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Bomb Fragments

Fragments of a First World War bomb dropped on the Drill Hall of HMS Pembroke Naval barracks in Chatham.


These fragments were retrieved from the site of the greatest loss of life due to an air raid during the First World War. They emphasise and are among the first evidence of the vulnerability of the county of Kent to airborne attack from mainland Europe once flight technology became sufficiently sophisticated.

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust,
The Sail & Colour Loft,
The Historic Dockyard,
Kent ME4 4TE


On 4 September 1917, five German Gotha planes carried out a night bombing raid on Chatham, scoring a direct hit on the Drill Shed at HMS Pembroke. 130 naval ratings were killed, the largest single loss of life from an air raid in the whole of the First World War. These bomb fragments were recovered from the Drill hall.

Curriculum Links:

  • KS1: Local History
  • KS2: Local History, First World War, Forces, Mechanical Systems
  • KS3: Local History, Britain 1745-1901, Developments in Design and Technology, Materials and Components, Forces
  • KS4: Metals and Alloys


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