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Lyr Add: Zeppelin Over Hertford (1915)

Keith A of Hertford 10 Aug 18 - 01:57 PM
punkfolkrocker 10 Aug 18 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 11 Aug 18 - 02:42 AM
Keith A of Hertford 11 Aug 18 - 03:25 AM
David Carter (UK) 14 Aug 18 - 04:18 AM
Keith A of Hertford 27 Aug 18 - 05:16 AM
Keith A of Hertford 27 Aug 18 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 29 Aug 18 - 04:01 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Zeppelin Over Hertford (1915)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 01:57 PM

Against the backdrop of the Great War, the events in Hertford on 13th October 1915 were inconsequential, but were deeply shocking and traumatic to the residents of that quiet market town.
They chose to include the names of the civilian dead on the town war memorial in Parliament Square, making it rare and probably unique.
It now shares the Square with the tables of the cafes there.

D.H. Lawrence witnessed a Zeppelin attack and wrote,

"Then we saw the Zeppelin above us, just ahead, amid a gleaming of clouds: high up, like a bright golden finger,..

"I cannot get over it, that the moon is not Queen of the sky by night, and the stars the lesser lights.

"It seems the Zeppelin is in the zenith of the night, golden like a moon, having taken control of the sky; and the bursting shells are the lesser lights. "

Zeppelins were painted black and the "golden" glow Lawrence describes was reflected glare from the searchlights and shells. There were none in Hertford.

The death toll was nine with many more injured and burned (both HE and incendiary bombs fell). My ex-wife's grandfather, George Vernon Gifkins, was among those from the Hertford Club cut down in Bull Plain. He lived but lost an arm.
The building still stands and now hosts our folk club.

County Hospital in North Road is still standing and in use. Its windows all blew in and iron railings from the road frontage were found in the wards with other debris. Two men died across the road from the hospital.

Zeppelin Over Hertford(1915) Tune "Tramps and Hawkers."

Old Hertford lay at peace upon, a clear Autumn eve,
The day's events being over then, or so they did believe,
And they feared for their menfolk on, a far off foreign shore,
Not knowing that their quiet town, was a target now of war.

A distant sound of engines seemed, to echo from on high,
They left fireside to gaze upon, the strange shape in the sky,
It bigger was than Salisbury Square, and blacker than the pit,
As looming over Hertford came, the menacing air ship.

It first struck down in Folly Isle, then on into Bull Plain,
And there outside the Hertford Club, the first townsfolk fell slain,
Then Old Cross became Calvary, and in North Road Death walked tall,
As shrapnel, shards and splinters scythed, through County Hospital.

When the fires were dowsed and peace restored, nine Hertford folk lay dead,
The youngest barely four years old, George Game slain in his bed,
So when sipping of your coffee now, in Parliament Square,
Cast an eye upon their names that are, engraved in marble there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Zeppelin Over Hertford (1915)
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 02:56 PM

I find these zeppelin raids fascinating...

I actually have a porcelain 1928 Graf Zeppelin cheap tacky souvenir ashtray,
handed down through the family to me back when I was a small Kid...

It's on my desk alongside my keyboard....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Zeppelin Over Hertford (1915)
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 11 Aug 18 - 02:42 AM

Zeppelin played Knebworth, I have what historians call first hand knowledge.

That’s within nine miles to my reckoning.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Zeppelin Over Hertford (1915)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 11 Aug 18 - 03:25 AM

My father saw the R101 leave on its way to disaster.

There was other real Zeppelin activity as close to Hertford as the frivolous reference above. The first airship to be shot down over Britain crashed at Cuffley. Another crashed at Potters Bar (the captain chose to jump rather than burn, and lived for a while after landing) and there were attacks at Essendon and Cheshunt.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Zeppelin Over Hertford (1915)
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 14 Aug 18 - 04:18 AM

As I have said before I come from Hertford, although my family were not there in 1915. I will check out the war memorial next time I am there. The names must be on the one side you can't see on Google streetview.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Zeppelin Over Hertford (1915)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 27 Aug 18 - 05:16 AM

The WW1 names are on scrolls around the base. One scroll is headed "civilians." They continued the tradition on the WW2 scrolls with a civilian scroll again.

The song has had a few outings now, and has been well received by Hertford audiences.
It earned me a free drink from the manager of the Hertford Club, which is broadly comparable to a double winning of a Nobel Prize.

"It bigger was than Salisbury Square"
True, but the shape is wrong. I now sing "..than All Saints Church."
All Saints Church was by far the most imposing building in the town (there is little left of our castle) and one of those killed in Bull Plain was the organist there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Zeppelin Over Hertford (1915)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 27 Aug 18 - 07:50 AM

David, picture of the tablet here,
http://www.ourhertfordandware.org.uk/content/people/zeppelin_over_hertford_october_1915


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Zeppelin Over Hertford (1915)
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 29 Aug 18 - 04:01 AM

Frivolous?

I'm an eminent historian, I'll have you know. They all agree with me for that matter. Presumably, all you could hear in Hertford when Knebworth was on was Boom Boom Boom Boom.


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