Memorial Details

NEWMP Memorial Image
Photo: Peter Hoy


Plaque 1914-18 Zeppelin Palmers Shipyard





Map ref

NZ 335661

Original Location

Erecting Shed (Next to the entrance of Palmers in Ellison Street).

Present Location

South Shields Museum & Art Gallery. Ref :TWCMS : 2016.203

Which war


Memorial Description

Brass Plaque. The names are listed in two columns with the explanation below. All lettering is incised, using Roman upper case.

Materials used



In Honour of / (names) / who were killed near this spot by a bomb dropped from a German airship whilst / serving their King and Country on the night of 15 June 1915.
This memorial is / erected by the Board of Directors of Palmers.


Who commissioned

Board of Directors of Palmers.

Ownership and maintenance

Tyne and Wear Archive and Museum Services


1. 'At that time (i.e. 1973, when a photo was taken by John Rippington) the plaque was in the Stirling Foundry in Jarrow, once part of the Palmer Shipyard. Although I do not know where the plaque is today, it is thought to be in what was the Beringaria shed in what is now the Rohm Haas Chemical Works who now occupy the former shipyard.' (Letter from Mr. Len Siegel).

2. The Zeppelin LZ40 (L10) was under the command of Kapitänleutnant Hirsch. It crossed the north east coast at Blyth and headed directly for Wallsend where bombs were dropped on the Marine Engineering Works. It then headed for Jarrow where, at about 11.40 pm., 7 Heavy Explosive and 5 Incendiary bombs were dropped on Palmer’s Works. 17 men died and 72 were injured.
Later, bombs fell at Willington (Quay) where they damaged Cookson’s Antimony Works and Pochin’s Chemical Works and several houses. A policeman [Robert Telford] died at Willington Quay. He is remembered at Wallsend on W07.04 and at Chollerton on C35.01 C35.02 and at Ponteland on P12.01.

The LZ40 (L10) then headed for the sea dropping bombs near Harton Colliery Staithes and South Shields [market place] on the way”. (Summary of Shields Gazette, dated 17/06/1915).

3. L10 was struck by lightning at Neuwerk off Cuxhaven on the 3rd September 1915.

4. The ages of the victims were reported from an inquest: Albert Bramley (54); Matthew Carter (66); Carl Karling (24); Joseph Lane (67); Robert Thomas Nixon (32); Frederick Pinnock (29); Lawrence Frazer Sanderson (16); Thomas Henry Smith (23); Ralph Snaith; William Stamford; Joseph Beechwood Thornycroft (31); William Grieves Turner (20); John George Windle (22); William Erskine Cook Young (16); Ann Isabella Loughlin, living near the yard, died from shock, (62);

5. Thomas Henry Smith is remembered in Jarrow Cemetery. See link below.

6. Joseph Lane, who was mentioned in the inquest, but is not on the Palmers memorial, appears on St. John's Wesleyan Methodist Memorial plaque. See J2.25.

7. The following extract is from an Official Report prepared by the War Office, reproduced by permission of the Controller, H.M. Stationery Office: 'On this map are shown two similair raids on Tyneside by single German naval Zeppelins. On the first occasion on the night of the 14th April, 1915. Kapitänleutnant Mathy raided in the L.9 and dropped bombs pretty freely along his route. The only casualties occurred at Wallsend, where a woman and child were injured. On the second occasion on the night of the 15th June, 1915. Kapitänleutnant Hirsch came over in the L.10. He carefully preserved his bombs until he reached the industrial establishments on the Tyne. His bomb dropping was remarkably accurate and directive. Extensive damage was done to many works, including Palmer's, at Jarrow, where seventeen men were killed and seventy-two injured.' See Map below.

8. The plaque was missing for a while, and then appeared for sale in the Boldon Auction Rooms in late 2015. 'It was purchased by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums for placing with the South Shields Museum & Art Gallery, ref TWCMS 2016.203.'

9. The plaque was purchased from Boldon Auction Galleries. The seller was Vince Rea, who ran the Bede Gallery in Jarrow from 1970 until 1996. The plaque was formerly displayed at the Bede Gallery and has been in storage since the Gallery closed in 1996.

Newspaper cuttings, photos or archival material

Lost Shipyards of the Tyne (Ron French and Ken Smith, 2004 Newcastle City Libraries ISBN 1-85795-122-0) page 62 carries a brief sentence about this incident.

Shields Daily Gazette and Shipping Telegraph 17/06/1915 reports incident; 18/06/1915 reports inquest.

German Air Raids on Britain 1914-1918. Capt Joseph Morris. ISBN 1 897632169 1925 Sampson Low, Marston and Co Ltd, Reprint by the Naval and Military Press. 1993. Source: Note 3 and 7 above. Raid and map of the raid, pages 37 - 39.

Evening Chronicle 18/06/1915 reports briefly on the Inquests into the deaths of George Ward (18) and John Cuthbert Davidson (31) at which the Coroner recorded the verdict that both had 'died from injuries received through the explosion of bombs dropped from an enemy aircraft'.

Zeppelins German Airships 1900-1945 Osprey Publications Ltd. 2004. ISBN Number 1841765925 gives information in notes 2 and 3 above.

External web link

Additional Research documents (click to download)

Research acknowledgements

Len Siegel, Jarrow; James Pasby; Vin Mullen; Phil Strong; John Rimmington for photo/slide date unknown; Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums; War Office Controller, H.M. Stationery Office; Boldon Auction Rooms; South Shields Museum & Art Gallery; Adam Bell

Research In Progress

The names on this memorial are being researched by Peter Hoy. Contact:

Plaque 1914-18 Zeppelin Palmers Shipyard (J2.08)

JARROW  Palmers Shipyard
   Albert Bramley              Thomas Henry Smith
   Matthew Carter              Ralph Snaith
   John Cuthbert Davison       William Grieves Turner
   Karl Kalnin                 George Ward
   Robert Thomas Nixon         John George Windle
   Lawrence Frazer Sanderson   William Erskine Cook Young
   who were killed near this spot by a bomb dropped from a German airship whilst 
   serving their King and Country on the night of 15 June 1915.  This memorial is 
   erected by the Board of Directors of Palmers.
   The name of Karl Kalnin is quoted as Karl Karling in newspaper reports.

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Parish Notes

Every Name A Story