City on Fire

During the Second World War Kingston upon Hull spent more than 1,000 hours under air-raid alerts and was the target of the first daylight raid of the war and the last piloted air raid on Britain. The city was vulnerable because it was a port and industrial centre close to mainland Europe and situated on an estuary, which made it easy to find. The result of this was that Hull was the most severely damaged town or city in the country during the war, 95 per cent of its houses being damaged or destroyed.

City on Fire examines the air raids on Hull, the industries and infrastructure the raids targeted, how effective they were, the effects on the civilian population, the stories of some of the Civil Defence and rescue workers, how the raids were censored in the media at the time and the use of deception measures to try and protect the city. The book will also look at the aftermath of the war and the reconstruction of Hull.

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EXPLORE FURTHER

Official Report of the Air Raid on Hull of 18 July 1941


ERRATA

Page 17, footnote 11 (page 119):

URL is now https://catalog.princeton.edu/catalog/6865511.

Page 23:

"The air raid sirens sounded at 22:55 on the 19th, but it was not until after midnight that a cluster of approximately fifty-four IBs Incendiary Bombs (IBs) landed in East Hull..."

Paragraph beginning "The IBs pierced several tanks at the site..." transposed in error. Should instead be placed before the paragraph beginning with "At 05:15 on 11 July a single enemy aircraft was seen over Hull..." on page 25.

Page 63:

"The time was nearly four o'clock when a bomb dropped on the shelter, and when I recovered I was in the Children's Hospital 129A with Mrs Dove 129B and Alice.
129A: The Victoria Hospital for Sick Children, where Florence Davis (as below) died; Alice died later at Base Hospital, Cottingham, so must have been subsequently transfered.
129B: This appears to refer to Florence May Rachel Davis, who was the daughter of Albert Edward Dove's late wife."
[Missing annotation]

Page 93:

"The total number of named deaths due to War Operations in Hull recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) numbers 1,171 1,185. This includes fifteen 26 members of the armed services, and five of the Merchant Navy (four as civilian deaths, one as a service death).
...
In contrast there are no civilians individuals in the CWGC's records who cannot be reconciled with a death registration, either in Hull (1,148 1,165), Holderness (13), or elsewhere (8 7)."
[Four civilians deaths due to War Operations added to CWGC register after MS was completed, and ten service deaths not previously confirmed as due to War Operations, as per Addenda below]

"One is female, three male, and two indeterminate; three are aged zero, one being a known air raid casualty."
[All are now known to be non-War Operations deaths, while the death of the known infant air raid casualty does not actually appear to have been registered]

"1 November 1940
Trotter, Max Frank - AFS Fireman (28) - assumed injured,4 died 04/11/1940 at BRI
4: Probably Injured while fire-fighting at Frodham Street. "Woman Killed in N.E. Raid," Hull Daily Mail, 01/11/1940, page 1, columns 6-7."

Page 94:

"25/26 February 1941
Florence, George Kenneth (26)6
6: CWGC records death as 8 March 1941, date body found lockpit end of Alexandra Dock, as per death certificate."
...
"8 March 1941
Florence, George Kenneth (26) non air-raid death - exact cause unknown"
[As per death certificate]

Page 95:

"18/19 March 1941
Dixon, Phyllis (sister-in-law,7 21)
    Faulkner, May Evelyn (sister-in-law, 32)
7: Phyllis Dixon née Faulkner was married to Edwin Dixon; the brother of May Faulkner née Dixon. May was married to an Arthur Faulkner, but his relationship to Phyllis - if any - is unclear who was Phyllis's second cousin, sharing a common great-grandfather."
[Actual relationship now known]

Page 97:

"7/8 May 1941
Bush, Elizabeth (husband wife, 82)
    Bush, John William (wife husband, 75)"
[Relationships transposed in error]
...
Bushell, Stephen Henry, DSM13 - Chief Petty Officer, HMS Pembroke,14 Royal Navy (55)15 16 ...
14: Rather than being a ship, HMS Pembroke was the name used or a variety of shore stations. In 1941 Pembroke I and Pembroke II were accounting bases in Chatham, Kent, while Pembroke III was an accounting base on the Thames Estuary. Death certificate states, "of Naval Headquarters, Hull."
...
16: Death certificate states body found 8 May 1941, corner of Cranbourne Street and Albany Street; May have been killed on 7/8 or 8/9 May 1941; Buried in the Northern Cemetery (Compt. 295. Grave 77. Screen Wall, Centre Panel)." [Additional details from death certificate]

Page 98:

