population was "unprecedented warfare" and how it led to the Germans being vilified.

  7. City's German community suffers retaliation

    Dr Nick Evans, University of Hull

    Following the raid, German pork butchers' businesses across the city, like this one in Princes Avenue, were targeted by people seeking revenge.

    A butcher's shop in Princes Avenue

    Shop windows were smashed and families were terrorised, threatened personally and often possessions were stolen in a response by the citizens of Hull to the horror they had witnessed.

    At the outbreak of war in 1914 there was a vibrant community of about 1,000 Germans but many left and by the end of the war it had dwindled to a few hundred people and the German community in Hull was damaged forever.

    Listen also: A German butcher's fate

  8. Deadly raid

    As the Zeppelin made its way back to its base in Germany the city of Hull started to count the cost of the deadly raid.

    During the 30 minutes of the attack 24 people had been killed and 40 injured. There were no casualties among the attackers.

    In all 40 houses were destroyed.

  9. BOMB!

    Various locations

    Other bombs were recorded at:

    Bright Street - the premises of Palmer's grocers was destroyed.

    Dansome Lane - a saw mill and timber yard destroyed.

    Milton Street - incendiary fell in St Mary's Roman Catholic school yard.

    Danson Lane - burned out Lear's Stables with a "considerable fire".

    Clarence Street - incendiary burned out, no damage.

    East Street - explosive bomb demolished two houses. It killed Edward Jordan (10) in number 11, his parents were seriously injured and taken to Naval hospital. Mr and Mrs Hill killed at Number 12.

    Victoria Dock - an incendiary in Victoria Dock fell on Swedish ship lying in river basin. Ship's deck slightly damaged.

    Tower Street - Wade's Timber Yard bomb severely damaged railway line and bashed holes in the walls of neighbouring warehouses.

  10. BOMB!

    St Thomas' Terrace

    The effects of an explosive Zeppelin bomb are clear in these pictures.

    St Thomas' Terrace with the church behind

    It shows 1, 2 and 3 St Thomas' Terrace, off Campbell Street.

    The gap in the centre was house number 2 in which William Walker (60) was killed along with his daughters Alice (32) and Millicent (17). A third daughter May (18) was seriously injured.

    Alice's body was blown onto the aisle roof of St Thomas's Church, a distance of 30 feet (9m) Millicent's was blown into a yard at the rear of the house.

    Rear of St Thomas' Terrace

    Mr Hatfield of the railway police lived in number 3 and although it was badly damaged and almost demolished he, his wife and four children escaped alive.

  11. BOMB!

    Various locations

    Constable Street - bomb number 27 hit lower floor of No 109½ Constable Street. Two cars burned out and garage was almost burned out.

    Coltman Street - incendiary at number 153 fell through roof on to partition wall and through floor of landing. Fire extinguished by neighbours, not much damage.

    South Parade - incendiary at number 50 fell through roof and ceiling, setting room on fire and burning to death Maurice (11) and Violet aged (8).

  12. Roll up, roll up!

    Life in the city during war-time continued with a version of normality. During that summer weekend for instance the picture houses were open for business.

    The Majestic was advertising a daily continuous programme of "various subjects judiciously selected" until 10:45.

    "Justifies its name to its fullest limit. Once come always come," the slogans declared in the local papers.

    At the Hessle Road Picture Palace adjoining West Dock Avenue there was a two-part drama called For Her Sake and a Keystone film called All at Sea.

    Prices were 2d, 4d and 6d (2.5p) - but soldiers and sailors were admitted for half-price.

  13. BOMB!

    Five boys escape

    An incendiary bomb hit 102 Great Thornton Street, the home of Harris Needler.

    In one of its rooms five boys were sleeping, two of them in a bed that was struck by the bomb. In this remarkable photograph you can see the iron of the bedstead is bent and one of the boys is sitting at the scene of their lucky escape.

    102 Great Thornton Street

    The hole caused by the device is immediately above him. All five boys escaped unhurt.

    However, the bomb penetrated the floor and landed on on a bed in the room below occupied by Mrs Needler, who survived despite suffering serious burns.

    All five boys escaped unhurt.

  14. Yearning Hearts: Zeppelin raids dramatised on radio

    To commemorate the centenary of Hull's first Zeppelin raid a special radio play on the events has been commissioned.

    Yearning Hearts is to be broadcast in a programme from 22:00 BST on Saturday by BBC Radio Humberside.

    You can hear an extract from the play here.

    Produced by David Reeves and writer Dave Windass the programme is to cover the bombing as it happened exactly 100 years on.

