Britain’s first Zeppelin-kill 7 June 1915, remembered in Ghent.

001A week after the first London fatal raid, on 7th June, Reginald (“Rex”) Warneford dealt with London’s fear by being the first person to shoot down a Zeppelin. He did so over a convent in the Ghent suburb of St Amandsberg. Having chased the monster back over the Channel, he managed to get above the airship and drop a bomb on it, almost the only way to destroy a Zeppelin before the advent of incendiary ammunition.. The resulting explosion nearly threw him out of his craft. The following day he became the first person to be awarded the Victoria Cross by telegram from the King. Ghent will be commemorating Warneford’s achievement on 7th June:

55ccc2154fe9593db23c430aed9f085bWarneford didn’t survive long to celebrate his triumph. Just ten days later he was killed in a flying accident and lies buried under a demonstrative headstone in London’s Brompton Cemetery, near to Beatrix Potter’s Mr Nutkin.

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