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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Belfast Lough, a carpet of ships

by Fiona Hunter

Contributed by 
Fiona Hunter
People in story: 
James Warnock Hunter and Barton McKee
Location of story: 
Belfast Lough
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4565621
Contributed on: 
27 July 2005

Just before the Invasion of Normandy, as it turned out, I turned 16, and cycled out of Belfast and up the North Coast with my friend Barton McKee for a week's Youth Hostelling, which came and went too soon.

Cycling back towards Belfast, we rounded the Blagh-hole on the coast road, and were completely astounded by the sight of our Belfast Lough, totally crammed with ships.

There were heavily camouflaged naval escorts and a big number of cargo ships, presumably all carrying equipment and armour for the invasion, and all so tightly packed in, that it looked to us as if you could have walked straight across them and into Bangor without getting your shoes wet.

We later learned that ships from all over the UK were collected in various locations for sending on to Normandy when the time came.

Later that week, I woke to the news that the invasion had started and saw that Belfast Lough had quietly emptied of ships in the night.

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