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For Black Friday, we've got a special offer on History Hit, subscriptions. You can access all of our award-winning original documentaries and ad-free podcasts for just one pound or one dollar a month for four months. Sign up at historyhit. Com/subscribe using code Black Friday pod at checkout and you'll get nearly £30 off our normal monthly price over your first four months. Hi, everybody. Welcome to Dan Snow's history hit. Belfast in Northern Ireland was one of the great industrial cities of the United Kingdom on the outbreak of war in 1939. But for various reasons as you'll hear, it was not widely believed that it would be a target of the German Luffa, for the German Air Force, in any bombing that would take place across the British Isles in the Second World War. The government in Belfast, the authorities refused to take the necessary preparations that ensured that loss of life, loss of property would be limited in the event of German airraids. The cost of their naive optimism was paid in the lives of the men, women and children in Belfast. Throughout April and May 1941, there were four raids. There was a particularly awful raid on the evening of the 15th of April.


Over 750 people were killed, which we think makes it the bloodiest single raid outside London of any raid on Britain during the Second World War. Half of the houses in Belfast were damaged. There were so many bodies to deal with afterwards that they were thrown into mass graves. It was a devastating attack and it wasn't the last one. In this episode of the podcast, I want to talk to Jim O'Neill. He's been on the podcast before talking about Queen Elizabeth I's travels, her disastrous campaigns in Ireland. He's a Belfast born former archeologist, now a historian. He works at the Northern Ireland War Memorial Museum and he's been collecting stories and publicizing stories about the Belfast Blitz. My grandpa was in the Canadian Navy during the Second World War. Belfast was a key terminus for supplies coming across the Atlantic convoy routes and he remembers all too well the damage the destruction of that blitz. He would tell me about it when I was young. Now here comes Jim O'Neil to tell all of us about the Belfast Blitz. T minus 10.


The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. God, crazy. The Kingles. No black, white, unity till there is first some black unity. Never to go to war with one another again. And lift off and the shuttle has cleared the tower. Jim, thanks very much for coming back.


On the podcast. Quickly here, Don. Ireland in the First World War, had been a part of the United Kingdom. Now Ireland was in a very different position in the Second World War. Did that change? Was there a difference, do you think, on the ground in Ireland just at the start of the war? The fact that the south was neutral, but the north was very much in this second Great War?


I think what we see is there's a fundamental separation between the whole experience of Great Britain and Northern Ireland during the war. One of those reasons was definitely the existence of the border between Northern Ireland and the neutral size. What we see is certainly considering contemporary politics, going on at the moment you see a separation that perhaps people don't remember because of the land border with a neutral country. You see things like the way the North is even treated by Great Britain is different. You see the post is censored between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There's like a ring fence what is described as of security around Great Britain that Northern Ireland is not part of. Part of that reason is the border, which is seen as a potential weakness for intelligence. All the telephone lines between Great Britain and Northern Ireland are tapped 24 hours a day. There's travel restrictions in the south and Dublin. You still have things like the Italian and German locations are still there. It seems there's a big security risk and government of Westminster is very aware of this. You also see things like the south still has a territorial claim in the north.


Devil, the Irish tea shop is very much expressed that all Ireland is not part of OCE as this continual complaint that Ireland shouldn't be used or Northern Ireland shouldn't be part of the war effort. But to tell you the truth, the way Northern Ireland even saw itself, it saw itself as quite separate. In fact, there are some ongoing opinions that this was England's war. It seems quite naive in retrospect, considering what happens to World War II. But Northern Ireland, even then it's very toned of the way the war started and the way it continued on to the blitz, it saw itself as something different, even though it was a center of industry and things like shipyards and aircraft manufacture. It should have been a target, but there was an old parading idea that somehow Northern Ireland would escape the attack of the Germans, which turned out to be quite false.


Also there was no conscription. Conscription was enforced in Britain, but not in Northern Ireland. Obviously, lots and lots of non-Irish people and some some Irish people volunteered to fight for British Army in the Second World War, but it was not mandatory. That must have made it feel very different as well.