"7/8 May 1941
Dove, Albert Edward (father, 52)
    Davis, Florence (step-daughter,17 31 28) - died 14 May 1941 at VHSC
       Dove, Ronald (son of Florence Davis,17A 7 8)
       Davis, Amelia M (daughter of Florence Davis, 6)
       DavisBrian (son of Florence Davis, 4)
    Dove, Alice V (daughter, 19) - assumed injured, died 13 May 1941 at BHC
    Dove, Beatrice17B (daughter, 16)
    Dove, Albert E (son, 13) [missing initial]
    Dove, Adelaide (daughter, 11)
17: Appears to be The daughter of Albert Dove's late wife, Rachel Ann "Doris" Dove née Davis, born in 1912, and thus prior to their marriage in late 1913. Florence's birth was re-registered in 1929 under the Legitimacy Act 1926, with Albert named as her father. This officially changed her surname to Dove, yet both her death registration and CWGC record have it as Davis, as does her son Ronald's birth certificate (see below). The CWGC and death registration erroneously record her age as 31, while the 1939 ID Card Register gives her date of birth as 26 November 1910, suggesting she was 30. In fact, both her orginal and re-registered birth certificates have her born on 26 November 1912, making her 28.
17A: The CWGC records Ronald, Amelia, and Brian - born between October 1933 and March 1938 - as the children, "of Albert Edward, and of the late Rachel Doris Dove," even though she died in mid-1931. Ronald's birth certificate - which has his surname as Dove - confirms "Florence Dove" as his mother, with no father's details, while Amelia and Brian's birth registrations are both as "Davis," with their mother's surname the same. Note that the CWGC erroneously records Brian's age as 4, and Ronald's as 7, rather than 3 and 8 respectively (as per the 1939 ID Card Register and death registrations).
17B: Death registration and newspaper death notices refer to "Beatrice Dove" aged 15 (so born 1925-26), while the CWGC records the same name, but aged 16 (so born 1924-25). There is no birth registration that matches the name and dates, but three is one for a Martha Dove, which the birth certificate confirms as being the child of Rachel and Albert, born on 16 June 1926, so just short of 15 at the date of death. Given that newspaper death notices do not refer to a "Martha" among surviving family members, it seems certain that Martha and Beatrice are in fact the same person.
[Ambiguity of relationships not previous addressed; ages corrected]

"Gardner, John (husband, 60)"
[Age missing in error]

"Freeman, Arthur (69)
...
Guy, Annie Elizabeth (wife, 78)
    Guy, Arthur (a.k.a. Freeman,20A husband, 69)
20A: CWGC records Arthur's surname as Freeman, a.k.a. Guy, and death registration is Freeman. Birth and marriage registrations suggest Guy is correct, so unclear why Freeman is recorded."
[Previously listed separately and not linked; clarification r.e. Arthur's surname]

"Port, Stanley - Aircraftman 1st Class, 942 Balloon Squadron, 17 Balloon Centre, Royal Air Force [Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve] (27)24"
[17 Balloon Centre not previously noted]

"Pratt, William - Home Guard (father, 33)
    Pratt, Hilary "Bunty" Mary Revell (daughter, 4)

...
Revell, Ada Maud (mother-in-law, 62)
    Revell, Ida (daughter-in-law,25 38)
       Revell, Sylvia (daughter of Ida, 10)
    Pratt, William - Home Guard (son-in-law,25A 33)
       Pratt, Hilary "Bunty" Mary Revell (daughter of William, 4)
25: Ida was married to Ada's son, Arthur.
25A: William was married to Ada's daughter, Phyllis."
[Previously listed separately and not linked]

Page 99:

"8 May 1941 - raid unknown
Pockley, William - American citizen (48) - assumed injured, died 25 August 1942 at ARI"
[CWGC records died on 8 May 1941; death certificate states died 25 August 1942 at 188 Anlaby Road, i.e. Anlaby Road Institution; citizenship is unclear - there was a William Pockley with a birth registered in the March quarter of 1894 in Hull, who would therefore have been 47 at the date of death]

"8/9 May 1941
Collinson, Catherine Mercy (grandmother, 57)
    Dent, Edith (daughter, 37)
    Dent (son of Edith, 2)
    Dent, Albert (son of Edith, 13 months)
    Collinson, Dorothy (granddaughter of Catherine and neice of Edith, 12)"
[Previously listed separately and not linked]

Page 100:

"8/9 May 1941
Dent, Edith (mother, 37)
    Dent (son, 2)
    Dent, Albert (son, 13 months)

[Included within Collinson family above]

Page 101:

"8/9 May 1941
Wardrop, Gladys (mother, 40)37A
37A: Gladys Wardrop was also the mother of Gladys Bell née Wardrop, and grandmother to Carolyn Bell, who were both killed on 17-18 July 1941."
[Relationship between Gladys Wardrop and Glady Bell not previously clear]

