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Trauma, resilience and utopianism in Second World War Hull

Atkinson, David



David Starkey

Elisabeth Salter

Sarah McKeon


First paragraph:
The city of Hull suffered grievously in the Second World War. Its core maritime trades and routes were suspended, its trawling fleet was largely requisitioned or dock-bound and, as elsewhere around the UK, many citizens were enlisted, then served and sometimes died in the various theatres of this global war. But Hull also suffered more direct and lasting trauma. By most estimates, Hull was the second most blitzed British city of the war and the casualties were considerable. The figures vary between different sources, but around 1200 people were killed between 1940 and 1945; 20 per cent of them were children and 3000 more people were injured. In addition, many who escaped harm were still affected profoundly. Of Hull’s 92,660 inhabitable houses in 1939, only 5938 escaped damage, leaving 152,000 people (around half the population) homeless at some point during the war.3 Three million square feet of industrial space was lost and, by extension, the associated employment and economic sectors disappeared too. In the spring and summer of 1941 Hull suffered enormous destruction from ferocious bombing. Although there were lulls in the blitz before and after this period, and no bombs fell in 1944, Hull also suffered aerial attacks into 1945. Hull lived with the threat and fear of bombing longer than other British cities. Virtually everyone would have been touched by the trauma and the devastation.


Atkinson, D. (2017). Trauma, resilience and utopianism in Second World War Hull. In D. Starkey, D. Atkinson, B. McDonagh, S. McKeon, & E. Salter (Eds.), Hull: culture, history, place (238-269). Liverpool: Liverpool University Press

Publication Date Apr 1, 2017
Deposit Date Aug 16, 2017
Publicly Available Date Apr 2, 2019
Journal Hull
Publisher Liverpool University Press
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Pages 238-269
Book Title Hull: culture, history, place
Chapter Number 9
ISBN 9781781384190; 9781781384206
Keywords Utopianism; Second World War; Kingston upon Hull
Public URL
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Copyright Statement
© Liverpool University Press. Reproduced with permission of the publisher and the author. <br /> This copy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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