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Replica of Zeppelin's bomb to go under the hammer

PUBLISHED: 08:52 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:58 04 February 2020

A china replica of the bomb itself, which was dropped on Sheringham as part of a Zeppelin raid on 19th January 1915. It will be auctioned at Keys in Aylsham. Image: Keys

A china replica of the bomb itself, which was dropped on Sheringham as part of a Zeppelin raid on 19th January 1915. It will be auctioned at Keys in Aylsham. Image: Keys

Archant

A rare memento of one of the first bombs to land on British soil is to go under the hammer.

A china replica of the bomb itself, which was dropped on Sheringham as part of a Zeppelin raid on 19th January 1915. It will be auctioned at Keys in Aylsham. Image: KeysA china replica of the bomb itself, which was dropped on Sheringham as part of a Zeppelin raid on 19th January 1915. It will be auctioned at Keys in Aylsham. Image: Keys

A china replica of a bomb dropped on Sheringham as part of a Zeppelin raid on January 19, 1915, will be auctioned at Keys Auctioneers and Valuers in Aylsham, with a pre-sale estimate of £100.

Made by Stoke-on-Trent based Arcadian China for Sheringham retailer Bertram A Watts, the replica bomb is decorated with the Sheringham town crest, and an inscription reading 'Model of bomb dropped from Zeppelin upon Sheringham during first raid on England, 8.30pm, Jany. 19th 1915.'

The piece is about two inches long.

David Broom, Keys' head of ceramics, said the air-raid had a huge psychological impact.

Mr Broom said: "Although there was little damage, these first air-raids traumatised the local population, who up until that point had thought that war was something which happened on battlefields many miles away.

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"When you consider what came later, with the Blitz in World War Two, the first ever air-raid in Sheringham was a ground-breaking moment - and this item marks an important moment in modern warfare, which happened right here in north Norfolk."

Although it is sometimes said the first bomb dropped on British soil was at Sheringham, there was a raid that happened earlier, on Christmas Eve, 1914, at Dover.

A bomb, intended for Dover Castle, landed in a garden next to a rectory, knocked a gardener out of a tree and left a 10ft-wide crater.

The raid on Sheringham also saw bombs dropped on Great Yarmouth - which also lays claim to the first Norfolk town bombed during the war - King's Lynn and surrounding villages.

Four people were killed, but there were no deaths or injuries in Sheringham.

One of the two bombs fell through the roof of a cottage and detonated, but was grabbed by a local man and extinguished outside in a horse trough.

The remains of this device are housed in the Sheringham Museum.

The china replica bomb will be auctioned at Keys antiques, collectables and art sale takes place on Saturday, February 15, at 10am at the firm's Aylsham salerooms.

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