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Rare war compass auctioned off

PUBLISHED: 16:28 17 November 2008 | UPDATED: 12:18 03 July 2010

THE compass from a De Havilland DH-4 aircraft which shot down a Zeppelin L70 over Great Yarmouth 90 years ago has been sold for £950 at auction.

The aircraft played an important part in tackling the last air raid of the war, on August 5, 1918.

THE compass from a De Havilland DH-4 aircraft which shot down a Zeppelin L70 over Great Yarmouth 90 years ago has been sold for £950 at auction.

The aircraft played an important part in tackling the last air raid of the war, on August 5, 1918.

Its pilot was Maj Egbert Cadbury, of Cadbury's chocolate family fame.

With gunner Capt Robert Leckie, they fired incendiary rounds into the lead airship, which was loaded with bombs and defended with ten machine guns, until it plummeted in flames. All 21 crew were killed.

The compass reached near the top of its estimate, which was £700-£1000. It sold to an East Anglian collector. It went under the hammer on Saturday at the Blyth Auctioneers' sale in Ely, Cambridgeshire.

It was sold by Chris Minns, of Cambridgeshire, whose great uncle is believed to have worked at the air base where the biplane was dismantled after the war.

The compass is mounted on oak board with the words Cadbury The Zepp Destroyer across the top, and came with a letter from the Imperial War Museum describing its history.


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