  15. Watch and listen: Zeppelin raids

    BBC Look North

    BBC Look North has broadcast a report on the deadly 1915 Zeppelin raid and its aftermath for the citizens of Hull.

    And don't forget tonight at 22:00 there is a programme on BBC Radio Humberside on the night's events featuring a specially-commissioned drama, Yearning Hearts by playwright Dave Windass.

  16. Eyewitness account

    Florence Dee

    Florence Dee (nee Mawer) went to see the wreckage at Edwin Davis' drapery store after the raid.

    "I remember going there with my brother and sister, " she said in Keep The Home Fires Burning by local historian John Markham.

    "There were rolls of cloth, all smoking and rolls of ribbon. There was a policeman on duty and we asked if we could have some ribbon.

    "He said yes and he'd reach it down for us. We got ever so much ribbon. It was all debris, really, and the policeman let us take some."

  17. BOMB!

    The great blaze

    What the bomb near the church did was set fire to Davis's drapery store and the nearby Fleece Inn.

    Demetrius Franks, the licensee, and his family were in the cellar when the bomb struck and escaped injury.

    It was initially thought there had been no loss of life, but 10 days after the fire a woman's body was found under the debris. She was not identified nor did anyone report her missing.

    Damage seen from the roof of Holy Trinity

    When a photographer captured the scene from the church roof at 10:00 on Monday 7 June the ruins were still on fire.

    Then the wind began to gently veer round to the opposite direction causing the smoke to blow up at the camera.

    "Thus a fire six or seven hours later would have probably consumed this large and historic building," he concluded.

    As it was the damage was estimated at £34,000.

  18. BOMB!

    Holy Trinity survives

    An incendiary bomb (and possibly an explosive device as well) fell near to Holy Trinity Church where the people of Hull had worshipped for more than 600 years.

    Damage outside Holy Trinity

    The incendiary started a fire and it was reported that the heat within the church during the blaze "was terrific and the lead of some of the stained glass windows melted".

    Fortunately, during the raid the wind blew from the north west - away from Holy Trinity - thus saving both the church and the neighbouring King's building (now home to the Lizard Lounge nightclub).

  19. BOMB!

    High Street hero

    Bomb number 19 was an explosive device that landed in the Old Town's High Street.

    It blew a hole 6ft (2m) deep in the centre of the street and the explosion ruptured an hydraulic pressure pipe carrying the water and gas mains.

    The gas main caught fire but it was extinguished by one of the raid's heroes - Mr G Penrose, a Hull Corporation pipe layer, stopped the breach by using wet clay!

  20. Interactive map: Where the bombs fell

    A map tracking the bombs that fell during the city's first and worst Zeppelin attack has been produced overlaying a modern map of the city.

    Map of the bombs

    Dr Nick Evans, a history lecturer at the University of Hull, says "For Hull, one could suggest, the deaths caused by the Zeppelin attack in June 1915 were the single most deadly moments of the conflict at that time.

    "It would of course be dwarfed by the later (post 1915) losses but these losses all drove the then voluntary recruitment."

  21. 'Eerily beautiful image of the burning city'

    BBC Radio Humberside has found a letter in the German archives from the Zeppelin pilot, Kapitanleutnant Heinrich Mathy, to his wife, written on Monday 7 June - only hours after the raid on Hull.

    Original text of the letter

    It has been translated from its original rather archaic German:

    "Many, many thanks for your dear letters ... which arrived before and after my undertaking of yesterday.

    "The first one I took with me, I could read it only cursorily before departure, but when I flew during the return high above the clouds and the sea in safety, I took it out and read what my "Mäderle" [affectionate form of girl] had written for me so endearingly, and like in a dream our happy Gretchen appeared to me in the forest and at home, while the engines thundered and in front of my eyes still was the eerily beautiful image of the burning city of Hull which had been the goal of my visit."

  22. The Zeppelin pilot

    Kapitanleutnant Heinrich Mathy was born on 4 April 1883 in Manheim, Germany. His father was a bank director.

    He became feared and revered as one of the finest Zeppelin pilots and commanded L-9 from 8 March to 23 June 1915.

    He went on to be commander of the L-13 until April 1916.

    Mathy then took over the L-31 until he was shot down over Potters Bar on 2 October 1916. He had crossed the North Sea on a mission to bomb London.

    He is buried at the German military cemetery at Cannock Chase.

  23. Why was Hull targeted?

    It was bad luck.

