Introducing Zeppelin 1917

The story of Burgess Park in WW1

 Revealing the impact of World War I on people’s lives and society

Almost one hundred years ago, on October 19 1917, a Zeppelin bomb landed in Albany Road/Calmington Road, Southwark. It killed 10 people, injured 24 and demolished a fish and chip shop, doctor’s surgery and houses. The Friends of Burgess Park project Zeppelin 1917 is uncovering the stories of local heroes, and piecing together the dramatic raid right over what is now Burgess Park.  A major programme of events was produced during October 2017. The events are all over now, but they’ve been comprehensively written about in these blogs, and this website will soon host a lot of new information, based on the Zeppelin 1917 ehibition. Watch this space!

Click here to see the Events Listing

Jon Pickup and Andrew Pearson, from Friends of Burgess Park are leading the project supported by a successful £9,800 Heritage Lottery Fund award. Jon Pickup said “We’re looking for people to volunteer for research. During the summer we’ll be visiting the Imperial War Museum and Southwark Heritage Library to look into archive material about the people who lived in the street.  This is a fantastic opportunity to do some original research and uncover hidden stories. We’re also delighted that Southwark Council are funding an art piece for the park to remember this event.”

The project kicked off over the summer. Volunteer researchers worked hard to find out more about the Zeppelin and the lives of ordinary people who took heroic actions as part of the war effort.

Read the blogs of research events which have taken place

During October 2017 a festival of events at Theatre Delicatessen, in the Old Library, Wells Way, showcased the work created by local residents. John Whelan brought together the historical research with volunteers to tell the story of the raid through an animated walk. Stephen Bourne, local historian, and author of Black Poppies, talked about black servicemen in the war, as well as the men and women who stayed at home and played a heroic role in civil defence. Sally Hogarth has also been appointed as the artist to build a lasting commemoration in the park.

The Zeppelin 2017 commemorations featured:

Exhibition – A timeline of the raid and archival display – open Saturdays during October 2017, with opening talk by Zeppelin expert Ian Castle on Saturday 7 October.

Hidden Heroes – Talk by Stephen Bourne, author of Black Poppies, on the black community and the Great War, Saturday 14 October 2017.

Animated Walk – Created by actors using research by local volunteers, to animate the history of WW1 and the Zeppelin Raid on Calmington Road in October 1917, on Saturday 21 October.

Family events –  Drop-in family events including art workshops with Art in the Park, Cuming Museum object handling, stories and rhymes with Vanessa Woolf, Saturday 7th and Thursday 26th and Friday 27th October.

Click here to see the Events Listing with booking info
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Watch videos giving the story behind the war and the bombing:

Politics and war on the overseas and home fronts: Andrew Marr’s The Making of Modern Britain – 3. The Great War

Setting the scene in terms of the final throes of Imperialism and the end of the German and Russian monarchies: Royal Cousins at War – 2. Into the Abyss



First World War Centenary led by Imperial War Museum

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