The Second World War arrived in Hull on 19/20 June 1940, when the first incendiary device was dropped to the east of the city at 01.40 hours. This is known as Raid 1. Thankfully there were no casualties on this occasion, but as the conflict progressed the bombings increased both in numbers and intensity causing loss of life, injury and widespread devastation across the city.
In all there were to be 82 raids between that first incident and the last on 17 March 1945. By the bombardment of Hull known as the Hull Blitz on 7/8/9 May 1941, there had already been 44 raids ranging from clusters of or single incendiaries, oil bombs and high explosives, but it was the raids over those two nights in May 1941 which would change the face of the city forever.
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Hull Blitz on 7/8/9 May 2021, staff have created three Stories from the Strongrooms using documents and images from our collections. Find out about the experiences of Hull schoolchildren, discover the fate of the Prudential Building, and see a selection of photographs from the Hull City Council collections.
We have also made available a report on the City Engineer’s Rescue, Demolition and Repair services following severe enemy attack 7/8 May 1941 and 9 May 1941, and you can download it here: Report on City Engineer’s Rescue, Demolition and Repair services following severe enemy attack, 7/8 May 1941 and 9 May 1941 (PDF, 6MB).
The report details how the City Engineer’s Rescue, Demolition and Repair Services responded to the vast challenges that faced them, following raids over two nights which were to change the face of the City forever.
Please note that some of the information within the report is sensitive and may cause some upset, so although the entire report can be read in full at the Hull History Centre, we have chosen to redact small elements of the online version to reflect the sensitivities of a wider audience. The report can be read in full at the Centre by requesting file C TYW/2/3/4.