Page 102

"15 July 1941
Airey, Ellen (daughter, 49)
    Cook, Madge (a.k.a. Airey,39 13)

...
Skelton, Elizabeth (mother, 80)
    Airey, Ellen (daughter, 49)
       Cook, Madge (a.k.a. Airey,39 13)
39. The relationship is unclear. Madge's unmarried mother, Gertrude May Cook, appears to have died in childbirth in 1928, and Madge possibly unofficially adopted by Ellen and her late husband, although there is no apparent connection between them and Gertrude."
[Relationship between Elizabeth Skelton and Madge Cook not previously clear]

"17/18 July 1941
Bell, Gladys (mother, 20)39A
39A: Gladys Bell née Wardrop was the daughter to Gladys Wardrop, and sister to Alexander and Shirley Wardrop, who were all killed on 8 May 1941. Gladys jnr's husband Arthur Edwin Bell was serving in the Royal Artillery, and he and their eldest child, Valerie, survived the War."
[Relationship between Gladys Bell and Ellen Airey not previously clear]

Page 104

"Wing, May (mother, 38)46
    Wing, Audrey (daughter, 7)
Wing, May (mother, 32)47
    Wing, Peter Jason (son, 3)
46: Married to John Henry Wing (39), brother of Stanley Wing below, therefore sister-in-law to May (32), and aunt to Peter Jason.
47: Married to Stanley Wing (33), brother of John Henry Wing above, therefore sister-in-law to May (38), and aunt to Audrey."
[Relationship between Stanley Wing and John Henry Wing not previously clear]

"18 August 1941

Clancy, Julia Ann (mother, 64)
    Clancy, Francis Joseph (son, Ordinary Seaman, HMS Pembroke, 31)49
        Clancy, Edna May (wife of Francis, 25)
    Robinson, Jane (daughter of Julia, 28)
    Clancy, Mary Ann (daughter-in-law of Julia50, 22)
    Worsnop, Robert Joseph (grandson of Julia51, 18)
49: Buried in Hull Eastern Cemetery (Compt. 289, Grave 56). He and Edna had only just got married.
50: Married to Julia Ann's son, James Clancy, who was also serving in the Royal Navy at the time.
51: Robert was the son of Julia Ann's other daughter (i.e. not Jane) by her first marriage. The CWGC erroneously dates his death as 17 August.
[Order, indentation, and note 49 expansion]

Page 105

"1 November 1941
Markham, Annie Elizabeth (60)
"
[Died 1940, CWGC records 1941 in error - see Addendum below]

"20 May 1942
Greaves, Edith ("aunt,"59 mother, 82)
    Boothby, Ida (daughter, 22)
    Boothby, Ada Florence (daughter-in-law of Edith,59 24)
        Boothby, Margaret Edith (daughter of Ada, grand-daughter of Edith, 2)
59: "Deaths," Hull Daily Mail, 22/05/1942, page 4, column 9. Describes Ada and Ida as "nieces" to Edith, but the exact relationship is unclear. Ada was married to Edith's son, Alfred Samuel Boothby.
[Relationship between Edith Greaves and others not previously clear]

Hayler, Benjamin John (husband, 69)
    Hayler, Sarah Jane (wife, 51)
    Hayler, Lily Florence May (daughter, 30)
    Hayler, Violet (daughter, 22)
    Hayler, Margaret Elizabeth (daughter, 21)
    Boothby, Annie Frances (married daughter,60 26)
    Holland, Ivy (married daughter, 24)
    King, George William ("uncle,"60 brother of Sarah Jane, 45)
60: "Family of Seven Killed," Hull Daily Mail, 25/05/1942, age 3, column 6. Describes King as "Uncle" to the family, but the exact relationship is unclear. Married to Herbert Boothby, who was serving in the Royal Corps of Signals at the time. There is no apparent close connection with the Boothby/Greaves family members killed on the same day."
[Relationship between George King and others not previously clear]


ADDENDA

Page 26:

"... dying in hospital three days later. One person was killed at Carlton Avenue, a side terrace at the junction of Frodham Street and Delhi Street.30A
30A: The CWGC erroneously dates the year of death as 1941 - see Appendix 1."
[Fatality in situ previously missed due to CWGC date error (Annie Markham)]

Page 93:

"1 November 1940
Markham, Annie Elizabeth (60)3A
3A: CGWC records 1941 in error."
[Errata above]

Page 95:

"22 March 1941

Wilson, Gladys Edith (24)7A
7A: Injured by falling masonry dislodged by barrage balloon. Added to CWGC register 31/08/2017."

