Devastation was trap for Royal Navy

EARLY on Easter Monday in 1916, a fleet of heavy German battle cruisers approached off the coast of Lowestoft for a devastating attack on the town.

EARLY on Easter Monday in 1916, a fleet of heavy German battle cruisers approached off the coast of Lowestoft for a devastating attack on the town.

At 4.10am a number of cruisers, including the Seydlitz, Derflinger and Von Der Tan, lined up some 4,000 yards off the east coast, for a 30 minute bombardment which would cause great damage to Lowestoft and the surrounding area.

Four people were killed, 12 were injured and a total of �25,000 worth of damage was done to the town in the infamous Bombardment of Lowestoft by the German High Seas Fleet on Monday, April 25.

A series of postcards were created documenting the damage from that day and three of them have been sent in by John Blowers, of Hall Lane, Blundeston. These particular ones show some of the damage caused to Windsor Road, Cleveland Road and North End on that day.


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The Lowestoft War Memorial Museum has a major exhibition relating to this attack, as well as two postcard albums and fragments from one of the shells which fell on the town.

Bob Collis, of the Lowestoft War Memorial Museum, said: 'The bombardment was designed to draw out the larger warships of the Royal Navy into the North Sea where the Germans hoped to give battle with them.

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'The Germans reported being able to identify St John's Church and the Royal Hotel from offshore, and claimed that 'explosions and huge fires sprang up' as a result of their fire.

'A report by Capt J G Mayne, the Chief Police constable of East Suffolk, says four people were killed and 12 injured by the 60 shells which landed in or near the town. Seven buildings were wrecked or seriously damaged, 40 dwelling houses were extensively damaged and 200 more slightly. Capt Mayne's report also added that a number of shells exploded in fields at Corton, Gunton and Oulton Broad.

'One of the shells to hit the town that day passed through 13 houses in Kent Road and failed to explode, being found embedded in a cupboard. Once defused by Naval personnel, it remained in the town as a souvenir, was bought at auction by a Mr Jack Cleveland, and now resides outside the Maritime Museum in Whapload Road.'

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