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Events

Blitz Anniversary Veterans’ Parade

The organisers of the Liverpool Blitz 70! event invited all Liverpool’s veterans of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces to walk alongside veterans of the Blitz on Merseyside on the morning of Saturday 30th April to mark the 70th anniversary of the May Blitz.  Our objective was to bring the old and the young together in memory of those who lost their lives on the Home Front in 1940 and 1941.

A generation which ignores history has no past and no future.” – Robert Heinlein

All photographs courtesy of Victoria Phipps Photography

liverpool blitz 70 parade

The City of Liverpool Pipe and Drums Band led the contingent through Liverpool City Centre.

liverpool blitz 70 parade

liverpool blitz 70 parade

liverpool blitz 70 parade

liverpool blitz 70 parade

liverpool blitz 70 parade

liverpool blitz 70 parade

Crowds gathered to watch as veterans and dignitaries prepared to lay wreaths  in memory of those lost during the Blitz on Merseyside.

liverpool blitz 70 parade

liverpool blitz 70 parade

A minutes silence was observed at 11am and broken by the sound of the air raid siren ‘all clear‘; a sound which will have brought back memories for so many.

liverpool blitz 70 wreath laying

The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, the Mayor of Wirral, Chindit veteran George Main and Normandy veteran Albert Dillow all laid wreaths to honour those who lost their lives 70 years ago.  George Main lost friends and was injured during a bomb raid on Liverpool and was taken to Clatterbridge for treatment.

liverpool blitz 70 wreath laying

liverpool blitz 70 wreath laying

liverpool blitz 70 wreath laying

Liverpool veteran, Craig Lumberg, lost his sight during the Iraq conflict.  He was proud to lay a wreath in memory of the Blitz casualties of his hometown.

liverpool blitz 70 wreath laying

WWII veteran Larry Taylor laid a wreath on behalf of the Royal Air Force Association Northwest.

liverpool blitz 70 wreath laying

Comedian Stan Boardman laid a wreath in particular memory of his older brother, Tommy, who was killed whilst the family were sheltering during an air raid on the Wirral.

liverpool blitz 70 wreath laying

Mary and James McCartney met in Liverpool during an air raid in 1940… she was a nurse & midwife and he worked as an inspector at an engineering works which manufactured shell cases.  He also volunteered as a fireman by night.  They married in April 1941 and had two sons shortly after: Paul and Michael.  If it hadn’t been for the Blitz they might never have met and the course of music history might have been dramatically different.  So on the 70th anniversary of the May Blitz, Mike McCartney laid a wreath on behalf of both McCartney boys.

liverpool blitz 70 winston churchill

Derek Herbert concluded the opening ceremony by addressing the veterans and reciting an extract from Winston Churchill’s famous VE Day speech…

Events Press

Liverpool Blitz 70! in the Press

Liverpool’s favourite newspapers, the Liverpool Echo and the Daily Post, both featured an article about our opening ceremony on Saturday 30th April…

LB70! liverpool echo

LB70! Daily Post

Thanks to both papers for their support!

Events

Veterans Parade on Church Street

Whether you’re a veteran of the Blitz on Merseyside or a veteran of War, we invite you to join in our parade through Liverpool City Centre at 10:30am Saturday 30th April…

liverpool blitz 70 veterans parade

The objective of the Liverpool Blitz 70 event is to remember all those who lost their lives in the air raid attacks on Liverpool and the surrounding area, but also to celebrate the ‘Spirit of Liverpool’.  The organisers, D-Day Revisited, invite civilian veterans of the Blitz to join military veterans from the region in an official parade through the centre of Liverpool.

Liverpool always had a reputation for producing fast-thinking, brave and loyal soldiers and this reputation still stands today.  A staggering 22% of all armed forces personnel come from Merseyside and the City of Liverpool has a strong historical connection with the military.  This parade offers veterans of all ages and all conflicts an opportunity to come together and march through their own city alongside men and women who helped to keep Liverpool working throughout World War II whilst bombs were falling from the skies.

home guard world war II

It is the organisers’ belief that the factory workers, the land girls, the shipbuilders, the policemen, the firefighters, the doctors, the home guard and indeed all men and women in voluntary or reserved occupation deserve to be celebrated for their enduring efforts and spirit of defiance.  Without these people staying behind to fight on the Home Front, Britain could not have survived.

factory girls world war 2

land girls world war II

cammell lairds world war II
Shipbuilders at Cammell Lairds, Birkenhead, had a vital role to play during World War II

The parade will assemble at Williamson Square at 10:30am when the air raid siren will sound.  War veterans and veterans of the Blitz will be treated equally and parade side by side.  At 10:40 the City of Liverpool Pipe Band will lead the parade out of Williamson Square down Richmond Street, left along Whitechapel and left again up Church Street to the main stage.  Approximately 50 members of Liverpool Scooter Club will form a guard of honour along each side of Church Street and spectators must remain behind these lines.

Once the contingent has arrived at its Church Street destination at 11:00 a two minute silence will be held in memory of all who were killed 70 years ago.

church street liverpool 1941
All that remains of the junction of Church Street and Church Alley in 1941

The air raid siren will sound the ‘all clear’ to mark the end of the two minutes silence.  The Lord Mayor of Liverpool will then lead the wreath laying ceremony, followed by the Mayor of Wirral.  Chindit, George Main, was injured in Liverpool during the May Blitz of 1941 and will lay a wreath on behalf of all Liverpudlian veterans of the Blitz.  Normandy veteran, Albert Dillow, will then lay a wreath on behalf of all Wirral veterans of the Blitz.

Further wreaths will be laid by local MPs, dignitaries, veterans, representatives of Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere Football Clubs, representatives of the Police and Fire Services and representatives of local businesses.  The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Hazel Williams, will then make a speech welcoming everybody to the event.

All veterans of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces are asked to wear blazers and medals and all civilian veterans of the Blitz are kindly requested to dress smartly.  If you would like to take part and have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01244 531 765.  For more details of the events taking place in Liverpool City Centre 30th April – 2nd May, please see our Schedule of Events.