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16 October 2014
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Programme 1 - When War Broke Out

When war broke out in September 1939 life here changed forever. In this programme local people talk about those early days of the war - the blackout, rationing, the arrival of thousands of troops and the increasing importance of Derry as a port from which The Battle of The Atlantic was fought.

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Programme 2 - Smuggling, Romance and Tragedy


The close proximity of Derry and Strabane to the border meant that smuggling was a full time occupation for many people in the North West. With the arrival of so many army, navy and air force personnel to the area the local girls were spoilt for choice and many romances blossomed. Derry emerged from the hungry thirties as a boom town during the war - one with a very International flavour. The dangers of war were never far from peoples minds – the realities of the Battle of The Atlantic brought tragedy as well as excitement to the area.

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Programme 3 - The Bombing Raid


While major cities across the UK were bombed heavily during the war - Derry escaped almost unscathed until Esater Tuesday 1941 when a German plane dropped two mines on Messines Park and thirteen lives were lost. After this Derry people evacuated the city each night fearing that the worst was yet to come. Nonetheless, the arrival of the 'Yanks' brought glamour and romance. Despite the energy breathed into the area during the war everyone welcomed VE day with parties in the streets.

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American sailors in Derry

Listen Again to the People's War documentaries.

Mary Jane McBride and her grandson

Read the amazing story of Convoy girl Mary Jane McBride.

The Diamond circa 1920

Find out how the City coped during the war years.

Beragh poem

Read letters and poems written by the children of Beragh.



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