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Theberton - Church of St Peter.jpg
Theberton, Church of St Peter
Theberton is located in Suffolk
Theberton shown within Suffolk
Population279 (2011)[1]
Civil parish
  • Theberton
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLeiston
Postcode districtIP16 4
AmbulanceEast of England
EU ParliamentEast of England
List of places
52°14′14″N 1°34′06″E / 52.237235°N 1.568352°E / 52.237235; 1.568352Coordinates: 52°14′14″N 1°34′06″E / 52.237235°N 1.568352°E / 52.237235; 1.568352

Theberton is a village in Suffolk, England. It is located 4 miles (6 km) northeast of Saxmundham, and 3 miles north of Leiston, its post town.

The village primary school was closed around 1970 and is now used as the village hall, which was renamed Jubilee Hall in 2000 and extensively refurbished in 2012.

Charles Montagu Doughty (1843 – 1926) the traveller and writer, best known for his 1888 travel book Travels in Arabia Deserta, was born at Theberton Hall and is commemorated in the church by a plaque. Theberton Hall was also the birthplace of his nephew, Lt-Col. Charles Doughty-Wylie, who was born in 1868 and killed in battle in Gallipoli in 1915. His bravery earned him the Victoria Cross.

It was here at 02:00 on the morning of 17 June 1917 that the German Zeppelin airship L48 was shot down by Robert Saundby and others[2] while it was on a bombing raid.[3][4] Sixteen members of the crew died in the crash; three survived but one later died from his injuries.[3] The bodies of the crew were buried in a dedicated plot adjacent to the churchyard, with women munition workers voluntarily digging the graves.[5] Local people tended the graves until 1966, when there was a reinterment at the Cannock Chase German War Cemetery in Staffordshire. A memorial plaque can still be seen across the road from the church. Part of the framework of the Zeppelin itself is mounted in the porch of the church.[6]


Theberton is twinned with Thebarton, South Australia, which was formerly known as Theberton.

Robert Howlett[edit]

Isambard Kingdom Brunel photographed by Robert Howlett (1857)

The Victorian photographer Robert Howlett was born in Theberton in 1831, the second of four sons of Reverend Robert Howlett and Harriet Harsant. He is renowned for his iconic photograph of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Sources of information[edit]

  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  2. ^ Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. p. 330.
  3. ^ a b, Aviation Archaeology, Zeppelin L48 excavation carried out for BBC television
  4. ^, The excavation of L48 the “Theberton Zeppelin”, post-excavation report
  5. ^ Mower, M. Zeppelin over Suffolk Barnsley 2008 p.87 with photo ISBN 1844157377
  6. ^, Zeppelin, German zeppelin pictures, L48, LZ95, zeppelin crash ...


  • Above the Trenches: a Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. Christopher F. Shores, Norman L. R. Franks, Russell Guest. Grub Street, 1990. ISBN 0-948817-19-4, ISBN 978-0-948817-19-9.
  • ^ Mower, Mark Zeppelin over Suffolk. The Final Raid of the L48 Barnsley Pen & Sword 2008 ISBN 1844157377

External links[edit]

Council website:

Media related to Theberton at Wikimedia Commons