Two Bolton grandmothers will hold a silent vigil in the town centre for the children caught up in the  Israel and Palestine conflict.

Florence Hill, a 73-year-old former nursery nurse and children’s support worker, and Bernie Gallagher, a 68-year-old former nurse and housing worker, will be holding their vigil at Victoria Square on Saturday afternoon.

Children and parents have been invited to soft toys on the town hall steps which will be later donated to local charities, while candles will be placed around a display of empty children’s shoes.

Mrs Hill, a mother of three and grandmother of eight, said: “I watch the news every day with tears in my eyes and a sense of hopelessness. 

“Defenceless children caught up in an adult war not of their making. 

The Bolton News: Victoria Square has hosted two mass protests since the recent conflict beganVictoria Square has hosted two mass protests since the recent conflict began (Image: Phil Taylor)

“This is just my small bit to show parents in Bolton care even if the world leaders don’t.”

She added: “I’ve spent all my adult life caring for children, I can’t and won’t turn a blind eye to what is going on.

“When are our politicians going to call this out? .”

According to the Save the Children charity, since October 7 more than 3,257 children have been killed in the conflict, which is more than the annual number of children killed across the worlds conflict zones since 2019. 

This includes 3,195 in Gaza, 33 in the West Bank, and 29 in Israel.

Mrs Gallagher, a mother of four and grandmother of nine, said: “The exact figures of how many children have died can be disputed but one innocent death is one too many. 

“We are witnessing the monstrous instruction from the Israeli Defence Force to evacuate hospitals in Gaza city.

“Anyone who has had a child in hospital will understand the stress and anxiety this causes. 

ALSO READ: Thousands came together during peaceful protest for Palestine in Bolton town centre

ALSO READ: Around 2,000 people gather for Palestine rally in Bolton town centre

ALSO READ: Bolton councillor shows support for Gaza 

“How on earth do you evacuate a neonatal baby relient on life support equipment to a safe place when roads are being bombed?”

She added: “This country has a tradition of providing a safe refuge for those fleeing war whether its Jewish children fleeing the horrors of Nazi Germany or Ukrainian children fleeing Putin’s illegal war. 

“The difference in this war is there is no route out for the children of Gaza.”     

The vigil will take place at Victoria Square in Bolton town centre on Saturday November 4.

Attendees have been asked to arrive at 12.45pm for a minute’s silence at 1pm.