Friday, 30th October 1914, started as just another ordinary day in Barnoldswick. The mill “hooters” sounded their usual 6.20 a.m. call to work. Those that did not have to get up at that time drowsily accepted the assortment of wailing sounds, followed by the clatter of thousands of clogged feet on the cobbled streets, as the normal pattern of workday noise in a mill town.

Church School

At about the same time as the lifeboat John Fielden was dragged into position opposite the Rohilla, school bells were making their calls to the younger generation.

Maurice Daly was already on his way to the Church School, not knowing his father had left Scapa Flow.

Seven year old Ernest Hodkinson set off from his home in Bank Street to go to his school. There was a 20 year gap between him and his brother Harry and all Ernest knew was that he was on a ship somewhere.

Mary Anderson didn’t have to go to her school. She had no idea that at moment her brother William was less than eighty miles away.

Twenty children started that day unaware that the whole pattern of their lives had changed.

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Copyright © Ken Wilson 1981