It was totally different. There was no conscription. There was actually talk of bringing them down. But then the British government realized that it actually would be more trouble than it's worth both the actual enforcement of it and the political ramifications included in the United States with the large Irish-American lobby. But they also feared that there was actually significant amount of recruitment in this site and they thought that would dry up completely. But with that and the fact is that Northern Ireland was a net producer of food stuff during the war. So even though there was Washington, it didn't bite as deeply in Northern Ireland as it did in Great Britain. What you see is certainly the mass observation group that was studying morale across the United Kingdom, noticed that there was a very different atmosphere in Northern Ireland. What they considered Ireland wasn't really in the war, didn't see itself as part of the war. Things like the long shifts, the long working shifts that were instituted for work production in Great Britain hadn't happened here in 1940. You still had a week stoppage of all the factories during the 12th Fortnight, which was we have the Orange demonstrations and the commemoration of the Battle of the Bowen.


The industry stopped for the entire week in 1940. They just didn't see themselves as part of it. There was a pervading idea right from top to bottom from political leaders all the way to the people on the street, as they believed that Northern Ireland just would not be attacked for a number of different reasons. One, they believed that Northern Ireland was too far away from Germany. It was just too far and too hard to defend even at the very top of the political leadership in Northern Ireland. There's quotes of politicians saying, Oh, shit, the Germans just wouldn't be able to find Belfast or they just wouldn't be bothered. It was far more tempting targets in Great Britain, so they wouldn't come here. And some even fell back on the idea that Belfast would be protected by the defenses in Great Britain. That know there was empty aircraft, batteries and barrage balloons, and fighter defenses all from Scotland and England and Wales that anything that tried to get across this would be destroyed. So Belfast was essentially shielded by Great Britain. And the more extreme, actually, even now you can say anything, it's almost naive, is that they believe that because Dev O'Lear had stated that all of Ireland should be free of German attack.


And he'd actually make approaches to the German location in Dublin saying that Belfast should be as part of Ireland and shouldn't be attacked. That seems ridiculous now, but this was actually given credence in the higher levels of political and even military thinking in Great Britain. There was a massive lack of preparedness throughout Northern Ireland, but definitely in Belfast they just had no concept of what was coming.


It's interesting that they hoped that that might be the case, de Valera's approach, given that Northern Ireland was, as you point out, a massive center of particularly shipbuilding, Belfast. But Northern Ireland is one of the most militarized landscapes in the United Kingdom during the Second World War. There just seems to be bases and significant military sites all over, partly because of the Battle of the Atlantic and for lots of reasons. So it was certainly a military target, wasn't it?


Oh, you wouldn't believe it. If you actually look at the numbers that came out of it throughout the war, why did we even think for a second that this wasn't going to happen? If you look at the sheer numbers, the shipyards over World War II brought out about 140 warships, maybe 123 merchant ships. Short Ireland, the aircraft manufacturers built the Sterling bombers and more importantly to the Battle of the Atlantic, the short sand and sea planes. Not only did they build those, they built I think it was 80 million aircraft components. You had the Mackies foundry, which was one of the major manufacturers for 40 millimeter empty aircraft shelves. You had the linen mills, which over the course of the war, produced 200 million yards of canvas and the ropeworks produced a quarter of a million tons of cordages as a rope for the Royal Navel. There's a huge amount. Even when you come into the fall of France and then, of course, you have the convoys coming out through the north of Ireland, Belfast is established as Royal Navel base and it becomes a, what's the word for it? An assembly area for convoys.


When you look at it in those terms, you're like, Of course, it's going to be on the target. You're not even considering the trip concentrations, the barracks and the aircraft bases that are being manufactured across the north. I suppose this may be in retrospect, you're wondering what were they thinking, but I think there was possibly a level of cognitive distance and they just, like anyone else, didn't want the wordy around when it was coming while they liked it out. Unfortunately, the lack of preparedness is shocking.


Well, yeah, let's talk about that. Very few deep bunkers in London. That's why everyone took to the underground stations. But presumably it was much worse in Belfast.


You wouldn't believe it. The politics at the time, the government just wasn't prepared for it at all. It was more concerned with local issues, but even the relationship between the government, Northern Ireland and the government in Great Britain, things like the 1937, Airway Precautions Act, which under its terms, it set out the obligations for local authorities for airway precautions. Northern Ireland was excluded from that. The laws that actually would have gave resources for that, Northern Ireland was set aside from that. It's like, Well, you throw yourselves out. Then this followed down all the way through the strata of everything that should have been prepared. There was pre-recruitment for the ARP and the auxiliary fire service. The ARP actually in itself was seen as one of the descriptions of a busy body fuss pots. People that would come around and annoy you and wrap in your door with a blackout joke. There's so little unfortunate to blackout or just a day here. There's something like 15,000 prosecutions just to not learn about blackout infringements. Fouts would take off from the near ARP to see what the blackout was like. Where do we even start? It was just ridiculous.


