The Hull Blitz - The Lie Untold

The following is a short extract from 'Herbert Morrison, An Autobiography' (1960)

The Coventry raid was, of course, appalling in its intensity and as it was the first serious attack on a provincial town it goes down in history for the creation of a new word for human brutishness - coventrated. London with its sixty consecutive nights of bombardment received the greatest tonnage of bombs, as well as daylight raids, but London is very big and as the world knows London could, and did, take it. But don't underestimate the troubles, anxieties and sufferings of the Londoners. Plymouth, as a naval town and easily identifiable on the coastline, received a terribly concentrated series of attacks and Liverpool had a nasty week. Manchester, Belfast and Clydeside had nasty times. There were others.

But in my experience and from remembrance of the reports, I would say that the town that suffered most was Kingston-upon-Hull. We had reason to believe that the Germans did not realize that they were bombing Hull. Morning after morning the BBC reported that raiders had been over a 'north-east town' and so there was none of the glory for Hull which known suffering might produce.

The raids on Hull were only occasionally concentrated so that the devastation of a few houses did not produce stories of disaster and heroism to repeat far and wide. Hull often suffered for what might be said to be no rhyme or reason except that it was an easy target. But it was night after night. Hull had no peace. I have since been honoured by this courageous town by being appointed High Steward and it was a privilege for me to tell the citizens that the government was fully aware of their sufferings during the war and the heroic manner in which they had endured them.

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