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1915 (11 Jan) Cyril Butler Holmes, athlete, born in Bolton

Died June 21 1996 Bolton


1915 (4 Mar) Sir Geoffrey Holt Seymour Jackson, British diplomat and writer, born

Educated at Bolton School

Died 1 Oct 1987


1915 (1 Apr) the Bolton School Foundation formally came into existence


1915 (24 Jul) (Charles) Frank Byers, Baron Byers, politician, was born in Liverpool , the only son (there were two younger daughters) of Charles Cecil Byers (1888–1957), a Lloyds underwriter, vice-chairman of United Molasses Ltd, and one-time Liberal parliamentary candidate, and his wife, Florence May, daughter of James Fairclough of Northenden, Cheshire.  

He contested, without success, a by-election in Bolton in 1960.

Died 1984


1915 (Jul) Back o’th’ Bank bakery opened by Rachael Warburton.

1915 (7 Aug) Private Thomas Pomfret of the 1/7 Lancashire Fusiliers, who was killed in action at Gallipoli on the 7th August 1915.


1915 (Sep) Marks and Spencer: After 12 years in the Market Hall a second store then opened in September 1915 at number 60 Deansgate.

This store frontage was 14 feet across and the ground floor covered a total of 1,000 square feet.

This particular store remained open until 1929


1915 (9 Nov) The ship S S Californian  was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine on 9 November 1915, 61 miles (98 km) southwest of Cape Matapan, Greece with the loss of one life. Her wreck has never been found.


1915 (27 Dec) Stanley Hanson (1915 – 1987), English footballer, born in Bootle, Lancashire, England.                                                                     He played for Bolton Wanderers for his whole professional career.


1915 Warburton’s opened their Back o’th’ Bank bakery


1915 Swan Lane No 3 Mill, Bolton – eight-storey cotton spinning mill built


1915 Will Settle left the Bolton Wanderers to be replaced by Tom Mather


1915 Bolton Corporation began negotiations with Colonel Richard Henry Ainsworth to use Moss Bank Park as a municipal park.


1915 Sir James Lees Knowles married Lady Nina Ogilvie-Grant.






1915-1916  12th in Lancashire Section, 4th in Subsidiary Competition

1916-1917  10th in Lancashire Section, 8th in Subsidiary Competition

1917-1918  7th in Lancashire Section, 6th in Subsidiary Competition

1918-1919  4th in Lancashire Section, 2nd in Subsidiary Competition





1915-1916  Joe Smith 22

1916-1917  Joe Smith 20

1917-1918  Alf Winterburn 14

1918-1919  Frank Roberts 18





Len Appleton, R.Ashurst, H.Barrett, Herbert Baverstock, J.Bleakley, E.Boardman, H.Bradbury, J.Brooks, J.Buchan, Tom Buchan, P.Clayton, J.Colbourn, E.Cooper, W.Cousins, T.Devitt, Alf Davies, W.Davies, Alex Donaldson, John Edmondson, W.Ellison, W.Entwistle, J.Farnworth, Jimmy Fay, Jack Feebury, W.Fitton,  R.Foulkes, A.Gannon, F.H Garrett, J.Garside, R.Geddes, Stan Gimblett, Bob Glendenning, George Guy, C.Hallows, J.Hamer, J.Hampson, G.Haslam, A.Hatfield, R.Hayes, J.Heathcote, T.Hesmondhalgh, Thomas Heslop, Harold Hilton, J.Hilton, P.Hilton, J.Hodgkiss, W.J Holgate, H.Hothersall, Joe Hughes, W.Hulme, G.Hurst, Billy Jennings, F.Johnson, H.Johnson, A.Jones, Evan Jones, T.Kay, H.Keenan, P.Kelly, Jimmy Kidd, J.Lane, Joe Lansdale, J.Lawrence, George Lillycrop, F.Livesey, Bruce Longworth, J.Lord, W.Lovett, J.Lythgoe, W.Mather, R.Morris, J.Nuttall, W.Nuttall, E.Pasquill, John Pickup, F.Pilkington, Frank Roberts, Walter Rowley, M.Rutter, Jimmy Seddon, S.Sharp, Shipperbottom, F.Shuttlebottom, Edward Sidlow, J.R Sloan, H.Smith, Joe Smith, J.Spiby, G.Stanley, David Stokes, Joe Thomas, Percy Toone, Ted Vizard, William Wallace, W.Waller, George Wilson, J.Wilson, Alf Winterburn, J.Woods, J.Wray. M.Young



