Monday, June 08, 2015

A memorial to the 1916 Zeppelin raid on Loughborough

I once went to look for a memorial to the Zeppelin raid on Loughborough but failed to find it.

On Saturday, on my way back from the Great Central Railway, I did better. The memorial I failed to find was in The Rushes: the one I found by accident this time was in Empress Road.

A Leicester Mercury article tells the story of the night of 31 January 1916:
A third bomb landed on soft ground in an orchard in Thomas Street, off Empress Road, causing no injuries or damage. 
Tragically, the noise of it exploding caused people from nearby houses to run into the street. Had they remained indoors, they may not have fallen victim to the white-hot shrapnel scattered by the fourth and final bomb, which exploded in Empress Road itself, killing five. 
Among the dead were the Page family – mum, Mary Anne Page, 44, and her children, Joseph, 18, and Elsie, 16 – who died together after they rushed out into the street upon hearing the earlier bomb. 
Others killed in the street were Arthur Turnall, 51, and Josiah Gilbert, 49.
Empress Road feels very much a backwater today, but every street has its history.

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