The Belfast Blitz is remembered, 81 years later

A wreath has been laid at Belfast City Cemetery to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the German blitz on Northern Ireland’s capital city.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 18th April 2022, 1:44 am
Updated Monday, 18th April 2022, 1:46 am
Alistair White and Ian Wilson, Chairman of the Northern Ireland War Memorial, lay a wreath on the mass grave of Blitz victims in Belfast City Cemetery on Friday April 15 2022.
Photo:Peter O'Hara Photography
Alistair White and Ian Wilson, Chairman of the Northern Ireland War Memorial, lay a wreath on the mass grave of Blitz victims in Belfast City Cemetery on Friday April 15 2022. Photo:Peter O'Hara Photography

Alistair White and Ian Wilson, Chairman of the Northern Ireland War Memorial, paid the tribute on the mass grave of Blitz victims in Belfast City Cemetery at the weekend.

Alistair is the great nephew of Elizabeth Barr, known as Bessie, who was never identified after a parachute mine fell outside their home on the York Road during the Easter Tuesday Raid on the night of April 15/16 1941.

It was the most violent night in the long history of Belfast, with far more people being killed in the raid than were killed in the whole of Northern Ireland in any one year of the later Troubles. Around 900 people lost their lives that night and early morning.

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The Easter attack was the deadliest Nazi raid of four such air assaults.

There was a much smaller raid a week earlier, on April 7/8.

There were then two raids in quick succession, on the nights of May 4/5 and May 5/6.

In total, more than 1,000 lives were lost.

Belfast was thought to be out of range of German planes, and so it was the worst defended of the major UK cities.

In the event it became one of the most badly hit targets outside London.