1916 (9 Jan) Herbert Shepherd Cross died from cancer at Hamel’s Park


1916 (13 Jan) Herbert Shepherd Cross was buried at Braughing parish church


1916 (7 Feb) William James Ithell was born in Hawarden on 7th February, 1916.


1916 (13 Apr) Robert Taylor “Bob” Hesford, footballer, born in Bolton

Played all his professional career as goalkeeper for Huddersfield Town – 203 appearances.                                                                                        He died 15 Jun 1982


1916 (31 May) Battle of Jutland


1916 (31 May) Ordinary Seaman, J46297 Arthur Platt Lindley HMS Defence, aged 22, killed at Jutland

Son of Joseph and Mary of 319 Bolton Road, Farnworth. Educated at St Stephens School and Salford Tech College – left at age of 17

Played cricket for Kearsley Cricket Club. Worked as a clerk at Outwood Pit.

 Enlisted Nov 1915

Memorial in St Stephens’s churchyard


1916 (7 Jul) Joseph Sharman (1841-1916) died in Bolton, Lancashire.        He was buried in Heaton Cemetery. (?) Should be St Peter's, Halliwell.


1916 (Jul) Joseph Sharman (1841-1916) died in July 1916 and is buried at St Peter’s, Halliwell.


1916 (25 Sep) 

Zeppelin LZ61 (tactical number L21) was commanded by Oberleutnant Kurt Frankenburg who was aged 29. On a clear evening the airship left its base at Nordholz north west of Hamburg along with 6 other airships, and made landfall south of Mablethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast at 2145. The airship was probably at a height of 8,000 feet but seems to have descended for the attack on Bolton. Frankenburg was heading for Derby, but his ship was pushed north by winds.

Passing over a country which was mostly blacked out, L21 hovered over Bacup, then sailed west, dropping bombs on Rawtenstall and Holcombe before moving on to Bolton. After the attack the airship moved north, then north east, dropped one last bomb at Bolton Abbey before crossing the coast again north of Whitby at 0305.

 Rawtenstall. The first of the bombs fell here, though no-one was injured by any of the explosive and incendiary bombs, all the casualties were in one street in Bolton. 

 The first bomb, an incendiary device, fell at Heightside House . It failed to go off, and is now displayed in a museum in Rawtenstall. Heightside House is now a Nursing Home. .

 LZ61 (L21) a was 179 metres long and nearly 20 metres in diameter.

 Leaving Rawtenstall, the airship turned south and dropped 2 bombs near Ewood Bridge and 6 here at Irwell Vale.  Another bomb fell at the hamlet of Lumb.

 5 explosive bombs were dropped on the village of Holcombe . Oberleutnant Frankenburg circled the nearby town of Ramsbottom, dropping two bombs and another two on Greenmount before being drawn to the glow of Bolton’s foundries. So far 22 bombs had been dropped with no casualties.

 Over Bolton, Frankenburg released another 23 bombs.

 Half a dozen bombs fell on and around Kirk Street, destroying and damaging working class housing and killing 13 people; 5 men, 5 women, a 17 year old weaver called Miss Gregory, 5 year old Mary Ellen McDermott (her mother was killed, her father survived) and, along with her mother Mrs Irwin, a “two-year-old babe which was clasped tightly to her breast” according to the Bolton Chronicle. The people of Bolton rallied after the bombing and funds were raised to support those who had suffered in the attack.

 Kirk Street has long since gone, Bolton University now occupies the site of this tragedy. 

