Tweet Follow @BoffinBill

Home (Then & Now)

Return (Back)

UK Monuments: Cardington - R-101 * Shortstown - R-101 * Hull - R-38 * Elloughton - R-38 * East Fortune - R-34 * Edinburgh Scotland * Renfrew - R-34 *  London  * Braintree * Appleton - Zeppelin bombing * Cuffley - SL-11 Shoot-down * Cannock - Zeppelin Graves * Pembroke - RNAS Milton * Cardiff - Willows * Cardiff - Willows Gravesite

The United Kingdom has a rich history in Airships. The grand R-100 and R-101 hail to Great Britain, as well the R-34, and Ernest Willows, known as "The Father of British Airships". There are a few memorials to airships I've located in the UK.

Cardington - Memorial to the R-101:

R-101 moored

Photo credit: Public domain

A monument to the R-101 and her crew is at the St. Mary's church cemetery in Cardington. This is both a monument and a gravesite. All the 48 dead from the 5 October, 1930 disaster are buried in one grave here and the names of all are inscribed on the memorial - 24 on one side, 24 on the other.

UK Memorial

Photo credit: Waymarking.com, Undetermined

It is a very nice memorial, with an inscription of the names of the deceased and on the south side of the monument the inscription reads: "Here lie the bodies of 48 officers and men who perished in H.M. Airship R 101 at Beauvais France Oct. 5, 1930."

The exact location is 52.119524 N, 0.416366 W, Cardington. Here is the location in Google Maps:

Return to top

Shortstown - Memorial to Shortstown crewmembers of the R-101:

This memorial to the R-101 and her Shortstown crew is at Shortstown, just west of the Cardington Aiship Sheds. This memorial was dedicated April 19, 2017. The community was originally built in 1917 by Short Brothers for its workers at the Airship Works, but expanded into a settlement for people working at the RAF Cardington base.

Shortstown Memorial

Photo credit: Undetermined

The location is 52.107025° N 0.429763° W, in the football field of Shortstown, nearest the Cardington airship sheds which remain dominant in the area still today, and still the site of airship activity. Here is the location in Google Maps:

Return to top

Hull - Memorial to the R-38:

R-38 Airborne

This monument at the Hull Western Cemetery is dedicated to the loss of the airship and the 44 men of the R-38. The R-38 was to become the "ZR-2" of the United States Navy. She was already painted on the side with the "ZR-2" and carried the US Navy roundel.

The R-38/ZR-2 was lost on 24 August, 1921 when the airframe failed during rigorous testing for its American observers who were on-board. The R-38 broke apart and fell into the Humber river. Forty-four of the 49 crewmembers perished.

R-38 Memorial

Photo credit: Keith D., Wikimedia

It is a very nice memorial, with an inscription of the deceased. Nine of the 44 who dies are buried under the memorial. All the American victims were returned to the US. Read more at Roll-of-Honour.com

The exact location is 53.751276° N, 0.376326° W, Hull. Here is the location in Google Maps:

Return to top

Elloughton - Commemoration to the US Navy Officers on the R-38/ZR-2:

Elloughton - R-38

Photo credit: airfieldarchaeology.co.uk, Unknown

At the St. Mary the Virgin Church in Elloughton there is a small dedication to the senior US Navy officers who died in the R38/ZR-2 airship crash. The plaque is inside the Church.

The coordinates of the church are 53.741901° N, 0.569712° W, located here in Google Maps:

Return to top

East Fortune, Scotland - Commemoration to the R-34 Atlantic Crossing:

R-34 Landing

Photo credit: Public domain

There is a small monument to commemorate the crossing of the Atlantic by the R-34 which departed from East Fortune, Scotland on 2 July, 1919, and landed at Mineola, New York on 6 July, 1919, and returned to Pulham England on 13 July, 1919.

