Belfast Blitz: Survivor recalls 'terrifying' moment bombs hit her street

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image copyrightViolet Sloan
image captionViolet Sloan in her uniform when she was a volunteer for the Air Raid Precautions

Violet Sloan was 16-years-old when she heard the "terrifying" noise of the air raid sirens during the Belfast Blitz in 1941.

Almost 1,000 people were killed when German bombers attacked.

Around 2,500 were injured and about 100,000 people were left homeless in the aftermath of the attacks.

Eighty years later, Violet remembers the loud sounds of explosions, the house shaking and everyone in the streets crying after the bombing.

"We heard this terrific bomb - it was absolutely terrible," she recalled.

Now 96-years-old, Violet was living with her parents and three sisters in Spamount Street in Belfast when the bombs hit the city.

She remembers feeling the house shake and saw a bomb dropped at the back door.

Violet told BBC Good Morning Ulster that when sirens began, her mother told her to go next door and keep their neighbour company, who was living alone.

Between 7 April and 6 May 1941, the Luftwaffe carried out four raids on Belfast city and Easter Tuesday witnessing what was thought to have been the worst wartime raid outside London in the UK.

Belfast was one of 16 cities across the UK to suffer during the World War Two bombings.

image copyrightMagaret Elliott

As the bombs started to land, Violet and her neighbour headed into the back garden and hid together under a tin bath, hoping it would be enough to protect them.

Terrible sound

As things started to get worse, Violet and her neighbour decided to head back into the house. They hid under the stairs in a spot used to store coal, alone, waiting for it to be over.

She added: "The lady and her husband (Violet's neighbours) were alright but their little girl had got killed and the dog, it was crying it's eyes out.

"It was terrifying, it was terrible."

When the sirens finally stopped, Violet went to find her mother, who put her arms around her and said it would all be alright.

During the attack Violet's pet canary died of fright, due to the loud explosions around the house.

Violet said: "We went outside and all the people were crying in the streets around Duncairn Gardens."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe scene in Belfast after the 1941 blitz

No home to return to

The day after the bombs landed, Violet's family moved to her grandmother's house in Dromore.

They stayed there for a while and once they returned home, their house had been destroyed.

Violet said: "When we came back up home, we had no home.

"The house that we had been living in, when we came back from the country, a bomb had went through the roof and it had burnt everything."

Scott Edger, a writer for Wartime NI said the impact over Belfast was huge, especially on working class areas across the north and east of the city.

Scott said: "There was very limited public air raid shelters available for people.

"It was working class families, women, children, everyone across the city. It didn't discriminate along religious lines or anything like that. The impact was huge."

Belfast City Hall is set to plunge into darkness on Thursday evening to mark the 80th anniversary of the Blitz in the city.

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