Turning north, Oberleutnant Frankenburg took his airship away from the town, dropping a few bombs in the vicinity of the Town Hall. An incendiary fell through the roof of a solicitors’ office in Mawdsley Street but the fire brigade responded before any serious damage was done. 

Upon his return to Germany, Oberleutnant Frankenburg reported that he had succesfully bombed the city of Derby, which is over 60 miles to the south east of Bolton. Two months later, again commanding LZ61 (L21), he was shot down off Lowestoft while returning from a raid. All 17 men on board were killed.

1916 (26 Sep) One of the Ormrod and Hardcastle Mills hit by a bomb, during a Zeppelin raid, on 26 September 1916. Even though Bolton was not the intended target 21 bombs were dropped and 13 civilians were killed


1916 (26 Sep) On 26 September 1916, Bolton was the target for one of the first aerial offensives in history. A Zeppelin of the Imperial German Navy, dropped 21 bombs on the town.


1916 (26 Sep) German Naval Zeppelin L21, commanded by Oberleutnant Kurt Frankenburg and with a crew of 17 attacked Bolton from the North East.     The airship was nearly 600 feet long and 60 feet in diameter and carried a formidable load of high explosive and incendiary bombs.                              The "zepp" was also completely lost. Frankenburg thought he was over Derby. He had already bombed Holcombe, Rossendale and Ramsbottom that night. At around 12.45am he dropped two incendiaries in Greenmount. He then floated over Astley Bridge and on to Sharples, dropping a bomb that narrowly missed the Eden Orphanage. Next came Halliwell where windows were broken by high explosive in Darley Street.                                                                   The next bomb destroyed a terraced house in Lodge Vale. The three women who lived there escaped with shock and minor injuries. Incendiaries fell on Waldeck Street and Chorley Old Road. From there the airship passed over Queen's Park, the Croal and the railway lines. Yet another incendiary fell on Wellington Street, setting a house ablaze and trapping a woman and two children in an upstairs bedroom. Fortunately the fire brigade arrived in time to save them.                                                                                         So far no one had been badly hurt. But as the Zepp flew over Deane Road, Bolton's luck ran out.                                                                               Frankenburg, aiming possibly at the Eagle Mill, dropped a salvo of five bombs into Kirk and John streets. These rows of terraced houses connected Deane Road and Derby Street, at the point where the Bolton Institute and College Way now stand. Six houses were destroyed, killing 13 people.                         The Evening News of later that day reported the event. The bombs had "wrenched doors clean off their hinges and hurled them into rooms beyond. All windows were shattered and even the frames splintered". Shrapnel gouged into the brick fronts of the houses. One resident was thrown clean across the room and knocked out. Others were less fortunate.                                                The dead were Mrs Joseph Irwin and her two and half year old daughter Margaret Elly Irwin of 58 Kirk Street; Mr Michael and Mrs Martha O'Hara of 60 Kirk Street; Mr William and Mrs Annie McDermott and their five year old daughter, Mary Ellen of 62 Kirk Street; Mr and Mrs James Allison and their two lodgers Frederick Guildford and David Davis of 64 Kirk Street; and Mrs Robert Gregory and her 17 year old daughter of 66 Kirk Street. Robert Gregory and his five-year-old son escaped from number 66. Joseph Irwin and his four other children were rescued from number 58.                                                      Five other people were seriously injured and a horse was killed in Back John Street. Relays of firemen and volunteers rescuers worked through the night and the survivors were transported to Flash Street Special School.                          Frankenburg and his men hadn't finished with the town yet. The giant airship swung in a tight turn, passing over Great Moor Street, the junction of Deansgate, Spa Road, Moor Lane and Marsden Road, passed near the Royal Infirmary, and dropped a bomb on a flower bed in Queen's Park. Then turning south it passed over the Gilnow Mill, re-crossed the railway lines and dropped bombs on a Rope Walk in Washington Street and the Co-op Laundry on Back Deane Road, near the site of the Initial Swim School. Damage was done but no one was hurt.                                                                                 The Zepp crossed Deane Road and flew over Quebec Street and Cannon Street before arriving at the Ormerod and Hardcastle Mill on Daubhill. Here an incendiary bomb started a fire, which was put out by the mill's sprinkler system. Another bomb broke windows and smashed the back privvies in Parrot and Apple streets.                                                                                         Frankenburg turned north and dropped a bomb that hit Trinity Church but failed to explode. The last three bombs of the raid were scattered round the Town Hall, hitting Mawdsley Street, Ashburner Street and Mealhouse Lane. Then the Zeppelin left Bolton on its way home to its base in Nordholz.                         People came from miles around to inspect the havoc wrought by Zeppelin L21    Two months later the “zepp” was shot down off the Yorkshire coast with the loss of all its crew.