    L-9, under the control of Kapitanleutnant Heinrich Mathy (pictured), had orders to "attack London if possible, otherwise a coastal town according to choice". However, weather conditions were to scupper the original German plans and turn the attention on Hull.

    Heinrich Mathy of L-9

    Extract from The Zeppelin in combat- a history of the German naval airship division 1912-1919 by Douglas H Robinson:

    "The shortness of the June night, and high temperatures persisting after sundown, made an attack on London hazardous, so Mathy decided to bomb Hull.

    "Mist blanketed land and sea, and only after a painstaking two-hour search with parachute flares did Mathy recognise Bridlington and from this point of reference set a course for Hull."

  24. BOMB!

    Craven Street Football Ground

    The bombing raid lasted about 30 minutes - with the first device hitting the city at about 11:45pm on Saturday 6 June and the last one at quarter past midnight on Monday 7 June.

    The fourth bomb, an incendiary device, landed just 200 yards from Craven Street Football Ground - the home of Northern Union (now known as rugby league) side Hull Kingston Rovers.

    It caused no damage and burned out.

    Just two months earlier, the Northern Union secretary announced that 1,418 amateur and professional rugby players had enlisted.

    At the league's annual general meeting a few days after the raid, a resolution was passed by a large majority: "That except for schoolboys and intermediates under eighteen years of age, competitive football under Northern Union rules be suspended for the duration of the war."

    In 1919 when the full competition restarted Hull KR came 19th out of 25 in the league.

  25. Hull's industry

    Hull's industry at the time of the raid was dominated by shipping, fishing and its associated trades. The city's population in 1915 was about 291,000.

    The Hull Times reported: "Hull coal exports. The official return of the exports of coal from Hull to foreign countries for the week ending Tuesday, June 1st 1915 is as follows: Total 56,760 tons.

    "The figure does not include bunker coal shipments for the British admiralty nor the Allies' governments."

    A German U-boat open fire on a merchant ship c1915

    Merchant ships did come under attack in World War One - this picture shows a German U-boat shelling a target c1915.

  26. 'My great-grandma lived there'

    via Facebook

    Angie Hogarth has been on BBC Look North's Facebook page to ask about the bomb on Walter's Terrace (see 11:50 update).

    "Is that Walter's Terrace on Newland Avenue? My great grandma lived there many years ago! Early 1900's onwards to approx 1978," she says.

    Well, what we do know from our records is that Walter's Terrace backed on to Ella's Terrace and both were off Waller Street. This street now runs through a retail park that contains an Asda supermarket. Does anyone know for sure if this was the site of the bombs?

    Reports from 1915 say the airship was "at its greatest height advancing on Hull" as it dropped these bombs.

  27. Restricted pub hours

    Trevor Gibbons

    BBC News, Yorkshire

    The raid started after the city's pubs had closed.

    Immediately after the outbreak of war in August 1914, Parliament passed the Defence of the Realm Act, a section of which specifically restricted the hours for publicans to sell alcohol.

    This measure was prompted by claims that war production was being hampered by drunkenness

    The new law also saw alcohol strength being reduced and by Ocober 1915 even buying a round of drinks for your friends was banned under the "no treating" order.

    The average price of a pint at the start of the war was 3d (less than 2p).

  28. Impregnable island?

    Dr Robb Robinson, Maritime Historical Studies Centre, University of Hull

    By 1915 both the British and the Germans realised they were in for the long haul, that this war was quite different and much closer to home than earlier conflicts such as the Boer War.

    Many certainties - such as the idea of an impregnable island - were questioned by events such as the bombardment in December 1914 of Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool (pictured) and by the mounting losses among merchant and fishing vessels at sea after the Germans started what would be their first round of unrestricted submarine warfare in February 1915.

    The damage in Hartlepool from a German bombardment

    There was also a growing realisation that one seeming certainty, the insulation of British civilians from the direct horrors of an enemy attack, no longer rang true, as events over Hull and the Humber were soon to show.

  29. BOMB!

    Walter's Terrace and Ella's Terrace

    About 40 bombs in total fell on Hull during the raid and we'll be describing the effects some of them wrought on the city.

    In Walter's Terrace, off Waller Street, 14 houses were badly damaged, four of which collapsed, when they were hit by a bomb.

    Damage at Walter's Terrace

    Four people were killed - three-year-old Isaac White and Florence White (31) at Number 3; Elizabeth Slade (55) at Number 4, and Alfred Matthew (50) at Number 11. The bomb crater was 18ft (5m) wide.

