A major part of any historian’s role is research, no non-fiction book worth reading would be possible without this. Sometimes, even with the best of intentions it is possible to make a mistake, to misread or misunderstand something. At other times it could simply be the case that the correct information was not available at the time of writing. There is also of course the possibility that the author made a genuine mistake, missing something obvious, guessing incorrectly or not having the time to look into a subject as much as he would like before going to print.
Some degree of error is inevitable with any history book, but once discovered, these should be highlighted and if possible corrected. When the information is solely published online this is relatively easy, as the correct information can simply replace the older, incorrect one. When a book has been printed however this is not so simple, as the information can only be corrected if the book is reprinted.
Having come across several examples in my own work over time, I promised myself and my readers (online or in print) that I would eventually publish an article outlining these errors. I feel I owe as much to those that follow me, and above all to those who lived through the events.
I would also encourage anyone who feels they have noticed an error not listed here to contact me directly and if correct, I will add it to this list.
Liverpool Blitzed: 70 Years on
Cleveland Square, page 115
Contrary to the statement in my book that “despite several injuries, no-one was killed” when a bomb hit a shelter in the square, there was in fact at least 16 deaths connected to it. I really have no explanation for this mistake as part of my normal method of research includes searching an electronic record of the Civilian Roll of Honour, where all of the names appear. I can only apologise.
Page 138: Durning Road
“… Occurred on the night of the 29th November 1940” Should read “… Occurred on the night of the 28th/29th November 1940”
Page 22: Lancaster Avenue
“In the early morning of the 12th March 1941” should read “In the early morning of the 13th March 1941” since the raid took place on the night of the 12th/13th March 1941.
Page 56: Severn Street
Since publication I have found out that the damage seen in the photograph was done on the 12th/13th March 1941, not the 21st/22nd December 1940
Page 101: Power Road
Since publication I have found out that the damage seen in the photograph was done on the 22nd/23rd October 1941, not the 20th/21st October 1941. The two people listed as fatalities also died on the night of the 22nd/23rd when this damage was done.
Page 113: Balliol Road School
A quite bad case of mistaken location. During my research on the Bootle area I came across this wartime photograph of the Boys Secondary School Municipal Technical School. I included the comparison below in my book assuming, based on a misreading of pre-war street directories that it lay between Queen’s Road and College view (on the left hand side of the road as you look towards the river). In fact the building stood on the opposite side of Balliol Road, where part of Hugh Baird College stands today.
Since the publication of my second book I have worked on a ghost image for the correct location. It is still a bit of a work in progress, but you can see it below
For all these errors I can only apologise.