Zeppelin Raid Centenary: Reports from 100 years ago

Norfolk at War ANL-141111-134059001
Norfolk at War ANL-141111-134059001
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Reports in the Lynn Advertiser questioned whether spies were at work during the air raids in Lynn and West Norfolk:

There is in some quarters a firm and apparently well-grounded conviction that the raiders were assisted and guided by spies.

Several people stated on Tuesday night that during the evening they had seen a light being shown on to the Greyfriars Tower and a similar story comes from Snettisham, where, it is said, the church spire was constantly being flashed upon.

There appears to be no doubt whatever but that a motor-car with brilliant head-lights was in the vicinity of Lynn at the time of the raid.

A representative of the Daily Telegraph, who was in the town the next day writes to his paper as follows:

“A serious aspect to the raid which has revealed itself is the question of whether or not the invaders were helped by spies.

“A gentleman of considerable social standing living close to here, who wishes for the moment that his name may be held from publication, has informed the police authorities that late on Tuesday night, when the bombardment was in progress, he went to the door of his residence and saw a short distance down the road a motor-car – occupied by, apparently, a couple of individuals – which had no tail lights.

“The car was stationary and as he watched it the headlights seemed to flash upwards to the sky. A few seconds later it dashed away.”

The same newspaper representative also had a personal experience: “As I went to telegraph this evening I had occasion to accost a man to ask my way to the Post Office.

“He was hurrying along and made no reply, but on my putting my query to him more in a tone of demand he answered me in a voice in which it was impossible to mistake a thick guttural German or Austrian accent.

“The man said ‘I do not know. I think it is down there and on the left’.

“With that he disappeared rapidly down a side street leaving me greatly surprised as you will imagine.

“I have since reported the curious incident at the police station and am informed that quite a number of aliens are still allowed to reside in the district.”