Bomb explosion in Liverpool
Accident with German souvenir
One person killed three injured
By the explosion of a German aeroplane bomb at 40 Red Rock St, West Derby Rd, a woman named Mrs Hubert DISLEY has been killed and her husband, sister in law and father in law badly injured. The accident took place at 9.50pm on Saturday evening, and had it not been that two other persons staying in the house had just left the kitchen a few minutes before the explosion took place, the consequences might have been far more serious.
On Friday morning the bomb was received by a Mrs CAMPBELL, who lives in Red Rock St almost opposite the DISLEYS, from her son, who is a chauffer at the front. He had been driving his superior through a very active part of the danger zone, somewhere in France, when a German avaltik attacked the city and succeeded in striking it with a bomb, which, however, did not explode. The chauffeur unloaded, as he thought, the explosive part of the bomb, which was dated January 1915, and was the very latest type of avaltik bomb designed to destroy property. Then he sent it as a war souvenir to his family.
The bomb, which was a couple of pounds weight, was shown all round the neighbourhood as a curiosity, and it seems a miracle, considering it had been handled by scores of people on Friday and Saturday, that it did not explode before. It was even taken to pieces by a young engineer who was visiting the house of Mr J. SIMPSON of 38 Red Rock St, without any accident or indication of its dangerous nature.
How the disaster occurred.
On Saturday evening about 9.45pm, the bomb was on view in the DISLEY house. There were present, Mr Hubert DISLEY, Mr Hubert DISLEY, Jun, Mrs DISLEY, Miss DISLEY, and two relatives. The bomb was passed from hand to hand, and several jokes were made about its one dreadful, but now harmless nature. Suddenly the bomb slipped from the hands which were holding it, and exploded with terrific effect. Mrs DISLEY who was in delicate health, received the full shock of the explosion and was mortally injured dying soon afterwards. Miss DISLEY received severe wounds in the left arm, of so grave a nature that the arm had to be amputated at the Royal Infirmary on Saturday evening. Mr DISLEY Snr suffered more from shock than actual hurt, while his son received various superficial wounds from the iron casting of the bomb
The noise of the explosion roused the neighbourhood and Mr SIMPSON who lives next door entered the house, the kitchen of which was like a shambles, then he ran for Mr James WILSON, the licensee of a public house a few doors away. Mr WILSON promptly rendered first aid Miss DISLEY and to her brother and father, having seen that Mrs DISLEYS case was hopeless. His promptitude undoubtedly helped to save the life of Miss DISLEY.
Mr WILSON, We thought it was a gas explosion, it was only when we entered the house that we remembered the bomb. The kitchen was in a terrible state, the floor was a pool of blood. Mr SIMPSON and I lifted Miss DISLEY out and attended to her but Mrs DISLEY, we saw was past aid. There were two other relatives who had just gone into the scullery, and they escaped injury of any kind, but Mr DISLEY Sen seemed to be suffering from shock, Mr DISLEY Jun, had, had parts of iron casting of the bomb driven into his right arm.
Dr HUGHES of Queens Rd, was quickly summoned to attend to the two latter named patients and Miss DISLEY was taken to the Royal Infirmary, where the resident surgeons decided to amputate the injured arm at once. At a late hour last evening she was reported to be progressing favourably, as are her father and brother.
Inspector MOORE and an officer of the staff of the general commanding the district visited the scene of the explosion yesterday in order to furnish reports on the accident to the Home Office and War Office, respectively.
By post from London
Mr SIMPSON, It is extraordinary that the explosion did not take place before considering how the bomb has passed from hand to hand in this and neighbouring streets on Friday and Saturday. Most of us know young Mr CAMPBELL, the chauffeur who sent the bomb home. I believe he gave it to a comrade who was going on furlough to London, and that it was posted in that city and duly delivered here in Liverpool It was a longish bomb something like this.
He showed a drawing of a bomb about a foot and a half in length, resembling a miners lamp, screened by wire, but with a bag about 8 inches in depth attached to it.
Mr SIMPSON, There was nothing in the bag. I am told that originally the bag contained a powerful explosive which was fired by a detonator inside the bomb itself. A friend of mine took the bomb to pieces on Saturday and put it together again without having any idea of its dangerous nature. Friend who was present, It was loaded with bullets but I certainly had no idea that it would go off after I had refixed it.
Mr SIMPSON, We have all been wondering how such a bomb could pass safely through the post without exploding.
From inquiries made in the city it seems that quite a large number of souvenirs, many of a very dangerous nature, have been brought and sent from the front to Liverpool. Most of the shells sent are harmless, but it is just possible that here and there may be found a loaded shell with all kinds of dangerous possibilities to the owners and their neighbours. Where there are any doubts, the articles in question should be promptly given to the police.
Danger is also to be found from the presence of hundreds of live cartridges in working class houses, sent from our own home camps and from the front, both in France and Turkey, as specimens of Turkish, German, Belgian, French and American cartridges. A lady living in the neighbourhood of Newsham Park said she had caught two boys, aged 7 and 9, trying to make a bonfire of six live cartridges, and had found that such cartridges are no uncommon toys with Liverpool children
3rd Aug 1915
Inquest on victim of bomb explosion
The Liverpool coroner Mr T. E. SAMPSON, held an inquest today on Mrs Amy DISLEY, aged 22, who was struck by a splinter from a German bomb which exploded in Red Rock St, West Derby Rd, on Saturday night.
The young woman was visiting her father in law on Saturday night when a German bomb which had been sent by a military chauffeur to a relative named Mrs CAMPBELL, was being examined. It had been dropped without exploding on a car the chauffeur was driving. While the bomb was being passed round from one person to another in the house it fell and exploded, killing Mrs DISLEY, and inflicting serious injury to her husband, sister in law and her father in law.
The soldier before sending the bomb from France , removed what he thought was the explosive part. The bomb, which was the latest type of Avaltik bomb, was dated, January 1915.
The coroner remarked that everyone who received souvenirs of this short should get them properly examined by some competent authority.
Elizabeth CAMPBELL, said her son, who sent the shell, was a motor mechanic in the A.S.C, in France. She had received a letter from him saying that he had had a narrow escape from bombs, and that one which failed to explode he was sending home by parcel post after extracting the explosives. Mrs DISLEY to whom she showed it, said she would like her father in law to see it.
Witness lent it to her for this purpose, and it was taken to Red Rock St. Ten minutes later she heard an explosion and was informed of the death of the woman, and the injury to other members of the family. The jury returned a verdict of, Death from misadventure, owing to in juries received by the exploding of a German aero bomb sent to Liverpool as a souvenir of the war.