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 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 1,180. This includes fifteen twenty 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 in the CWGC's records who cannot be reconciled with a death registration, either in Hull (1,148 1,160), Holderness (13), or elsewhere (8 7)."
[Four civilians deaths due to War Operations added to CWGC register after MS was completed, and five 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, died 04/11/1940 at BRI"
[Confirmed as injured ("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 on 8 March 1941"
...
"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]

Page 98:

Dove, Albert Edward (father, 52)
    Davis, Florence (step-daughter,17 31) - died 14 May 1941 at VHSC
    Dove, Alice V (daughter, 19) - assumed injured, died 13 May 1941 at BHC
    Dove, Beatrice (daughter, 16)
    Dove, Albert E (son, 13) [missing initial]
    Dove, Adelaide (daughter, 11)
    Dove, Ronald (son of Florence Davis,17A 7 8) [Age corrected]
    Dove, Amelia M (daughter of Florence Davis, 6)
    Dove, Brian (son of Florence Davis, 4)
17: Appears to be the daughter of Albert Dove's late wife, Rachel Ann "Doris" Dove née Davis, prior to their marriage.
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 was registered as "Dove," with the mother recorded as having the same maiden name; for Amelia and Brian it was "Davis" in both instances. It seems probable that all three are actually the children of Florence Davis, and all three should share her surname."
[Ambiguity of relationships not previous addressed]

"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]

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]

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 possible 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 Glady Wardrop 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 nor 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 1940
Markham, Annie Elizabeth (60)"
[Correct year confirmed by death certificate; CWGC records 1941 in error]

"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 93:

"22 March 1941
Wilson, Gladys Edith (24)"
[Injured by falling masonry dislodged by barrage balloon. Added to CWGC register 31/08/2017.]

Page 95:

"30 March 1941
Davis, Bryan (8)"
[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) Buried in Hull Northern Cemetery (Compt. 201. Grave 12)"
[Death certificate states body found 2 April 1941, Freehold Street]
Johnstone, John Bell - Private, 1 Royal Scots (23) Buried in Lockerbie (Dryfesdale) Cemetery (North Extn. Grave 840.)"
[Death certificate states body found 31 March 1941, Prospect Street]

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
Howard, Gordon Lionel - Aircraftsman 2nd Class, RAF Volunteer Reserve (19) - injured, died 9 May BRH; Buried in Stockport Borough Cemetery (Sec. O.N. Grave 228.)"
[May have been injured on 7/8 or 8/9 May 1941]
Woods, William Henry - Gunner, 245 Battery, 78 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery (45) - injured, died 9 May 1941 BRH; Buried in Glenfield (St. Peter) Churchyard (Grave 367.)"
[May have been injured on 7/8 or 8/9 May 1941]

Page 101:

"10/11 May 1941
"Devine, William - Aircraftsman 2nd Class, RAF Volunteer Reserve (19) - injured, died 10 May 1941 BRH; Glasgow (St. Kentigern's) Roman Catholic Cemetery (Sec. 3. Grave 1670.)"
[May have been injured on 7/8 or 8/9 May 1941]


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

04/02/20

Corrections