What happened next?

Women workers at an aircraft factory

Title: Women workers at an aircraft factory
Description: IWM (Q 108866) by-nc

Further attempts to bomb Sheffield were mounted but were unsuccessful. Martin Dietrich, commander of L22, survived the war but L22 itself was not so lucky. On 14 May 1917, the Zeppelin was shot down off the German coast by a Royal Naval Air Service flying boat with total loss of the crew. For Peter Strasser, Commander of the German Airship Fleet, time was also running out. In August 1918 in the last days of the Zeppelin campaign, Strasser was killed as he attacked targets down the English East Coast in L70.

In 1918, the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the Royal Air Force (RAF). The RAF started with a few hundred men and aircraft and by the end of the war they had over 22,000 aircraft and 122,000 men and women serving worldwide.

Peglers of Doncaster were one of many civilian firms chosen to build aircraft for the new RAF. They were given a grant from the government to build new factory buildings. They set up The Yorkshire Aeroplane Company to build 50 Sopwith T1 Cuckoo Torpedo bombers but with a shortage of local skilled labour could only build 20 before the order was cancelled at the end of the war.

British aircraft production increased, with manufacturers building 193 aircraft in 1914 to building 32,556 in 1918. This growth did not continue at the end of the war, and the RAF almost ceased to exist. All of the Doncaster and Sheffield airfields were closed. The RAF presence in Doncaster and Sheffield did not reappear until the Second World War.