most unprotected city in the UK - Peter Hughes
the war was in it's second year, Easter 1941 had passed
peacefully for the Hughes family living in Dunluce
Avenue in what was known as "the most unprotected city in the
United Kingdom" because Belfast was well ouside the
range of the Luftwaffe.
youngest member was "football daft" and eagerly looking forward to being
at Windsor Park on Easter Monday to see the Regional League play the Football
League of Ireland. His "easter egg" was complete when the visitors from Dublin
got whipped 2-1. The following day another crowd of over twenty thousand turned
up at the same venue and few, if any could forecast a greater calamity when the "Lillywhites" stuffed "The
Sons" 3-1 but before the day finished some had changed their minds.
attention had been paid as a lone Junkers 88 reconnaissance
aircraft passed high overhead during the match. Just
about the time of the final whistle 200
German bombers consisting of Heinkel 111s, Junkers 88s and Dorniers were
leaving bases in Northern France on course for Northern
sirens sounded at 10.40pm and initally the Hughes
clan sought refuge under the kitchen table, but within
the youngest, like the Kilkenny cat,
was overcome with curiosity and it was outside to see the fireworks. It
was akin to watching Linfield play Celtic from the
in the grandstand!
raid continued to the early hours and Belfast suffered
immensely but the
nearest "Jerry" bomb to Dunluce Avenue fell on Sandy Row. A lot of the credit
for this was not due to the raiders but probably because we had an air-raid warden
who was a right stickler for enforcing the black-out. His nickname was "Darkie" Walsh.
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