75th Anniversary of Bootle and the Blitz


May, 2016 marks the 75th anniversary of when Bootle and other parts of Sefton were severely bombed as part of the World War 2 blitz.

Thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed as the German Luftwaffe targeted the docks and the surrounding area in continuous days of heavy bombing raids.

As part of remembering the Bootle blitz, BBC North West is to broadcast a special programme called ‘The May Blitz: Seven Days that Rocked Liverpool’ on Friday, May 6 at 7.30pm which looks at how the region suffered.

In it, host Les Dennis interviews Dave Ewing from Sefton Council’s libraries team and they discuss how during May 1941 Bootle suffered the heaviest bombing raid so far.

Dave Ewing said: “Not many people realize that Bootle was bombed on a scale comparable, for its size, to London during the blitz. Due to its location by the northern docks, Bootle and Litherland were particularly vulnerable with the Luftwaffe striking the area in relentless attacks.

“On its worst night during the infamous May 1941 blitz – Saturday 3rd – many high explosive and incendiary bombs hit Bootle causing catastrophic damage.

“By the end of the eight nights of raids in May, there had been 257 fatalities and 261 people seriously injured. More than a thousand houses and other buildings were demolished or required demolition, and a staggering 75% of the houses had been affected. In addition, during that short period, 20,000 people had been made homeless.

“There was no gas, water, or electricity over large areas of the town, and 11 of the main sewers had been damaged. That scale of destruction really is unbelievable.”

Les Dennis added: “We knew that if we were going to tell the story of the May blitz properly then we had to come to Bootle. The amount of punishment it took was extraordinary and thanks to Dave and his colleagues in the libraries team, that period in history will never be forgotten.”

To view more images on Sefton’s past, visit www.sefton-digital-archive.org/


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