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