To put it this way, I'm probably jumping ahead. By the time the first raid comes in May, the lighthouses in Belfast Lock are still lit. The shelter provision was appalling. There's something like 25% of the population in Belfast had a shelter of 60,000 eligible for free shelters, for the first thousand had them in Belfast. There's 700 public shelters that were built, but like I said, take away 25% of the population. These were built in narrow streets and they were appalling. They were just these narrow surface shelters. Now to be fair, we couldn't have underground shelters and in Belfast because Belfast, the way the hydrology has got a very shallow water table. You dig into the ground and it floods instantly. No ambition shelters there are. But what shelters they did build basically became an annoyance and they just got busy turned into areas where antisocial behavior. They turned into essentially areas for prostitutions and payments to apply their trade. There was court and couples getting up to their nocturnal dialysis. They were also used for like public toilets. So the extent that doors were put on someone, they're literally locked up, which just defeats its purpose.


Then the next and more tragic on it all is the evacuation procedures for children. Now, one of the common features that you would see come up in the history of the Blitz in Great Britain would be the evacuation of children to the country. Now in Belfast, there were 70,000 children were eligible and they did try. There was an initial drive to have children sent to the countryside and all those 70,000, 17,000 registered on the day they were meant to turn up a size and turned up. There just was no sense of urgency. And they tried it again later on with 5,000 registered and 1,700 turned up. And one of the key features that people that were coming from England that were subject to the Blitz were coming to Belfast and going, Where are all these kids from? The street was full of kids compared to urban areas in Great Britain. And unfortunately, that would be reflected in the casualties to come. The lack of preparedness even comes as far as the military side of it. The anti-aircraft defenses were invisible. Belfast was defended by what was 16 heavy anti-aircraft guns and six light, which was like less than a quarter of a temporary city, not a similar size city in Britain.


There was no night fighters. There was no search lights. There were barrage balloons and that was about the limit of it. But ultimately, Belfast was just exposed. There was nothing stopped either psychologically or physically. They were completely unprepared from what was.


To come. There was a probing raid, wasn't there? On the seventh, eighth of May. Was that a wake-up call?


I wish you could say it was, but unfortunately there was bad weather over Great Britain and so some bombers had diverted to Belfast's secondary target because of the clear weather. They're not quite sure how many attacked. There was about 13 tracks and the rates start at midnight and last until just after half three. Now Belfast wasn't exactly hard to find because like I said, the lighthouses were lit and the detection of them was very poor. Apparently when the raid started, people described as they heard the aircraft, then they heard the guns, then they heard the siren. Because of the clear weather, they dropped the flars to identify the targets, the guns opened up and even the Germans in their later reports described the anti-aircraft defenses scant even got to the point where they could dive on the targets. But because they could see the targets very well, they could hit the dock area with great accuracy. Soon you had wood storage yards were blazed. There was actually a Sterling fuselage yard. There was 50 Sterlings fuselages destroyed. By the time the raid was over, about 15 were killed. But what actually did instill is it actually still a false sense of what was to come because of the small amount of damage, relatively speaking, and the small amount of casualties, people started to think, Maybe this is okay.


Maybe Belfast can take this. Even in the press they said about, Oh, this cordon of steam put up by the anti-aircraft. The only thing the anti-aircraft guns hit there was three of their own ballerized balloons. But it gave this false idea of what was to happen. Also because it was so well targeted by the Germans, very few people actually used their shelters. In fact, people came out of their doors and gathered in the street and talked about the bomb and speculated like, Well, where do you think they're hitting? They said it was almost like speculators of a football match. They just totally glossed over any dangers and created this really, really dangerous solution for what was to happen.


You listen to Dan Snow's history here talking about the terrible blitz on Belfast during the Second World War. More coming up.


Tell me what.


Did happen. When are the heavier rates?


Eventually comes to Easter. By that stage, you'd seen a shift in German target and they were hitting important centers like Bristol and Tyneside and things like that. What we end up seeing is even local government is saying, We're definitely going to get hit. To the extent that they decide they have to actually hide it from the public, there's definitely going to be something happen. But even on the radio, eventually I have Lord Ha-ha, one of those transmissions says, There would be Easter eggs for Belfast. Definitely they knew something was happening and there had been German reconnaissance aircraft over Belfast. Eventually on the night of this 15th to 16th of April, that's when the Germans actually came. Now what we can say is the alerts started about 10:40 and about an hour later, reports say that you'd hear the drone, the planes coming from the south and what they did they'd actually flown out or carding a plane or come up the Irish Sea. But what was also noticed is that there was actually cloud cover over Belfast. Actually part of the third of the bombers that were destined for Belfast didn't attack. What they describe is the bombers come up and they hear this low drone and that comes up and passes to the east to Belfast and then about six miles north Belfast turns and the German bombers start coming back down to the northeast, coming down Belfast Lock.