"30 March 1941
Davis, Bryan (8)7A
7B: Injured by explosion of discarded bomb. Added to CWGC register 26/04/2017."

"31 March/1 April 1941
Bills, Robert - Private, 1 Royal Scots (22)8A
8A: Death certificate states body found 2 April 1941, Freehold Street; Buried in Hull Northern Cemetery (Compt. 201. Grave 12)"
[Service death due to War Operations, not previously included]
...
"Johnstone, John Bell - Private, 1 Royal Scots (23)8B
8B: Death certificate states body found 31 March 1941, Prospect Street; Buried in Lockerbie (Dryfesdale) Cemetery (North Extn. Grave 840.)"
[Service death due to War Operations, not previously included]
....
Merritt, Willam Charles - Private, 1 Royal Scots (22)10A
10A: Death certificate states body found 2 April 1941, Freehold Street; Buried in East London Cemetery, Plaistow (Square 39. Grave 26341.)"
[Service death due to War Operations, not previously included]

Page 97:

"7/8 May 1941
Loughborough, Ellen (mother, 50)
    Loughborough, Ada (daughter, 24)"
[Added to CWGC register 13/05/2017]

Page 99:

"8/9 May 1941
Ballantyne, James Shearer Wood - Aircraftsman 2nd Class, 17 Balloon Centre, RAF Volunteer Reserve (19)30A
30A: Death certificate states body found 8 May 1941, Wilberforce Street; CWGC records 8 April 1941 in error; May have been killed on 7/8 or 8/9 May 1941; Buried in Aberdeen (Springbank) Cemetery (Sec. U. Grave 437.)"
[Service death due to War Operations, not previously included]
...
"Howard, Gordon Lionel - Aircraftsman 2nd Class, 17 Balloon Centre, RAF Volunteer Reserve (19) - injured, died 9 May BRH34A
34A: May have been injured on 7/8 or 8/9 May 1941; Buried in Stockport Borough Cemetery (Sec. O.N. Grave 228.)"
[Service death due to War Operations, not previously included]
...
"Rennardson, Kenneth - Aircraftsman 1st Class, RAF Volunteer Reserve (24) - injured, died 8 May BRH35A
35A: May have been injured on 7/8 or 8/9 May 1941; Buried in Hull Northern Cemetery (Compt. 299. Grave 51.); "
[Service death due to War Operations, not previously included]
...
"Woods, William Henry - Gunner, 245 Battery, 78 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery (45) - injured, died 9 May 1941 BRH37A
37A: May have been injured on 7/8 or 8/9 May 1941; Buried in Glenfield (St. Peter) Churchyard (Grave 367.)"
[Service death due to War Operations, not previously included]

Page 101:

"10/11 May 1941
"Devine, William - Aircraftsman 2nd Class, 17 Balloon Centre, RAF Volunteer Reserve (19) - injured, died 10 May 1941 BRH37B
37B: May actually have been injured on 7/8 or 8/9 May 1941; Glasgow (St. Kentigern's) Roman Catholic Cemetery (Sec. 3. Grave 1670.)"
[Service death due to War Operations, not previously included]

Page 102:

"11 July 1941
"Cooper, Alfred John - Chief Petty Officer, HMS Lancaster38A, Royal Navy (37)37B
38A: Transferred from the US Navy to the Royal Navy under the famous "destroyers for bases" deal, HMS Lancaster was being refitted in Hull at the time - https://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-11US-HMS_Lancaster.htm"
38B: It was reported that Cooper was helping to put out IBs in a residential street when he was killed by a "small calibre" bomb - "Heorism and Escapes in N.E. Raid," Hull Daily Mail, 12/07/1941, page 2, columns 6-7; Buried in Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery, Kent (Naval Reservation. Grave 1294.)
[Service death due to War Operations, not previously included]

Page 105:

"20 May 1942
Connell, Lawrence - Lance-Bombardier, 360 Battery, 40 (6th Bn. The Sherwood Foresters [Notts. and Derby Regt.]) Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery (29)59A
59A: Death certificate states body found 20 May 1942, Preston Road; CWGC records 20 April 1942 in error; Buried in Ashbourne Cemetery (Sec. B. Uncons. Grave 26.)."
[Service death due to War Operations, not previously included]


PAGE HISTORY:

29/11/17

First upload

15/06/19

Erratum

16/06/19

Erratum & addendum

17/06/19

Erratum & addendum

20/06/19

Correction

12/07/19

Correction

05/12/19

Corrections

07/03/20

Corrections

20/04/20

Corrections

07/06/20

Corrections

04/02/21

Corrections

04/06/21

Additions & corrections

18/06/21

Corrections

22/06/21

Additional details

24/06/21

Addition