SIXTEEN innocent victims of Warrington’s worst war-time atrocity will be remembered at a special service being organised on Monday (Sept 14) to mark the 75th anniversary of the Thames Board Mills bombing.
Women and young children were amongst the casualties when a German bomber on its way back from a bombing raid at Manchester, targeted the factory’s annual fete.
The stray German bomber was travelling along the Manchester Ship Canal and spotted a large crowd of people at the fete and decided to unload its last remaining bombs.
There was carnage as one bomb fell on the canteen burying 150 people in the wreckage, killing 16, injuring a further 28, 15 of them seriously.
“Bomber Kills Women, Babies,” reported the local press according to Warrington Museum’s website.
“Mothers and tiny babies were among the helpless civilians killed by a lone German raider who swooped down upon them in a North-West town.
“They were attending a Spitfire gala in a recreation club when the bomber dived without warning and released two bombs.
“One completely wrecked the light wooden club… two families were partly wiped out, members of others lie in hospital gravely wounded.
It was all over in seconds… but dead, dying, injured and a mass of mangled debris were the pitiful aftermath which this Nazi bomber left behind as, immediately he swept back into the skies and vanished.”
Later there were many conflicting eyewitness accounts from those who had seen the plane swoop over the town, but most agreed that the pilot was low enough to see exactly what he had bombed. The Warrington Fire Officer’s log reported, however, that German radio reports that evening claimed that the Aluminium Mills at Bank Quay had been bombed.”
On Monday (September 14th) the 75th anniversary of the bombing, Borough Minister Rev Stephen Kingsnorth will lead a service of remembrance at 4.45pm as Mayor Cllr Geoff Settle lays a wreath in memory of all those who lost their lives or were affected by the bombing. Members of the public are invited to attend.
At around 5pm, the time of the bombing, Rev Kingsnorth will read out the names of those who lost their lives a memorial to the victims situated at the Lake on Centre Parks, Warrington, close to the Village Hotel – the site of the bombing.
By coincidence his first colleague in the Methodist ministry, The Rev John Bland, was born and bred in Warrington and had childhood memories of the bombing.
Those who lost their lives were:
Henry Williamson Cooper
Albert Wallance Cox,
Albert William Cox,
Rhoda Hannah Gittings Cox,
Amy Heath Edwards,
Beatrice Hannah Parker (Canteen Manageress)
Ann Lawson, aged two,
William Stanley Reynolds,
Lilian Maud Springham,
William George Springham,
Williams James Taylor
William John Taylor aged three,
Albert Webb, aged three.
*The 75th anniversary was highlighted by a reader on the local history section of the warrington-worldwide discussion forum