Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ground Zero: Cleopatra's Needle, London

Contributed by Steve Miller

Gotha G.IV bomber (Photo from WingNut)

With zeppelins  too vulnerable to weather effects and British antiaircraft defenses, the Germans switched to Gotha bombers for their attacks against London. Daylight Gotha attacks were also vulnerable, so on the night of 3–4 September 1917 an attack of 11 bombers against London was launched. The scars of that bombing are today most visible along the River Thames on Victoria's embankment at Cleopatra's Needle.  One passerby riding a tram was killed in the explosion.

The Setting Today (Steve Miller Photo)

Location (Google Maps)

1917, After the Bombing (IWM Photo)

The Damage, Still Visible Today  (Steve Miller Photo)

Detail  (Steve Miller Photo)

The Wikipedia article on Cleopatra's Needle has  much interesting information on its history and remarkable transport to England from Egypt, 1877–78.


  1. That's an amazing photo of the sphinx looming over ruins.

  2. On 4th September 2017 I marked the event of 100 years earlier. I stood by Cleopatra's Needle on the night from 23:30 till after midnight. It was exactly 100 years since the bomb fell.
    The only other person there to mark the anniversary was a gentleman from California.

    1. Gotha šŸ’£ bomber! Gotha šŸ’£ bomber! Gotha bomber!