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UTV Live Tonight remembers the Belfast Blitz

It is 70 years since the first German bombs fell on Northern Ireland during what would be known as the Belfast Blitz, which killed around 1,000 people and left 100,000 more homeless on the night of Easter Tuesday 1941.

Broadcaster Denis Tuohy presents a series of special features to commemorate this anniversary.

How to get in touch?

Use this page to share your memories, photos or keepsakes of this chapter of Northern Ireland’s history. Did you or members of your family witness the raids? Tell us about the people, from victims to refugees, firemen and fire-watchers, etc.

Your contribution will help us compile an archive of Blitz memories, written by the public. To add your voice or share archive pictures, post a comment using the form below.

76 comments
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00:59 on 12 January 2012, pat monaghan from belfast wrote:

I want info about my granny and. uncles whowere killed and injured either the 13th15th april 1941' im trying to find where they r buried and what happened to 2 surviving children thomas and eva stewart. Dead were alice raymond and vincent stewart from holmdene gdns. A bomb landed on the house. Would be grateful for info.

17:05 on 15 September 2011, Myles G. Sweeney from Londonderry wrote:

Am I too late to again raise the question as to why NFS/AFS personnel who served in World War Two and took part in the Belafast blitz etc were NOT registered with the MoD and are ineligible to receive the Defence Medal for their service?

14:39 on 17 April 2011, Agnes Adair from Co Antrim wrote:

On Easter Tuesday April 1941 I returnedto Belfast after spending the holiday at home on the farm near Kells. I went to work as usual at the Ministry of Agriculture in the Agriculture Building on Elmwood Avenue.In the evening I went to Roseleigh Street where I lodged during the week with my Aunt and Uncle, Margeret and John Mawhinney. I had just gone to bed when the sirens went so I got up and put on my coat and slippers. Being young and foolish ( I was 18 ) I didn't think anything could happen to us so I sat knittinf even when the the bombs were falling and my relatives with their 6 year old daughter were coaxing me to join them under the stairs.Then there was an almighty bang - the house shook and the floor moved up and down in a terrifying manner,I dropped my knitting and rushed for the relative safety of the stairs.In a very short time the house came crashing down around us. By the grace of God the stairs caught on a pine table in the kitchen which held up and saved our lives.My aunt was knocked out for a short time and had a badly bruised face for a long time.Not a tear or a word of complaint from my 6 year old cousin Margery.Another benefit was a hole in the gable wall which allowed air in but also let us know fires were raging all around us.We were the top house in Roseleigh St. and Sylvan St ran across the top - I think it was completely burnt out . I'm hazy about times but some time later we heard footsteps and called out for help. It was the air-raid wardens who asked if anyone was badly hurt. We assured them that nobody was so they said they would come back later which they did and managed to get us out. Of course my slippers came off, the others had sensibly put on shoes. One of the wardens very kindly offered to carry me on his back because of all the broken glass and rubble. I was grateful but could not burden him like thet so I walked down the street and didn't get a scratch. We were picked up by a car and taken to Jaffa School. Ithink that was sometime around 2:30 am. The school was packed with men woman and children in the same boat as ourselves. A man whose children had been taken to different centres came in trying to find them but none of his children were here in Jaffa School. We heard afterwards that they were all safe.We remained there until the all-clear around 6am I think and then we had to leave as there was an unexploded bomb nearby What destruction met our eyes in the morning light! The area nad been badly hit all round Duncairn Gardens and the Antrim Road was like a hugh ploughed field. Where to go ? With one accord we headed out of the city towards Glengormely. I don't remenber how far we had walked but we had just passed some little houses which sat below the road on the right hand side ( they are no longer there ) where a kind lady came running out of her home and gave me a pair of slippers which I greatly appreciated. We kept walking until we came to the Barron Hall near Glengormley where we were invited in for tea and sandwiches where more kind ladies were doing all they could to help weary and shocked people- many now homeless. After food and a short rest we headed on and I think it was in Glengormley we got a bus for Ballymena .The bus was diverted through Hydebank and Roughfort as there were bombs between Glengormley and Templepatrick. This suited well as my Aunt's sister Mrs Cornett lived in Roughfort so they stopped off there.I was invited there but I kept heading towards home. In the circumstances we had no money but the conductor took names and trusted us to pay and I'm sure most people did. In those days there wa always a driver and conductor on ach bus. My mother Jane Caldwell was very relieved to see me as she had no way of getting in touch and there were few phones in those days. She was very shocked to see my dirty dishevelled state and arriving in my pyjamas! Many people died in Belfast that night. I met a lady on a bus afterwards who told me her two cousins had died in Sylvan Street and also a young couple who lived opposite us. My boss in work Miss Denby and her parents who lived on Cliftonville Road also died that night and so many others.It was a tragic night for so many people but so many kind and caring people were going out of their way to help. One of the most unnerving features of the Blitz was the "whistling bomb" which always seemed to be coming straight for your head and you only knew when on exploded some distance away that it hadn't got you.The anti-aircraft guns seemed unprepared for the intense bombing onslaught. Agnes Adair

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