Zeppelin Raid on York


York was attacked by Zeppelins a number of times during WW1, but the most serious of the Zeppelin raids took place on May 2, 1916.  The distinctive cigar-shaped shadow of a German airship was spotted over the city at about 10.30pm.  For the next ten minutes it dropped 18 bombs, destroying houses, killing nine people and injuring 40 more.  Fear of future raids increased and a number of people were subsequently prosecuted for showing lights at night. (from http://www.historyofyork.org.uk/themes/20th-century/first-world-war-york)

In the raid of May 2, 1916 Upper Price Street suffered a direct hit killing George and Sarah Avison of 13 Upper Price Street. The raid wasn’t reported particularly well in the newspapers until a report in the Yorkshire Herald on May 4 which merely referred to a “Yorkshire Town”.

This picture shows number 11 Upper Price Street and what is left of 13 Upper Price Street after the raid:

11 Upper Price St and what remains of 13 Upper Price Street after the Zeppelin raid.

11 Upper Price St and what remains of 13 Upper Price Street after the Zeppelin raid.

There are a number of sources covering the raid and I will expand this page as I research further.


  1. Another zeppelin fatality only a few yards from the Avisons was at 6 Nunthorpe Avenue, where Emily Beatrice Chapman, a 28 year old spinster, was killed, & it is believed that her mother was severely wounded, losing part of an arm. All the 3 casualties are memorialised in York Cemetery.
    The district had a few casualties in the 1942 bombings-if you would like the details I have them

    • helen Abrahams says

      Emily was the sister of Norah Chapman who was also severely injured. Their mother had her arm shot off, but their Father was ok. I know this because I have a letter from Norah Chapman to her friend Annie Oakes saying what had happened. I also have a letter from Annie to her brother telling what happened to the Chapmans

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