Video and photo gallery: Great Yarmouth remembers Zeppelin raid victims 100 years on

Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the bombing of Great Yarmouth by Zeppelin L3. The event ha

Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the bombing of Great Yarmouth by Zeppelin L3. The event happened on 19th January 1915.The mayor laying a wreath on the grave of Samuel Smith.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Heads bowed and the Last Post played out as the community came together to remember the first two British civilians to be killed by aerial bombardment - at the very spot in Great Yarmouth where their lives were claimed.

Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the bombing of Great Yarmouth by Zeppelin L3. The event ha

Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the bombing of Great Yarmouth by Zeppelin L3. The event happened on 19th January 1915.The mayor laying a wreath on the grave of Samuel Smith.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

The seaside town became the first target of the German's fearsome Zeppelins during the First World War.

On January 19, 1915 airship L3, piloted by Kapitan Leutnant Hans Fritz, dropped hundreds of pounds worth of bombs on the resort claiming the lives of two people; 53-year-old shoemaker Samuel Smith and 72-year-old widow Martha Taylor.

Exactly one hundred years on from the devastating raid dignitaries, councillors, residents and a surviving relative of Mr Smith gathered at St Peter's Plainto remember them and all victims of the bloody conflict.

They first visited Yarmouth's new cemetery where Mr Smith is buried. An account of his 'simple' funeral service as it appeared in the paper in 1915 was read out, before Great Yarmouth Mayor Marlene Fairhead placed a colourful wreath on his grave.

The group then moved to St Peter's Plain for a full service led by the Rev Chris Terry, where the congregation sang hymns, said prayers and listened to readings.

Paul Davies, from the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society, gave an account of what happened on the fateful night.

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He said: 'The night of January 19, 1915 was a cold, foggy and wet night. Three airships of the German imperial navy set out from Hamburg to attack parts of Britain's east coast.

'One returned to base after developing engine problems and the remaining two were blown off course. L4 flew to King's Lynn and L3 crossed the coast at Happisburgh and headed for Great Yarmouth.'

Dr Davies told the crowd the huge airship dropped its first bombs in Ormesby before heading for the seaside town, 'which had got its lights on'.

'Local accounts vary as to how many bombs it dropped. The greatest damage was caused by the 110lb of explosives dropped in St Peter's Plain. It blew out the front of St Peter's Villa and the workshop opposite was badly damaged.'

Afterwards the Last Post was played and the congregation observed a two minute silence, before the service was closed with two versus of the National Anthem.

Among the congregation was Graham Roberts, great-great-nephew of Mr Smith.

The 64-year-old, who lives in Gorleston, said he was 'honoured' to be part of the service.

'He was my nanny's uncle. She spoke very little about this period in her life, it was a sad time for her,' Mr Roberts said. 'We knew that he'd died in an air raid but we didn't realise the importance of the event; the fact he along with Martha Taylor were the first victims of an air raid in mainland Britain.

'Today has been emotional, I thought the event at the grave side was very fitting and I think the service here was a wonderful surprise in actual fact. I'm very happy to be here and honoured to be part of the service.'

A separate service will be held at the grave side of Martha Taylor in Caister later this month.

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