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Salford in World War Two

Continuing our series of blogs on Salford City Council's burial and cremation records on the Deceased Online database, I discover some of those killed in the Manchester area by air raids during the Second World War.
Tree growing among the headstones in Agecroft Cemetery, Salford
Like many parts of the UK, the north-west of England was hit hard by air raids during the Second World War. One of the worst attacks was in the Manchester Blitz of Christmas 1940. Another heavy attack took place over Christmas 1944. During the war overall, 1,428 civilians from the Greater Manchester District were killed in the raids.

It's estimated that 215 people were killed and 910 injured in Salford during the Luftwaffe raids of 22nd and 23rd of December. More than 8,000 homes damaged or destroyed. On the 28th December 1940, the Manchester Evening News reported on the mass civic funeral of the victims at the Southern Cemetery in Chorlton-cum-Hardy. The services were conducted by the Bishop of Manchester, the Bishop of Salford, the President of the Manchester Free Church Council, and the Communal Rabbi of Manchester and Salford. Members of the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) accompanied the coffins. The Bishop of Manchester spoke of the city's, "deepest and most real sympathy at the loss of our loved ones."

The newspaper also reported that, by this date, "scores of the Manchester families, rendered homeless by the Blitz" had been, "reunited by homes found and furnished by the Manchester Corporation."

The Greater Manchester Blitz Victims website, dedicated to the memory of those who died, details a total of 1,428 civilians from the Greater Manchester District, Salford included Dr John Dudgeon Giles OBE and his wife Annie were among those killed when Hope Hospital was bombed. This was after Dr Giles had worked hard to transform Hope Hospital, "from a poor law institution to a well equipped medical centre." At the time of his death, Dr Giles was Medical Superintendent of the hospital. 60-year-old Dr Giles died in Hope Hospital on 23 December 1940, "as a result of enemy action".

Dr Giles was awarded his OBE for medical services during the First World War when he was medical officer in charge of Hope Auxiliary Military Hospital, Pendleton, Manchester. Mrs Giles was a nurse in Manchester before her marriage. They were survived by one son, a medical student at Manchester University.

Dr and Mrs Giles were buried in Agecroft Cemetery. More information about some of the people killed in the Greater Manchester air raids can also be found at the Greater Manchester Blitz Victims' sister site, Trafford War Dead.
Excerpt from the Northern Cemetery Register, Salford (now Agecroft Cemetery) showing the entry for John Dudgeon Giles
The records from Agecroft Cemetery are now fully searchable on the Deceased Online database.

As always we love to hear from you and if you have any stories to share from your family's experience of the Manchester Blitz or have a connection to any of the Salford cemeteries, please contact us in the Comments Box below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Also, if you know the Salford area, do consider helping George on the Greater Manchester Blitz victims website. He needs local help and knowledge. 


The Scotsman, 24 December 1940, page 4

Manchester Evening News, 28 December 1940, page 1


  1. Looking for a record of Mary crestwell died 23 December 1940 or the 22 December 1940 she my Nana's sister

    1. i think you mean Mary Creswell. died at Hacking street on the Manchester Salford boundary line

  2. There is no Mary Crestwell in the index on Was that the name with which she would have been buried? Did she use another name at all?

  3. do you mean Mary Cresswell who was killed on Hacking Street on the Salford Manchester boundary line


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