Tribute to victims of the Blitz
A VETERAN from east Hull today hailed his community for supporting an event to commemorate the city’s civilian war dead.
A total of 185 people enjoyed a day of war-themed activities at the Freedom Centre in Preston Road, east Hull.
But it was also a day of sad reflection. Exactly 63 years to the day, the last Luftwaffe bomb was dropped on Britain.
It landed on the former Savoy Cinema in Holderness Road, east Hull, killing or injuring 34 people.
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Preston Road resident Alan Armitage, who can vividly remember the Hull Blitz, organised yesterday’s event.
The 77-year-old, whose father was an air raid rescue worker during the Second World War, said: “If a member of the forces was killed there were lots of mentions everywhere, which of course, was quite right.
“But if a civilian was killed, there was hardly any mention. We must not forget what civilians did in the war and what they gave up.
“It was good to see so many people turn up.”
Due to the strategic importance of the docks, Hull suffered the heaviest bombing of any city outside London.
But censorship meant it was only ever referred to as a “north-eastern” town by newspapers and radio.
A report in the national Daily Mail from Thursday, May 8, 1941, said: “Great havoc was done to a north-eastern town upon which many heavy bombs and incendiaries were rained overnight as big forma$of raiders came over in an almost continuous procession for some hours.”
Dignitaries gathered for a wreath- laying ceremony on the corner of Ryehill Grove and Preston Grove.
The spot boasts a 500-kilo German bomb that serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the raids.
Later, residents enjoyed an afternoon of entertainment, which comprised war-time music and dancing as well as comedy sketches.
Nathan Brennan, operations director at the Freedom Centre, said: “Mr Armitage felt it necessary we commemorate the loss of people on this estate. We felt it fitting to put on an event here at the centre.
“Hull is one of the forgotten casualties of the war. A lot of attention goes to the southern cities.
“Yesterday summed up that people have not forgotten. People in Hull care about what happened.”
Displays also showed younger visitors what life was like in the dark days of the Second World War.
A re-enactment group, dressed in Second World War uniforms, bought along replica weapons and rations.
Hull City Council