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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Belfast Air Raid Duties

by pikeman

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James Millar
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Contributed on: 
26 February 2004

My father, James Millar, was employed at the John Kelly coal yards in Belfast docks all of his working life. Because this was a reserved occupation, he joined the Home Guard in Belfast. Part of his duties was to ignite drums of oil that would cause a smoke screen which would hopefully help to obscure Belfast from the air. Belfast is in a hollow surrounded by hills.His post was at the top of such a hill at the Castlereagh Road in East Belfast at a place called Fitchies Garage. I believe this is now where the current junction of the Castlereagh Road/Ballygowan Road is. I don't know if he ever actually put this into practice. I do know that both he and his Father, who also worked at the docks, had to take shelter during an air raid on the docks. A favourite programme of my Father's was Dad's Army, he often remarked at how life-like it was!

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