    An incendiary bomb at neighbouring Ella's Terrace penetrated two floors of the house at Number 3. it fell through the roof upstairs bedroom ceiling, the bedroom floor and front room floor. The fire was put out by neighbours with buckets of water and nobody was injured.

    L-9 was now reported to be "at its greatest height".

  30. 'Remembers seeing this'

    Trevor Gibbons

    BBC News, Yorkshire

    We're looking at the events of 100 years ago when a Zeppelin raid brought World War One to Hull.

    Sandra Casey has posted on the BBC Humberside Facebook page to say: "My husband's grandma remembers seeing this happen."

    It must have been a memorable sight when the Zeppelin made its deadly way above the city.

    What did your family see that day?

  31. What's a Zeppelin?

    The brainchild of Count von Zeppelin, a retired German army officer, the flying weapon was lighter than air, filled with hydrogen and held together by a metal framework.

    The Zeppelin that flew over the East Riding was capable of travelling at about 50mph (85kmph) and carrying up to two tonnes of bombs.

    Zeppelin L-9 blueprints

    During their research into the 1915 attack, BBC Radio Humberside unearthed the actual blueprint (pictured) for the airship.

    L-9, the craft that took part in the attack on Hull, was about 530ft (162m) long with a diameter of 53ft (16m).

    The framework was originally wooden but by the time L-9 was built the frame had been replaced with aluminium.

  32. Trench warfare, gas and aerial combat

    In June 1915 the country had been at war for nearly a year and the first Zeppelin raids against the civilian population had taken place against Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn back in January.

    A French wood

    On the Western Front Allied troops (British, French, Belgian and - after 1917 - the Americans) faced the Germans in a network of trenches stretching more than 400 miles (640km) from Belgium through France to Switzerland.

    1915 also saw the introduction of aeroplanes specifically modified for aerial combat and the use of chlorine gas against troops.

    The Western Front was not the only place the British army was called into action during what was called the Great War, but it was by far the most important.

    The war was to last for more than three further years until the armistice of November 11 1918.

  33. Time and tide

    On Sunday 6 June 1915 the sun rose at 03:49 and sunset was 20:08 over the city.

    According to the Hull tide table in the Eastern Morning News and Hull Advertiser the high tide was at 00:29 and 13:20.

    The tide at Goole was 59 minutes later and at Grimsby 64 minutes earlier than at Hull.

  34. BOMB!

    Alexandra Dock

    The first bomb (similar to the one pictured here) hit Alexandra Dock about 250 yards (230m) directly north of the coal conveyor.

    A Zeppelin bomb

    It fell in a pile of pit props, scattering them and making a hole 10ft (3m) deep. Fragments pierced the metal of a nearby railway line and cut a telegraph pole in half.

    Alexandra Dock before the war

    Alexandra Dock is pictured here in a coloured postcard dated 1908.

  35. The Zeppelin's route

    The Zeppelin's route to Hull was anything but direct. Because of fog, it had already abandoned its initial mission to reach London. It then flew over Norfolk and started its final run on Hull after making landfall near Bridlington.

    19:25 - The first warning of a possible pair of Zeppelins came from intercepted wireless traffic. The crafts were somewhere out in the North Sea.

    21:30 - Major General Ferrier, commander of Humber defences, ordered all lights in Hull extinguished.

    Zeppelin L-9

    22:20 - Airship seen at Flamborough head

    22:30 - Seen at Hornsea

    22:40 - Seen at Withernsea

    23:00 - Over West Ella, moving eastwards towards the city following the railway lines then veered towards the Humber estuary.

    23:45 - L-9 was spotted above Hedon.

  36. My granddad's medals

    Trevor Gibbons

    BBC News, Yorkshire

    The attack took place 100 years ago but it is still a part of my family history. My granddad Herbert Gibbons lived in the city, joined the East Yorkshire Regiment and fought in France.

    World War One medals
    Image caption: The Victory and Campaign medals and Herbert in the 1950s

    I'm not sure where Herbert was in June 1915 but he survived both the raid and the trenches to be awarded the medals like millions of other soldiers.

    Let me know if your family has any mementoes of the 1914-18 conflict by emailing

  37. Good morning

    Trevor Gibbons

    BBC News, Yorkshire

    Hello and welcome to our special live page on Saturday 6 June marking the 100th anniversary of the first Zeppelin bombing raid on the city of Hull during World War One.

    I'll be with you until 16:00 with news, pictures and eyewitness accounts of the events following the devastating midnight raid of the 6/7 June 1915.

    Please feel free to send me your questions, pictures and comments via