What were the airship raids?
During the First World War Germany became the first nation to conduct aerial bombings against Great Britain. These were carried out in airships, which were long cylindrical rigid structures filled with gas. The first type of airship constructed was called a Zeppelin after its inventor Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin and these were the main type of airship used during the First World War.
The boys of Princeton Street Elementary School were aged between 5 and 14. Some of the boys recorded their recollections of the airship raids. Their accounts reveal how unexpected the air raids were and how unprepared Britain was to deal with this new threat. Most of the boys were getting ready for bed or playing out on the street when the Zeppelins arrived, which shows that Londoners had no prior warning of either the attack of 8 September or that of 13 October. The boys expressed both excitement and fear at the sight of the air ships and most went out to inspect the damage once they had left.