1916 (26 Sep) A German Zeppelin attempted to bomb Trinity Street Station. The bomb fell short of its mark and crashed right through the roof of Holy Trinity Church on the south side. The bomb did not explode

A tablet marks the spot where the bomb landed.



1916 (26 Sep) Bolton was the target for one of the first aerial offensives in history. L21, a Zeppelin commanded by Oberleutnant Kurt Frankenburg of the Imperial German Navy, dropped 21 bombs on the town, 5 of them on the working-class area of Kirk Street, killing 13 and destroying 6 houses.

Further attacks followed on other parts of the town, including three incendiaries dropped close to the town hall

1916 (19 Nov) Bolton’s main post office branch first opened at the western end of Deansgate on November 19, 1916.


1916 (28 Nov) Zeppelin L21, commanded by Oberleutnant Kurt Frankenburg, was shot down off the Yorkshire coast with the loss of all of its crew.


1916 (7 Dec) Walter McGuffie, born in Bolton

Represented Great Britain in Men’s Flyweight Greco-Roman wrestling in 1948 Olympics

Died 8 Apr 1996


1916 (Dec) Edith Rawnsley died

Buried in Crosthwaite Churchyard.


1916 Thomas Wilkinson (1826-1916), philanthropist, died.                          He gave his house on Belmont Road to be used as Wilkinson Sanatorium.


1916 A large illustrated book published “Bolton as it is and as it might be”


1916 Moses Whittle purchased the Leamington Valve and Piston Ring Company.


1916 In 1916 Mr John Bromilow entered into a design partnership with a brilliant engineer named Maurice Edwards and although the Bromilow and Edwards partnership only lasted for some 13 years, the company they founded still lives on today as Edbro on Lever Street.

1916 Edbro have been leading the market with product developments ever since 1916 when the company’s founder Maurice Edwards developed the first ever hoist to be powered by a truck engine


1916 Edbro was founded in 1916 by Maurice Edwards.                             The Edward Brothers developed the first ever hydraulic hoist powered by the truck’s engine


1916-1918 On the right-wing of the Labour Party, Robert Tootill (1850 – 1934) served as vice-president of the British Workers' League from 1916 to 1918.


1917 (4 Apr) Wednesday Marian Allen and Arthur Greg said goodbye for the last time as Arthur Greg left Charing Cross for Boulogne to join 55th Squadron.

She always treasured the ticket (number 7935) which Arthur Greg used to leave Charing Cross for Boulogne


1917 (23 Apr) Arthur Tylston Greg (Royal Flying Corps) was shot down over St Quentin and killed, aged 22

Son of Ernest William Gregg (1862-1934)

He served as a Lieutenant with The Cheshire Regiment and was seriously wounded at Ypres in 1915. He recovered to return to active service and in 1916 was promoted to Captain and volunteered to join the Royal Flying Corps.

He is buried at Jussy cemetery with the words, "love is stronger than death".

 His wartime sweetheart, the writer and illustrator Marian Allen, published several moving poems about their ill-fated relationship, including 'The Wind on the Downs'.


