For a taste of what visitors can expect from Bourne Hall’s comprehensive exhibition exploring Epsom and Ewell during World War One, the museum’s curator, Jeremy Harte, has given the Epsom Guardian an insight into some of the interesting items on display. 

This week, he explains how pieces of an airship ended up making a paper knife...

"Faced with the horrors of industrial war, people tried to domesticate them by making what is called trench art.

"It consisted of small, homely items made out of the mass-manufactured machinery of destruction.

"This paper knife is a classic piece of trench art, made from pieces of the LZ85 Zeppelin.

"It was created by Archibald Hiles who had family in Alexandra Road, Epsom.

"In 1915, the Greek town of Salonika had become the centre of an expeditionary force to attack pro-German Bulgaria.

"Archibald was there in the Army Service Corps, serving on a motor boat.

"On May 6 1916, the LZ85 flew over Salonika Harbour, past the battleship HMS Agamemnon.

"The ship opened fire and the shell tore through the gas bag of the Zeppelin so that it lost buoyancy and came down burning in the Vardar marshes.

"The wreckage was taken to Salonika Harbour and rebuilt on the harbour wall to study its construction.

"During the reconstruction many fragments were removed, and one of them came to Archibald.

"He made it into the blade of this paper knife, using French bullets to provide a handle."

Bourne Hall’s exhibition, Epsom and Ewell in the Great War, will be on display at the museum, in Spring Street, Ewell, until December 31.

Dedicate a tree for £20 to someone who lived or served in the First World War. Call 0800 915 1914 or go to


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