Alfred de Bathe Brandon was born on the 21st of July 1883. He lived in Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington.
Alfred Brandon was the son of Alfred de Bathe Brandon and Louisa Brandon. He served as Mayor of Wellington, 1893-94. He was also a solicitor.
Brandon attended Wellington College between the years 1894 - 1901. He also went to Canterbury College.
Brandon followed his fathers footsteps and went to England to study law at Trinity College.
Brandon was the Chairman of the Board of Governors. He presented many prizes to students and also donated books to the school library.
After he qualified as a pilot, he had great success through the war.
He was enlisted in December 1915, aged 32.
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).
A BE 2C plane that Brandon flew to attack the Zeppelins
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.
Written by Nathan Lam 9KC