Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

A North East Coastal Town

Photo of men standing next to rubble on Ferensway, Hull
Rescue Workers on Ferensway Hull

‘Blitz’ is the name given to the mass bombing of cities during WW2, it comes from the German word ‘ blitzkrieg’ which means ‘lightning war’. The East End of London suffered heavily, as did other big manufacturing cities like Coventry, Birmingham and Sheffield.

Black and White photograph of bombed building at Hull Royal Infirmary, 1941.  One building has been completely flattened.
A Bombed Building at Hull Royal Infirmary, 1941

The bombing of Hull was kept secret in the press for the first couple of years of the war for two reasons. Because Hull was a port and could be reached easily by boat from Germany, it was important that the enemy didn’t know how much damage they were doing. It was also important to keep the morale of British citizens up. Low morale would mean the war effort suffered.


Black and White Photograph of a bombed street with a tower on the left and tall building on the right
A Bombed Street in Hull

Take a look at the newspaper article from the Hull Daily Mail. It must have been very strange to read those articles and know that they were talking about your own town.

In Hull, ninety-five percent of the houses were destroyed or damaged

Other statistics from 'A North East Coastal Town: Terror and Triumph by T. Geraghty include:

  • Number of people known to be killed:  1,200
  • Number of people injured, who received treatment: 3,000
  • Total damage incidents: 146,568
  • Number of houses destroyed or damaged: 86,715
  • Number of alerts: 815
  • Number of hours spend under alert: More than 1,000


Bombed air raid shelter in Kathleen Road, Hull.  Some of a row of terraced houses have been destroyed and the air raid shelter is also damaged.
Bombed Air Raid Shelter in Kathleen Road, Hull

Listen to the audio track of Win talking about how she and her little brother visited their Granny during the Blitz.