One of the things they described is it's very hard to hide Belfast from the air because you can't block out the water. Basically, where the water ends, even with an effective block out where the black starts, that's where the city is and that's where the industrial area is. Target and wise, it was an easy target to find, but the cloud cover in this case had caused problems with the German Pathfinders. The German Pathfinders turned up about an hour later after the alert started and they were the first of about 180 bombers to reach Belfast. But the thing is because of the cloud cover and there was also a smoke screen operation, one of the first things to happen with the raid when the alert started was these smoke discharges started to belt out what was described as this black claw and smoke, which actually blacketed large sections of the industrial area. Which also that and the cloud cover, meant that the Pathfinders dropped their targeting fliers and targeting sentries to the west and the north of the city. What was actually described by one of the raid warden sometimes was quite eerie because at first you saw these bright, magnesium fliers come down.


He actually wondered why you need a blackout doll because one of the descriptions was you'd read a packet of cigarettes. It was like daylight in Belfast just as the race started. Once the bomber start coming, you see the first 203 tons of high explosives, 29,000 in centuries fall on Belfast. 87 of those are the parachute mines. Now these horrific 1,500 kilogram bombs are parachute mines that slowly descend and the effect on these closely packed terraced houses was absolutely devastating. What's also worse for Belfast is what little defenses existed? One of the earliest bombs, I think about one o'clock, just as the raid is really starting to reach its worst, one of the bombs hit the central telephone exchange, instantly knocking out any targeting data that was being sent to the anti-aircraft batteries. They all fall silent. Then the bombers get to attack without any hindrance at all.


What was it like on the ground? You've recorded some personal stories about the individuals caught up in it.


It was appalling. Now the emergency services were pushed beyond limits. They said people just didn't know how to behave. They said that the population, because they weren't used to this thing, they actually clustered in groups together in houses because they didn't want to be alone. The dying in certain places was just appalling. The reports coming in through the ARP, people knew that something terrible had happened. You get things like Hogarth Street, 70 people were killed, and the Atlantic Avenue, 40 people killed. In Ballynear Street, there's 30 people killed in one house of 16 people taken out of it, all dead. The York Street Mill that had this great wall that I've had with this from personal stories from family up there. They remember on the street there was a large six-storey wall that went around the mill and a parachute mine collapsed and fell on the street and Sussex Street killing over 40 people. Then the Percy Street shelter, a parachute mine hidden in descriptions again from family members. They said that there was one actually saw it and they said it was like a butcher shop. For my own personal then, these stories actually proliferate all across Belfast where I had an aunt who was a barrier warden and now they'd been to a dance in the Ulster Hall.


The crowd inside the Ulster Hall had been told I was sheltered in the building. But her team said they had to go to their Trinity Street Church post because that was what they had to do. They're all 18, 19 kids and so they made their way up. Even in accounts later on, Jimmy Daherty, who wrote about post 301 on the rades. He said he saw the Trinity Street wardens coming up and going to their post and they went to the post to the Trinity Street Church. He actually saw the parachute mine drift down towards it and hit the spire of the church and of course went off, devastating results. The church collapsed and killed everyone on the Trinity Street Wardens post apart my aunt, a friend that was with her, but she was so badly injured that she ended up in one of the temporary mortuaries and falls. But it's only actually someone coming past seeing these lines of bodies. The stories actually come out from her are awful. The person that walked past noticed that this girl was still alive. She was actually taken from rows of corpseses and taken to hospital. But the stories that were coming out of the temporary mortuaries were just traumatic, to say the least.


The hospitals were inundated with unprecedented level of casualties. In one example, they said that the dead on the alive were getting brought to the hospital. In one case I get this from Jimmy Doherty's account. He said there was just this large misshapen package arrived at the mortuary and there was just a label on it that said, woman and five children. He said some of the things he'd seen, they couldn't account for years. These stories again passed through social memory, and these stories are replicated at time and time again across North and West Belfast because.


This raid. It was the, apart from London, it was the bloodiest night of the blitz.


