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3rd Feb 2020
Sheringham bomb memento 1

An unusual and extremely rare memento of the very first bomb ever to land on British soil will go under the hammer in Aylsham next week: a china replica of the bomb itself, which was dropped on Sheringham as part of a Zeppelin raid on 19th January 1915.

Made by Stoke-on-Trent based Arcadian China for Sheringham retailer Bertram A Watts, the replica bomb, which is about two inches in length, 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 unusual artefact is up for auction at Keys Auctioneers and Valuers on Saturday 15th February, as part of their monthly Antiques, Collectables and Art Sale, with a pre-sale estimate of £100.

“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,” said David Broom, head of ceramics at Keys.

“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.”

The air-raid on Sheringham was the first of the First World War, with bombs also dropped on Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and surrounding villages.  Although the raid killed four people, in Sheringham there were no deaths or injuries.

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 Keys Antiques, Collectables and Art Sale takes place on Saturday 15th February at 10am at the firm’s Aylsham salerooms.  A full catalogue will be published shortly at www.keysauctions.co.uk.