R-34 Marker, Scotland

Photo credit: Undetermined

Just as with the duplicate monument in the USA, this marker is relocated from where it originally stood, presumably for the convenience of the museum caretakers. This marker is now located here:

R-34 Marker location, Scotland

Photo credit: Google Earth

The left-most red arrow points to an airship mooring block, also relocated from its original position, and the right-most red arrow points to the R-34 marker:

Airship mooring

Photo credit: Combined from: http://bikelove-scotland.blogspot.com/2011/08/national-museum-of-flight-military.html

The exact location within the air park at 55.994808° N 2.719699° W, East Fortune, Scotland. Here is the location in Google Maps:

(There is a duplicate plaque placed at the US landing site of the R-34 in Mineola, New York, but sadly, New York also did not preserve the original location of the marker. The US marker is now inside the "Cradle of Aviation" museum on Long Island, New York, inaccessible unless paying admission to the museum. Here is a direct link to the location of the US marker: R-34 Marker-US)

Return to top

Edinburgh Scotland Zeppelin Flagstone

There is a pavement marker in Edinburgh commemorating the site of a Zeppelin bombing on April 2nd, 1916. The marker is in an area known as Grassmarket.

L14 Bombing Marker

Photo credit: Kim Traynor

Here is a street view with an arrow pointing to the marker:

Flagstone

Photo credit: Google Streetview

The exact location is in the area of 55.947343° N 3.196456° W. Here is the location in Google Maps:

Return to top

Clyde View Park, Renfrew, Scotland: R-34 Pillar

There is a small monument the R-34 located at the Clyde View Park, Renfrew, Scotland.

R-34 Marker, Renfrew, Scotland

Photo credit: Undetermined

Detail of the inscription:

Detail of the R-34 Marker, Renfrew, Scotland

Photo credit: Undetermined

The exact location within the park has not been determined, but it is in the area of 55.881212° N 4.377241° W. Here is the best-guess location in Google Maps:

Return to top

London Zeppelin Raid House

There is a marker on a property in London commemorating the Zeppelin raid of September 8, 1915.

Zeppelin Raid House

Photo credit: Undetermined

Here is a street view with an arrow pointing to the marker:

Zeppelin House

Photo credit: Google Streetview

The exact location is at 51.520721° N 0.106074° W. Here is the location in Google Maps:

Return to top

Braintree Zeppelin Bombing House

There is a marker on a property in Braintree commemorating the Zeppelin bombing of March 31, 1916.

Braintree Marker

Photo credit: Undetermined

Here is a street view with an arrow pointing to the marker:

Zeppelin Bombing House

Photo credit: Echo News

Here is the destruction in 1916:

1916 Photo

Photo credit: Public domain

The exact location is at 51.876252° N 0.549914° E. Here is the location in Google Maps:

Return to top

Appleton (east of Liverpool) Zeppelin Bombing

This is an interesting "find"! Near the end of WW I, the "final" Zeppelin raids over the UK took place. One of those raids was over the area of the Northern UK, east of Liverpool on April 12th, 1918. The night was dark and overcast. Given the dark night, and the fact that the people of the various communities respected the official blackout, Zeppelin navigation was difficult! But the light from blast furnaces of the "Wigan Coal and Iron Company", which had not received the air raid warning, attracted the Zeppelin L-61. The crew of the L-61 dropped several bombs one of which killed 7 people and injured 12 others at Wigan and a 4 others were injured at Aspull.

Additionally, a bomb landed near a "milestone" (literally a large stone mile-marker!) along the Prescot to Warrington road at Bold, damaging the milestone and the roadway. But the milestone was retained as a commemoration of the bombing! The milestone was removed from its original location and today it is in "Victoria Park" at Widnes as a reminder of the Zeppelin raid. Locals apparently refer to the milestone as the "Zeppelin Stone."