Ultimately, I think the final count for the number of casualties, and even then it's disputed, is about 744 were killed in the raid. That's just civilian casualties. But as awful as it was and as traumatic as it was, the stories that come out again and again and again. The horrors that were visited on the streets had something that the Belfast had never seen, never has seen in no certain numbers. But there was also stories that came out that actually filled you with some faith and humanity. One of the stories is that I ran four o'clock in the morning when the emergency service was entirely overwhelmed, a cable went out, was sent to Devilair in the south asking for assistance. Again, he asked Dublin fire Brigade could they get volunteers? There were 75 men volunteered to come north in 13 engines and that's the Dublin, Droghull and Dundok Fire Brigades came north and started the ride in about 9:00 in the morning and they helped out. When I say helping out, there was five crews that were just exhausted by working throughout the night. They took over their duties up on Crumlin Road up in North Belfast and they worked throughout the day helping with rescuing.


This is actually when bombs are still going to drop. There's something like 10% to 20% of the bombs dropped during the raid were delayed action bombs. Just because the planes had passed overhead didn't mean the danger wasn't still there. These crews worked as volunteers in the city up until I think it was eight o'clock was the last one was withdrawn and leaving them because they couldn't risk having crews from a neutral country in case the Germans came back that night. The effect was devastating on the city. Like I said, temporary mortuaries were set up in St. George's Markets and Peter Hill Baths and Falls Public Baths. You had lines of hundreds of bodies for days afterwards, you had people filed past these bodies looking for relatives.


Just that part alone is so traumatic. Many of those people would have been homeless, right? I mean, something like 100,000 people had damaged homes.


100,000 people were made temporary homes. Over half the housing stock in Belfast was damaged or destroyed. The effect on public morale was devastating. One of the examples of when people went to the temporary morturies, there's one woman that was a nurse during the psalm, and she said she hadn't experienced anything like this. The war and the nature of the way these people had died stripped all level of dignity off them. We're talking like men, women, children that were killed, which a third of them were children. Because again, there was no evacuation. Even then, there was a huge amount that weren't identified. I think statistics of all raids in Great Britain, there's something like 560, 570 were buried unidentified. In just this raid in Belfast, 130 to 140 remained unidentified and end up buried in two mass graves in the city cemetery and Milltown Cemetery. The effect on morale was devastating. What you end up seeing was a mass evacuation as people in their tens of thousands that night started to make their way out of the city. By the end of April, you're looking at about 100,000. By the end of May, you're looking at 200,000 people had left the city.


Even that night, people that were staying in the study still went out and slept in the countryside. Tens of thousands clogged the roads almost and they revamped me out of town just to sleep in ditches and hedges. The fear was basically all-encompassing in the fear that the German bombers would come back.


Did the German bombers come back?


They did come back. What I can say is at least the shock also did galvanize things like the ARP, while the Germans had considered the attack a failure because they largely missed. There was some damage to the harbor state, the main front of the boring rate, and I'm done to be in housing, which the Germans were not actually looking to target. But they did. They come back on the fourth and fifth of May and what we call the fire raid. And the reason for that is like sirens go off at midnight and of course they get to script again, these low rumble coming up overhead about 1:00 in the morning. Now it's a much shorter raid. It only lasts about two hours, but it's far more intense. The Germans actually turn up this time and it's cloudless clear skies for miles in all directions. So Belfast is not hard to find. They come in the same flight path and make a northeastern approach and they get their targets. Over the course of the raid, which again like I said only the two horses are 237 tons. And this time, as we said the last time there's 36,000 incinerations dropped.


This time there's 96,000 incinerations dropped on this Cloudless Night, which is a massive impact on the hardware state and shipyards on the aircraft factories. Within no time at all they have vast waves of the harbor state and inferno. Ships in the shipyard, three corvettes that are nearing completion, they're destroyed. There's three supply ships that are sink on their movers. As far as they just consume workshops, areas of the shipyard. One German, he describes on his approach that he can see the glow of Belfast from 200 km away as he approaches to Belfast. It's something that really can't be described. To say that there wasn't any civilian castles in this world would be absolutely wrong. The very nature of strategic bullet at the time was still inherent accuracy meant that even with a wild targeted raid that hit mostly the targets they were looking for. Here there's large areas of streets in the east of the city that sat adjacent to the shipyards that they were also hit as well. Again, you get the same repeat of entire streets being demolished by things like parachute mines. But in this case, they were much fewer, still a large amount.


