Thursday, 19 February 2015

Children's Recollections of the Blitz

At a meeting of the Hull Education, Finance and General Purposes Sub-Committee held on the 22nd January 1942, the Director of Education submitted a letter from the Ministry of Home Security requesting that children of senior school age and over be asked to write essays on their experiences in air raids. The Director was authorized to make arrangements for the writing of the essays without waiting for confirmation of the minutes.

Within our Local Studies collections we hold twenty nine essays written by children of Springburn Street School in response to this request under the title of "What Happened to me and what I did in the air raids”.


The essays, all written in February 1942, are a poignant reminder of how children were affected by the relentless bombing inflicted on the city during 1941 and the early part of 1942. Complementing our official records they convey the horrors of being in an air raid shelter and listening to the bombs falling around you and the uncertainty of whether your home, family, friends will still be there at the end of a raid.

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War we would like to invite the authors of the essays to come forward and discuss further their experiences and be the first to take part in our oral history project aimed at capturing the voices of those on the home front during the Second World War.

The essays were written by:
Florence Atkinson aged 11.5
Margaret Bennett age 11
Enid Billaney 
Jean Burroughs age 11
Evelyn Canvess age 10.5
Hilda Chalk age 11
Edna Dean age 11
Irene Docherty age 11
Rita Drydale age 12
Ida Ilsworthy age 11
Olive Featherstone age 10
Edna Fewster
Dorothy Fieldsend age 11
Alwyn Hornsby
Vera Hunter age 11
Audrey Ingram age 10
Edith Knott age 11
Audrey Leaman age 11
Eileen Moore age 11
Nancy Nunn age 11
Mary Oxley age 12
Sylvia Palmer age 12
Elsie Smith age 12
Betty Start age 12 years 2 months
Vera Stephen 
Winnie Stephen age 12
Sheila Stothard age 11
Winifred Stubbins age 11
Betty Wood age 11.5
If you recognise yourself or a relative, please do get in touch. We can be contacted on 01482 317504. We would love to hear from you!

Carol Tanner
Access & Collections Manager, Hull History Centre

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