Greater Manchester Blitz Victims
This website lists a total of 1,428 civilians from the Greater Manchester District (see Tables on Statistics Pages) known to have been killed during the various air raids of WW2. This figure includes the 44 unidentified bodies buried in the three Greater Manchester Communal Civilian Graves in:- Stretford Cemetery (17); Manchester (Southern) Cemetery (14) and Salford (Agecroft) Cemetery (13). "Blitz" being a generic title and includes ALL civilian deaths from the "Manchester Blitz" of Christmas 1940, the spasmodic bombing raids, before and after, up to and including the two V1 Flying Bomb incidents of Christmas 1944. The Germans seemed to like bringing death and destruction at Christmas.
Included under the heading "Civilians" are the emergency services - Police, Fire, A.R.P. Wardens, Ambulance and First Aiders, Home Guard, etc. 29 servicemen have also been included - these were men who were either at home on leave or were serving on defence duties within the G.M. area when they were killed, so became domestic bombing victims just the same. Ten of those recorded were killed outside of the Greater Manchester area, where they were mostly working or visiting family members. Like the other victims, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time just the same, so I have included them.
The list is based upon information obtained from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, without whose facilities most war dead research could not possibly take place and, as always, I am indebted to them. Also included are the details of a few persons that are not commemorated by the CWGC.
Because some victims were taken across municipal borders in the mayhem of the main Christmas blitz, their deaths have been officially recorded where they died (usually a hospital). For statistical purposes, I have tried to correct those and record them as being from the town where the incident occurred.
Unfortunately during WW2, the CWGC was only required to record civilian deaths - not their burial details. Their individual records only record the town that notified them of the deaths. If the local authority got the information wrong, then unsurprisingly, the CWGC also got it wrong.
Whilst details of bombing incidents were recorded in the London area as early as 1940, the reporting system for the rest of the country was not introduced until 1941 and so there are no official reports on each incident of the Manchester Blitz.
Less well known are the First World War bombings from Zeppelin airships. Manchester was subjected to two such raids - Bolton & Wigan. Whilst over at Cleethorpes a number of local Manchester Regiment servicemen were killed during a Zeppelin raid on that town. As they were from Manchester, I have included their details along with those killed in the two local G.M. raids.
This website is an extension of my Trafford War Dead website - www.traffordwardead.co.uk
The information contained in this website has been submitted in good faith by me and any errors or omissions are entirely of my doing. However, the sources of some of this information are sometimes in conflict with each other - even dates of death occasionally differ, as do names and ages, etc., so please bring any errors or perceived errors to my attention. I am just as susceptible to making mistakes as those who compiled these lists of names under extreme and unpleasant conditions so many years ago.
Help Needed !
I really do need some local help with this website in building up the records of these civilian deaths, as I am less familiar with the Boroughs beyond my base here at Trafford; I also have a greater logistical problem with this. In particular, I need help in locating the burial places of all these civilians and any memorials to them, so please contact me if you have any such information. I am not going to be able to develop this website without your help. Any information I have collated is freely available to anyone - unlike some websites, I do not make any charges, nor will I.
During WW2, local authorities maintained CWDs - "Civilian War Deaths" records. Some have been lost, others are lurking somewhere, either in the constituent town's cemetery offices, local history libraries or county record offices. Each of my database records states (yes/no) whether or not the person has a known CWD - perhaps you are able to locate and photograph those CWDs local to you that I do not yet have? They often record where the person was buried and give details of relatives, etc., so they are a really valuable resource.
Perhaps you have family records, photographs and details that you are prepared to share that I could add to the individual's records, gradually building up a central database about them and the events leading to their demise?
Sale, Cheshire, UK