Monday, 4 December 2017

The Croydon Zeppelin Raid: A Personal Connection

33 Leslie Park Rd, Croydon, 14 October 1915
The Fighting for War project has used this image of the Zeppelin raid on Croydon in 13/14 October on much of its publicity. It shows two women and a policeman standing in the rubble of 33-34 Leslie Park Rd, gazing into the crater caused by the bomb. We have used it partly as it is free to do so courtesy of the Imperial War Museum (IWM) and also because it shows people rather than just devastated buildings.

And then, rather excitingly, John Murrell got in touch as he was interested in the project and had seen the image used of his grandmother! John's grandmother was Mrs Naomi Murrell (16 March 1879 - September 1971), who lived in 34 Leslie Park Rd. Had the bomb been dropped a few meters in one direction, his granny may not have survived to pose with the policeman and her sister Sarah Kemp. IWM records give the address of the photograph as 33 Leslie Park Rd but John tells me that, according to the 1911 census, his grandmother lived at 34.

The photograph and story of Naomi Murrell recognising herself in an anniversary edition of the Croydon Advertiser featured in news story in the same paper in February 1969. The article is featured below.

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