The wind on the Downs

I like to think of you as brown and tall,
As strong and living as you used to be,
In khaki tunic, Sam Brown belt and all,
And standing there and laughing down at me.
Because they tell me, dear, that you are dead,
Because I can no longer see your face,
You have not died, it is not true, instead,
You seek adventure some other place.
I hear you laughing as you used to,
Yet loving all the things I think of you;
And knowing you are happy, should I grieve?
You follow and are watchful where I go;
How should you leave me, having loved me so?
We walked along the towpath, you and I,
Beside the sluggish-moving, still canal;
It seemed impossible that you should die;
I think of you the same and always shall.
We thought of many things and spoke of few,
And life lay all uncertainly before,
And now I walk alone and think of you,
And wonder what new kingdoms you explore.
Over the railway line, across the grass,
While up above the golden wings are spread,
Flying, ever flying overhead,
Here still I see you khaki figure pass,
And when I leave meadow, almost wait,
That you should open first the wooden gate.

1917 (5 Sep) Pte 52929 James Smith (1891-1917) The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 17th Btn executed at Kemmel Chateau, Belgium Wednesday 5th September 1917 aged 26.

Commemorated at: Kemmel Chateau Mil Cem Panel Ref: M.25.

The only Liverpool Pal to be executed in the Great War.

The only Boltonian to be ‘shot at dawn’ after being found guilty by a military tribunal of desertion and cowardice.

He was one of 306 Britons who were executed in the war, granted pardons by Parliament in 2006.                                                              

1917 (28 Oct) Dr James Young (born 1861) died at Dinmore, Markland Hill Lane, Bolton

Mayor of Bolton 1911-1913 (Conservative).


1917 (26 Nov) Donald "Don" Howe ( 1917 – 1978), English association (soccer) footballer who played in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s for Bolton Wanderers (captain), born.   


1917 (8 Dec) On December"8th, at St. John's Church, Brooklands. Flight Sub-Lieutenant WILLIAM EDWARD CLARKE, R.N., eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. T. E. Clarke, of Harwood Lodge, Bolton, and

Challan Hall, Silverdale, was married to EDITH ISOBEL CONGREVE (KATE), second daughter of the late Colonel F. R. SANDYS (late 4th King's Own Royal Regiment), and of Mrs. Sandys, of Raglan House, Brooldands, Cheshire.


1917-1918 Sir Knowles Edge, head of William Edge & Son Ltd colour manufacturers, was Mayor of Bolton


1918 (19 Jan) Jim Halliday, weightlifter, born in Blackhorse Street, Farnworth, Bolton

 3rd in the 1948 Olympics Lightweight class (340.0 kg); 1st in the 1950 British Empire Games Lightweight class (760 pounds), 1st in the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games Middleweight class (800 pounds); 1st in the 1948 European Championships Lightweight class (340.0 kg).


1918 (3 May) Robert Philips Greg, a Second Lieutenant serving with The Cheshire Regiment, was killed in action in Belgium, aged 19.

Son of Ernest William Gregg (1862-1934)


1918 (30 May) John (Jackie) Roberts, footballer, born in Swansea

Bolton Wanderers


1918 (14 Jun) Daniel (Danny) Winter was born in Tonypandy.


1918 (2 Sep) John James Bentley (born 1860), journalist and football administrator, died at Fairhaven, near Blackpool.                                          He was buried in Turton cemetery, next to his wife and son.


1918 (25 Nov) Thomas Hampson (1839 – 1918), English author and local historian, died at Bolton Royal Infirmary. Buried in Holy Trinity Churchyard, Horwich.


1918 (31 Dec) Sydney (Syd) Baker, bodybuilder and weightlifter, “The Man in Bronze”, born in Bolton

Brother of Hylda Baker. Did muscle control variety stage act while covered in gold paint

Died 2000


1918 William Hesketh Lever (later Lord Leverhulme) gave Leverhulme Park to the town


1918 Robert Tootill (1850 – 1934) was invested as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1918 Birthday Honours for his work on the National War Aims Committee


By 1918, women over thirty who owned land were granted the right to vote


1918-1919 William Hesketh Lever - Mayor of Bolton.

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