Milestone

Photo credit: David Dixon

Two bronze plaques are positioned at the foot of the milestone to explain! (Click on the image for a larger version which you may be able to read):

Milestone plaques

Photo credit: David Dixon

The exact location of the milestone is at 53.372768° N 2.731293° E. Here is the location in Google Maps:

Return to top

Cuffley - Commemoration to the shoot-down of the German SL-11 in WW I:

Cuffley - SL-11

Photo credit: Google, Street View

The inscription reads: "Erected by readers of 'The Daily Express' to the memory of Captain William Leefe Robinson, V.C. WORCS. REGT and R.F.C. who on September 3, 1916 above this spot brought down SL.11, the first German airship destroyed on British soil.

The coordinates are 51.710798° N, 0.118457° W, located here in Google Maps:

Return to top

Cannock

North of Cannock there is a cemetery dedicated to German soldiers who lost their lives in the UK in both World Wars. At the cemetery is a grave site containing the crews of four German Zeppelins from World War I. It is the Cannock Chase German Cemetery:

Zeppelin Crew graves-Cannock

Photo credit: Baz Richardson,
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bazrichardson/8233078900

The for mass graves are for the Zeppelins SL II, shot down 3 Sep,1916; L32, shot down 24 Sept,1916; L31, shot down 2 Oct,1916; and L48, shot down 17 Jun,1917.

Each of the four mass graves record the names of the German crews. The center stone reads"

"BEI IHREN KAMERADEN ZUR LETZTEN RUHE GEBETTET LIEGEN HIER DIE BESATZUNGEN VON VIER IM ERSTEN WELTKRIEG ÜBER ENGLAND ABGESCHOSSENEN ZEPPELINEN VON DEN URSCHPRNÜGLICHEN BESTATTENUNGSORTEN POTTERS BAR GREAT BURSTEAD UND THEBERTON WEREDEN DIE GEFALLENEN HIERER ÜBERFÜHRT. DIE TOTEN JADER BESATZUNG SIND IN EINER GRABSTÄTTE IN SARKOPHAGEN BEIGESETZT".

"SIDE BY SIDE WITH THEIR COMRADES, THE CREWS OF FOUR ZEPPELINS SHOT DOWN OVER ENGLAND DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR HERE FOUND THEIR ETERNAL RESTING PLACE. THE FALLEN WERE BROUGHT HERE FROM THEIR ORIGINAL BURIAL PLACES AT POTTERS BAR, GREAT BURSTEAD AND THEBERTON. THE MEMBERS OF EACH CREW ARE BURIED IN CASKETS IN ONE GRAVE".

The coordinates are 52.739476° N 2.021807° W, located here in Google Maps:

Return to top

Pembroke England: Carew Cheriton Airfield, former Royal Navy Airship Station

At the Carew Cheriton Airfield Museum, near Pembroke, is a small monument dedicated to those who worked at the airfield from 1915-1918 (WW I) and 1939-1945 (WW II). Surrounding the monument are cement blocks which were airship mooring weights.

Carew monument

Photo credit: Gary Ball

Airship mooring block

Photo credit: Gary Ball

The museum is located at 51.692018° N, 4.818416° W, Carew Cheriton, near Pembroke, UK.

Return to top

Cardiff England - The Willows clock Tower:

Ernest T. Willows is considered "The Father of British Airships". Though there is no major monument to him and his work, there is this fine clock in Cardiff, the home of the majority of his early work.

The Willows No. 4

The Willows No. 4. Photo credit: Public domain

Willows Clock Tower

Willows Clock Tower, Cardiff. Photo credit: Waymarking, Public domain

The location of the clock is at 51.463298° N 3.164916°W in Cardiff.

Return to top

Cardiff England - Willows Gravesite:

Ernest T. Willows is buried at the Cathays Cemetery in Cardiff. I have not been able to locate the exact spot, but the cemetery is at 51.502207° N, 3.180617° W.

E. Willows Grave

Ernest Willows Grave. Photo credit: Public domain

The cemetery location in Cardiff is here in Google maps:

Return to top