An unusual and attractive display piece being a section of the body of Zeppelin L.32 which has been fashioned into a plaque in the shape of an RFC roundel. A Zeppelin is placed over the roundel and flames painted coming from the Zeppelin. Plaque is stamped ‘Zepp L.32’ with the upper part stamped ‘Brought down’ and the lower part stamped 24.9.1916’. This is ones of several different souvenirs made from the Zeppelin wreckage and certainly one of the more attractive ones.
Zeppelin L32 was shot down by Lieut Frederick Sowrey, RFC, crashing in flames at Great Burstead, Near Billericay. Its target was London, but because of an anti-aircraft barrage, it dropped its bombs near Purfleet. It began to make its way back to Germany when it was intercepted by Sowrey who was on routine night patrol. The airship was picked out in the night sky by searchlights and Sowrey launched his attack. Firing three drums of incendiary ammunition into the body of the airship, she caught alight and plummeted to the ground at sometime after 1 a.m. All 22 of the crew were killed. One witness described how in the night sky he saw a pink glare which turned to coppery red, then a ball of flame emerged which changed its shape to a perpendicular cylindrical mass of flame. A few days later the crew were buried at Great Burstead Churchyard. The bodies were later transferred to a church in Staffordshire. Lieut Sowrey was awarded the DSO for his actions.
Piece measures 7 x 7 cm.