The Airship

This picture was taken by Edward Isaac from Far Cotton as the R101 passed over the town in 1929 on its maiden flight from Cardington in Bedfordshire.

But this was not the only time Northampton had seen airships. On October 19th, 1917, came the determined dash by eleven Zeppelins, one of which dropped bombs near Burghley Park, passed over Kettering, and via Walgrave, Holcot, Lamport and Brixworth, to Northampton. The town was startled from its sleep at 10.45 by terrific explosions which could be heard for miles round and seemed to shake its very foundations. Nervous householders took refuge in their cellars or rushed into the streets in a state of panic. Military, police and ambulance men rendered valuable service in allaying alarm, but it is doubtful if their task would have been so easily accomplished had the townspeople known of the tragic results. Nine incendiary bombs dropped within the borough between Kingsthorpe, Dallington and Far Cotton, the fifth falling on the roof of 46 Parkwood Street, St. James' End, a few yards behind the Castle Station. The house was occupied by Mr. Henry Gammons, a railway bricklayer, who was away at the time. His wife, Mrs. Eliza Gammons, and her twin daughters Gladys and Lily, aged 13, were in bed. The bomb passed through the house to ;the bedroom, killing the mother instantly and set fire to the room. A relative, Private Albert Estell Bazeley, of the Army Veterinary Corps, who was home on leave in the house with his wife (a daughter of Mrs. Gammons) and two young children, acted with heroic pluck and promptitude. He hurriedly rescued his wife and children from the burning building and rushed back to the fatal room. He found the charred and mutilated remains of his mother-in-law lying on the floor and the two little terrified girls surrounded by flames. He seized them both, lowered them into blankets being held to catch them by neighbours, and then jumped out himself. Then he helped the police to burst open the front door and extinguish the flames. Both the girls died shortly afterwards from shock by burns. These three victims of an enemy that did not spare innocent women and little children are now lying in Dallington Cemetery, and a metal plate marks the house where they met their doom

Grandad drove the train

After my "Leter of the week" about the Zeppelin raid in 1917, I received a letter from Mrs J Goodridge of Barnfield Close, saying that her grandfather was the driver of the train which stopped in the tunnel. His name was Fred Lyon of Euston Road, Far Cotton, Northampton.