Monday 5 April 2010

Easter Eggs for Belfast

I was transcribing some notices from the Belfast Telegraph of 23 April 1941 for my web site the other night when I started working on a section entitled "Result of Enemy Action". It was then I realised the significance of the date... April 1941...

On Easter Tuesday, 15 April 1941 (69 years ago), Belfast, ill-prepared and with very few public air raid shelters for its citizens, faced the devastation brought by the German Luftwaffe (what Lord Haw-Haw called “Easter eggs for Belfast”) in which half the city was destroyed and almost 1,000 people lost their lives.

An earlier much smaller raid had taken place on the 7 April but nothing prepared the people for the biggest loss of life in an enemy bombing raid outside London.

One notice read "JAMES FORBES, Hairdresser; also his dear wife MARTHA; also their dear children, ELSIE, JIM, NORMAN and SADIE." another "ANNIE HANNA, SAMUEL and ROBERT JOHN (sons), DOREEN (daughter) and MYRTLE (daughter), still missing" highlighting some of the many families that were wiped from the history books that night.

Today, Belfast is a lot more peaceable, but when you sit down to enjoy the chocolate eggs you got on Sunday remember the "Easter eggs" that Belfast got that night and take a moment to think of the families that suffered and that soldiers are not the only casualties in war.

And, cuddly though the bunny is, remember WHY there is an Easter...

No comments:

Post a Comment