Blog by artist/printmaker Dawn Cole
The silence of knitting takes place in a shelter in Margate on Nov 11th at 11am. The shelter, next door to Primark on Marine Drive, overlooks the sea where on March 31st 1916 a Zeppelin crashed.
The commander of the Zeppelin L15 was Kapitanleutnant Joachim Breithaupt.
On the 31st March 1916, at 9:45pm, the L15 received a direct hit from the AA gun at Purfleet, Essex.
The AA shell damaged four of the gas cells (9, 11, 12, and 16), and the L15 began to lose height.
When the L15 got closer to earth, it was attacked by 2nd Lt. Alfred de Bathe Brandon RFC(Royal Flying Corps), 19 RA Sqn (Hainault Farm), in a BE 2C. Brandon climbed above the L15 and tried to destroy it by dropping incendiary bombs and Ranken darts onto the top of the hull without success.
But eventually the Zeppelin became too heavy to fly, and she came down in the sea off Margate at 00.15 (1st April) – close to the Kentish Knock lightship. One crew member, ObsigMt Willy Albrecht, was drowned. The rest of the crew (16 members in total) were rescued by the armed trawler Olivine (and then transferred to HMS Vulture).
The half sunk remains of the L15 were then taken under tow but the airship broke up off Westgate and only small sections were hauled ashore, where parts were obviously liberated by souvenir hunters. Eventually the sea reclaimed what was left of the airship on the beach.
An excerpt taken from http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa/document/8920
These enormous, silent, airships created terror amongst the population, as often, only when bombs began exploding were people first aware of an attack.
The silence of knitting is a very different response for me. Taking my response out of the studio/gallery environment, and into a public space, inviting others to take part alongside me.
Anyone is welcome to come and watch the silence.