Memories of the Graf Zepplein

I READ with great interest the letter in your paper from Mr Michael De Torre, who now lives in Nottinghamshire, asking if anyone could remember the Zeppelin flying over Langney just before the War.

I cannot as I wasn’t born until 1948.

However, my mother Mrs Elizabeth Upton (sadly now dead) talked about seeing it and had taken a photograph.

Apparently the Zeppelin was sent here on a “goodwill” tour but my mother and many other locals were convinced (with hindsight and with good reason) that it was actually spying on our airfields and harbours, etc, in readiness for the coming war, because it followed the coastline.

I knew that I still had the photograph and yesterday morning found it and discovered that my Mother was so meticulous with her photography that she had recorded the location, date and even the time of the sighting.

The caption reads: “The Graf Zeppelin flew over Pevensey Bay about 4pm on Tuesday 18th August, 1931.”

I have already had a copy made and sent it, together with these details, to Mr De Torre and told him the original is kept at our Museum: “How We Lived Then” in Cornfield Terrace.

This is also available for anyone else to see upon request.


Upton, Cornfield Terrace