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Weaste Cemetery after an air raid on Salford and Trafford
Over the nights of Sunday 22 and Monday 23 December 1940 the Luftwaffe launched the war’s largest air raids on Manchester and the surrounding towns. Although sometimes referred to as the Manchester Blitz or the Salford Blitz etc, numerous towns including Oldham and Stretford were badly hit, with bombs also falling on Stockport and Altrincham.
The photo above shows a gravestone at Weaste Cemetary in Salford. A number of bombs fell here and many headstones still bear the scars from the air raid. As can be seen in the area beyond the headstone, a number of graves were lost in the attack.
Salford was hit because bombers were aiming for the nearby docks and industrial areas at Trafford.
Over the two nights, 441 bombers dropped some 467 tons of high explosive and 1925 incendiary bombs on Manchester and the surrounding towns.
684 people were killed over the two nights.
These headstones are about here on this Google map
Period photo showing a bomb crater.
This is 21 Milton Avenue, Salford. Note how the houses are terraced apart from those nearest the camera. They were built after a bomb fell here on December 22, killing Mr Joseph Gatley Cooper (aged 52), and his daughters Catherine (17) and Gladys (23). Mrs Catherine Cooper was not listed as dead so it is presumed she was injured but survived. Or she may have been at work. The dead are buried in a mass grave at Agecroft Cemetary.
Most of Salford’s bombed streets have been rebuilt and many streets where bombs fell no longer exist. There is no particular relevance about this place, I just wanted to find and photograph a location where civilians were killed in the attack which still looks similiar today to how it did 72 years ago.