Sunday, November 27, 2005

Possible Commemoration For The Downing of The Schutte-Lanz Airship in 1916

Airship By Schutte-Lanz (Framed)
Call to remember airship shooting
Herts & Essex News Online

     COUNCILLORS are to look into the possibility of commemorating the 90th anniversary of the spectacular shooting down of a German airship in Cuffley during the First World War.

     A memorial stands in East Ridgeway, Cuffley, commemorating the German crew who perished when the Schutte-Lanz airship was shot down by Lieutenant Leefe Robinson of the Royal Flying Corps in his BE2C biplane on September 3, 1916.

     He was later awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for his valour but died in 1918 from the great influenza epidemic of the time.

     The enemy craft fell to the ground in flames over Cuffley, illuminating the sky for miles around.

     The fireball missed Cuffley village and plunged into a field by the Plough Inn in East Ridgeway.

     Cllr Brent Cheetham (Third Way) brought up the idea to mark the anniversary of the event in September 2006 at last week's meeting of Northaw and Cuffley Parish Council.

     He said the incident had "put Cuffley on the map" and suggested the Daily Express newspaper could get involved in helping to fund the restoration of the stone memorial, which is 10ft tall (3m) and "moving" on its base.

     The bill for the work is put at about £10,000.

     "The whole lot will have to be taken down, underpinned and put back again," said parish council chairman Russell Thomas.

     He described the wartime incident as "Cuffley's claim to fame" and said the Daily Express, which had been "involved" in supporting the memorial in the past, might like to contribute towards the restoration.

     Cllr John Mansfield added the council could look at the possibility of rededicating the memorial.

     However, Cllr Verity Hawkins suggested: "Why don't we wait 10 years until the 100th anniversary?"

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