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Aberdeen's Black Friday

Devastation caused by an air raid on Aberdeen

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A local topical film showing the impact of the first daylight air-raid on Aberdeen on July 12th 1940, known locally as "Black Friday". The clip shows the damage caused to buildings and schools by the air raid, it shows people standing in the street with household furniture retrieved from damaged buildings, as well as one of the German planes shot down during the attack.

Questions & Activities


  • Why was Aberdeen bombed?
  • What happened to German pilots shot down over Britain?
  • How would you feel if this was your home and your community?
  • Do you think the filmmakers have made a particular point of showing the damage to schools and nurseries?
  • Why was WWII sometimes called the first 'Total War'?


Research Aberdeen's Black Friday on the internet and other air raids on Scotland such as the Clydebank blitz. Research cities bombed by the British and Americans during the latter stages of the war. What was the human cost of this so called 'Total War'?

Make a collage about the blitz. You may want to draw inspiration from the pictures of Stanley Spencer and Pablo Picasso's Guernica. You might also want to include screen captures from the WWII films in the Scotland on Screen collection.

Pick one of the people featured in the footage and write an account of the raid and its aftermath from his or her perspective.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-049-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0238
Date 1940
Genre Documentary, Local Topical, Newsreel
School Subject Geography, History, Social History, English
Subject Matter Europe, Community involvement, Citizenship, Education, Creative Writing
Who Ernest Bromberg (filmmaker), Newscine, Aberdeen (cinema)
Where Aberdeen
Event World War II
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 4:32
Film Length 06:00