As a photographer and videographer, I think it’s always good to keep up with what’s going on around you, in your community, your town/city. I have to admit I’m not usually one for reading local papers, but a few weeks ago I did and a particular article caught my eye.
I didn’t know that in 1916 my town, Loughborough, was bombed during an air raid. Nine German Zeppelins were on their way to Liverpool, but a combination of poor weather, difficult navigation and mechanical problems separated the aircraft, and led to several East Midlands towns being bombed.
Loughborough had grown complacent. Believing that all of the bombing was taking place much further south, the town lights were left on on the night of January 31st. The locals were enjoying their night at the pub and the Playhouse, and students were studying late at the local technical college when explosions in the street led to everyone running outside to investigate, only to discover the Zeppelin bomber in the night sky. The obvious targets – a crane factory and the Gas Works and Electricity station – were missed entirely, and instead it was ordinary locals – and the pub – that bore the brunt of the shrapnel from the four bombs.
One of the bombs landed directly outside the home of the Page family, killing all three in the house at the time. Local shopkeeper, Josiah Gilbert, was also killed when shrapnel from that same bomb shattered the windows of his shop, striking him in the chest as he was serving a customer. He tragically died on his shop floor, in the arms of his 14 year old son.
Ten people lost their lives that night, and a further 12 were seriously injured.
“Why are you blogging about this?” you may ask. Well, Loughborough Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum Trust, Charnwood Arts, and Charnwood Borough Council teamed up to commission a memorial plaque, designed by artist Paul Gent, to commemorate those that lost their lives on our town’s streets almost 100 years ago. They’re currently trying to raise funds to get the plaque cast in bronze by Taylor’s Bell Foundry, to be displayed in the Rushes close to the site of where one of the bombs was dropped.
This is where I came in. After reading the article in the Loughborough Echo I approached the Loughborough Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum Trust, offering to make them a short video for free for use on social media, to help raise the funds needed. The video is now complete. (A shout out here to my good mate Robert Dukes for doing the voice over, and my friend Sabrina Cutillo for being my marketing yoda).
So this is where you come in. Please watch the video and donate as much or as little as you like. We regularly commemorate those that lost their lives on the battlefield during The Great War, but not often do we get the chance to memorialise those that lost their lives on our streets, in our towns.