There was 202 people were killed, much less than the east of Tudor. There's a couple of different reasons for that. One was there was a better knowledge of what would happen. People had fear in them and they actually used the shelters that were provided. There's also the fact that there was such a large amount of people had left the city. With the evacuation, it reduced the number of people that would potentially be killed or injured. Believe it or not, there was a much stronger at the aircraft defense in this raid than the last. Even the Germans actually mentioned themselves that the active defenses were more effective. Also what you're looking at is the accuracy of the attack because it fell largely on industrial areas and also a lot of the incendries fell on the commercial part of town. There's huge tracks of the center in Belfast where the commercial shops were all went to the high street, Bridge Street, all the big shopping streets. There's huge trackss that just ended up an absolute inferno and even reports when they were coming in from the exhilaring fire service just said, There is nothing we can do.


The blast of bombs had actually ruptured. Much like the other waves had ruptured large amounts of the water main. Frequently the water pressure just dropped and they had to fight the fires even if they could. The fires were just one fire joined into another fire, joined in until just a huge confluence. The photographs that show this that are available online that the fires for some would be believed. But that actually even asking me asked this time, there was no need for a cable from the north. The volunteer, Devon Laird, actually issued an order that when he first heard there's a raid, he just issued the order straight to the Dublin Fire Service, gather volunteers. In this case, you also saw a repeat down this time around 130 men volunteered to come up in fire tenders and ambulances and did the same thing again when he came up and helped out and helped fight the fires and returned the next day. Then the following night after that, the Germans still weren't done with Belfast, but this time there's a much, much smaller raid. Perhaps three planes attacked the night after that. I leave those that were casualties, there was 22 killed, but that was the last of the raid.


On Belfast. In other cities in the United Kingdom, the Blitz is memorialized. It's talked about, it's taught in schools. That's not as much the case in Belfast. Why is that?


It's hard to actually say. To be honest, straight after the raves, there was a huge amount of bitterness because there was such a collapse of public services and the way it was reported. There was lots of the usual things about how Belfast can take it and Belfast stands united against the junk. And people didn't believe this at all. But as far as they were concerned, certainly after the East of Tuesday raid and the lack of defense, they felt quite abandoned and they felt that they were disgusted. These reports that there was no Belfast can't take a note because there was just such a shock and it was so traumatizing. There should be thousands of these stories, and there are thousands of these stories that permeate Belfast and they have to exist. But for some reason, maybe is it because later history of Belfast, there was no silence that you got after all. One of the common things is people don't talk about these things. Certainly even in England, Great Britain, when people have lifetime experiences, normally it takes years for these things to come out. Possibly Belfast didn't get that because Belfast later traumatic issues moved on to that and people just want to forget about it.


But certainly collections out here in the Northern War Museum and we work with people and encourage them to contact us to try and bring out these oral histories and bring them they can contact us. We would see these oral histories as a key component to these people's stories, people's family histories. We would like to try and bring those together before they're gone to try and rebuild and build up on people's understanding of just what happened and how people felt both during the rades and after the rades. One of the things actually I find quite strange and quite puzzling is that Belfast, even though there were so many people killed over 950 died in the rades, there's no public memorial to this day. You'll find memorials about the Titanic and all the rest of that Titanic. There's something like two or three people from Belfast that and Titanic. But something that devastated Belfast. Possibly because you'll have large sections say, south Belfast and maybe parts of west Belfast and parts of the city that essentially were just the ringside, that the devastation happened because it was so concentrated. Perhaps there's this whole dichotomy of experiences. It's hard actually to say why when it is such a traumatizing experience.


But hopefully we can actually change that to try and get a proper public memorial that helps people remember what happened and what people suffered. Perhaps these things like the Troubles has taken all the hour away from remembrance that that's where the focus of remembrance is. But something that hopefully we can actually bring into fruition a proper and fitting memorial to people that died and the people that suffered and what was definitely one of BelfastI start to start.


Well, thank you very much, Jim, for talking to us about it and for all the work you're doing. It's an extraordinary story. Thanks for coming on the podcast. If people want to learn more, where.


Do they go? I'd say the first place to go, North Carolina Memorial has a website, niawaremorial. Org. They can go on there and they can find out about the Belfast Blitz. There's blog stories and there's contacts where they can come to us if they have stories or family stories that they want to have recorded and archived for future generations or even things that we've had people come in with, just objects from the Blitz that they want to record sometimes to me, they can go there and we're more than happy to hear from them.


Thanks for all the work you're doing there. People can go to nawomoral. Org. Thanks so much for coming back on the podcast, Jim. Thank you.


For staying. Thanks for having us back.


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