Unearthing war records on Hull Blitz bombings
WAR records showing where people were housed when homes were destroyed during the Hull Blitz have been unearthed.
The Air Raid Welfare Information Office, based in Albion Street, city centre, was responsible for keeping records of where all displaced persons were housed.
Carol Tanner, access and collections manager at Hull History Centre in Worship Street, is overseeing a project involving a team of volunteers to collate thousands of the city's wartime documents.
She said: "The purpose of the Air Raid Welfare Information Office was to collect and circulate information about the movement of individuals and families caused by billeting, rehousing, evacuation and staying with family or friends.
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"This information, along with that provided by the Searcher Service, which sent messengers to check on people, allowed them to answer enquiries from friends and families of Hull citizens concerned about their whereabouts and safety.
"In some cases, evacuation information is given, though not always a full address.
"There is also some medical information if someone was injured or killed by bombing.
"The papers are organised alphabetically by surname, then by the street name of the original address."
Ms Tanner said the team had also found information concerning businesses that had to change premises due to bombing.
Another collection of interest is documents relating to The Ministry of Information in Hull.
Ms Tanner said: "The papers were collected by Baron Peddie of the City and County of Kingston upon Hull who was a member of the Ministry and its secretary from August 1941 to 1945.
"Activities included reporting back to regional office on morale and local events, organising public meetings and visits to Hull by prominent individuals, including Ernest Bevin, co-ordinating post-air raid announcements, as well as supporting local campaigns and overseeing local activities generally.
"Their work continued throughout the war until the local Information Committees were dissolved in January 1945."
According to the paperwork, Mr Bevin – the wartime coalition's Minister of Labour – was due to address dignitaries at City Hall on May 11, 1941.
However, due to some of the heaviest raids of the war from May 7 to 9, the City Hall address was cancelled.
Instead, Mr Bevin was taken on a tour of the city so he could see for himself the devastation caused by the Luftwaffe raids.
It is hoped, once collated, all the records will be available to the public on the centre's website.
Ms Tanner said: "The volunteers have returned after the Christmas break and continuing with their invaluable work of cleaning, numbering and inputting the information on to the database, so we can make the records available to the public."