THE ZEPPELIN RAID ON BOLTON on the night of 25th September 1916.

At midnight on the above date Bolton was visited by a Zeppelin Airship which arrived over the town about midnight (summer time).  It came from the Northeast, passing over from the direction of Ramsbottom, where it did some damage, without fortunately causing any loss of life in that neighbourhood.  It entered this district in the neighbourhood of Astley Bridge, dropped a bomb in a field near Eden’s Orphanage.   Crossing over in the direction of Halliwell it dropped another in Hobart Street off Halliwell Road.  It then proceeded over Harwoods Mills & Mortfield Croft, dropped a bomb on Chorley Old Road opposite the Vale.  It then dropped another bomb on Chorley on Chorley Old Road opposite the entrance to Avenue Street, but did no damage.  It then made a circuit over the park, where a bomb was dropped near the flowerbeds, but which did not explode.  Crossing over Bullfield it there dropped another which did very little damage.  But two houses in Willington Street were destroyed by bombs.  But in Kirk Street, five or six cottages were entirely demolished and fifteen lives were lost.  The property adjoining was very materially damaged, windows and doors, brick walls and roofs, out buildings etc., being very much wrecked.  Crossing over to Parrott Street another bomb was dropped and the outbuildings abutting on the back street were very much damaged, but no lives lost.  Continuing on its destructive career a bomb was dropped through the roof of Trinity Church, through the roof of a fruiterers shop at the corner of Old Hall Street South and Ashburner Street, all three of which proved to be “Duds” and did not explode.  Considering the valuable property it passed over the amount of damage done was very small; Haslam’s and Wolfenden Mills were passed over, the gas works, valuable works in the centre of the town, the Town Hall, and most  valuable properties in the town escaped injury and £3000 would cover amply all  the damage done.  Apart from the loss of life, the material damage was insignificant and the raiders hardly justified their murderous errand.  On the two following days the town was visited by thousands – yes tens of thousands of people from places as far as Liverpool to view the damage and from early morning till late at night the streets near this school were crowded with curious sightseers.  Motor Cars, Motor bicycles, bicycles pedestrians, horse vehicles, brakes, lorries and even donkey carts wended their ways in hurried procession to view the wreckage and havoc wrought, after which the crowds became smaller and smaller, until in about the course of a week the town assumed its normal condition.  The mayor opened a fund on behalf of the poor stricken victims, numbers of families were housed and fed in the Flash Street Special School and the benevolence of the town was showered upon the unfortunate sufferers in no stinted manner.

  This extract was taken from the Log Book of Derby Street Mixed Board School.