FRAGMENTS of bombs which killed 13 people in Bolton can be seen at a major World War One centenary exhibition.

A nose cone and fragments of bombs dropped by the German Zeppelin airship L21 on Bolton in September, 1916, are on display at the Imperial War Museum (IWM) North, Quay West, Trafford.

From Street To Trench: A World War That Shaped A Region explores the lives and experiences of people from the North West during the Great War.

The free exhibition features more than 200 personal objects, films, sound recordings, photographs, artworks and letters — many on public display for the first time.

It gives a gilmspe into how Bolton played a part in the war and also includes a diary, hand grenade and lapel badge from the town.

Graham Boxer, IWM North director, said: “One hundred years on, the objects we display highlight the poignancy and courage of people who shaped and were shaped by this first global conflict.

“Even a century later there are stories untold, experiences undiscovered and tales that will surprise.”

A diary written by Thomas Sanderson, the verger of Holy Trinity Church, opposite Bolton railway station, features in the display.

It describes the damage and debris he found when he opened the doors to the church at 8.30am, on September 26, 1916, after it had been hit by a bomb during the Zeppelin raid of the night before.

There was a hole in the roof and scattered about the floor was what he assumed was a bomb that had broken on impact but not exploded.

It said: “Having found about half of bomb in third pew under gallery containing somewhere about 3lbs of unexploded powder (TNT)”.

Also on display is a No. 5 hand grenade, known as a Mills bomb, made in 1915 by Dobson & Barlow Ltd of Bolton — a company that made machines for textile mills before the war.

During the war it became one of the most important producers of munitions in the region, making grenades, shells, field kitchens, naval mines and searchlights.

A nose cone and fragments of bombs dropped in the Zeppelin raid, over the night of September 25 and 26, 1916, which killed 13 civilians, can be seen.

World War One was the first conflict to see civilians directly under threat from air raids and, although the North West was generally beyond the range of most, it still suffered two.

Kirk Street, now land occupied by the University Of Bolton, was hit by five of the 21 bombs dropped on the town.

A lapel badge which reads ‘On War Contracts’, made by Thomas Fattorini, a Bolton company that specialised in making medals and badges, is on display.

The badges were issued by the government and private firms to people engaged in essential war work, such as making munitions, to prevent workers from being mistakenly targeted for Army recruitment.

As the North West was a major focus for recruitment, many left the region for the first time to serve across the globe.

The exhibition reveals previously unpublished stories of soldiers, sailors and pilots who fought in all of the major campaigns, from Gallipoli in Turkey to the Somme in France and Ypres in Belgium.

From Street To Trench: A World War That Shaped A Region will run into 2015.