Hunt for grave finally ends after 20 years


A Jewish Care volunteer has found the unmarked grave of her aunt, killed in a First World War Zeppelin attack, after a 20-year-long search.

Janet Foster, a retired civil servant, plans to place a plaque at the burial site on June 3, the 100th anniversary of Leah Lehrman's death.

Ms Lehrman was 16 when she died in June 1915, on her way to work as a tailor in central London. She was one of the first of 500 victims of Zeppelin attacks during the war.

Mrs Foster said she would never have heard about her aunt or found the grave, at Plashet Cemetery, in east London, if not for her father.

"My father died many years ago, but he remembered that his sister died in a Zeppelin raid when he was five.

"I started searching about 20 years ago. I was on the wrong track because I had the wrong name, then because I thought it was the last Zeppelin raid, when it was actually the first," Mrs Foster said.

"I'm so pleased I finally found it. I know my father would be really pleased. I did it for him. He was a child when she died, but he always used to say how beautiful she was. It means everything to find it."

Mrs Foster said it was "an amazing coincidence" to learn her aunt had been buried on the same date as she celebrates her own birthday.

She agreed with cemetery authorities to finally commemorate her relative.

"I'm going to put a marble plaque down with something like 'Finally Remembered' on it. I'm hoping to do it on my birthday and then have people back to mine for tea. It won't make me sad; it will make me joyous."

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive