Hogarth Street, Belfast

Hogarth Street in North Belfast was in the centre of one of the hardest hit areas of the city as the Luftwaffe attacked Belfast in April and May 1941.

The name Hogarth Street in North Belfast is strongly associated with the Easter Raid of the Belfast Blitz. During the raid on 15th-16th April 1941, High Explosive Bombs detonated at either end of the street. Incendiary Bombs also fell across the area.

Eyewitness Arthur Jackson was in the coal-hole under the stairs of his home at No. 37 Hogarth Street on the night of 15th-16th April. Between 0200hrs and 0300hrs, simultaneous explosions rocked both ends of the street. The roof and walls of the Jackson family home collapsed but he and his family survived. They joined others making their way to Mountcollyer Public Elementary School for shelter in the basement.

Families Lost

The Parish Chronicle of Holy Family Church on Newington Avenue, Belfast records the fate of the Donnelly family at No. 23 Hogarth Street.

Completely wiped out.

Parents Joseph Michael Donnelly and Susannah Hope Donnelly, sons Thomas Donnelly, Arthur Donnelly and Robert Moorhead Donnelly, daughters Susannah Donnelly, Annie Donnelly and Maggie Donnelly, and aunt Maggie McKnight all died as a result of the attack.

A little further along, at No. 29, a total of 8 members of the Gordon family died. There was no trace found of the bodies of Thomas Gordon or Elizabeth Gordon. Their daughter Margaret Sweeney returned to Hogarth Street day after day. The A.R.P. Chief Warden in the District telling her there was no hope.

In No. 65 Hogarth Street, members of the McNeill/Dornan family died. Lorna McNeill, son Hugh Baxter McNeill, and daughter Hetty McNeill died in the family home. So too did Lorna’s mother Harriet Dornan and sister Cissy Dornan who were visiting from Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

The following morning, Arthur Jackson observed rows of bodies laid out at either end of the street covered in blankets. One he recalled:

A child called [Hugh Hanna] Moore, brought out without a scratch.

Many of the dead lay at first in the basement of the same Mountcollyer Public Elementary School where locals had sheltered at the height of the raid. Authorities later brought some of those killed on Hogarth Street to St. George’s Market before burial in the Mass Grave at Belfast City Cemetery.

Casualties of the Belfast Blitz

The following died here as a result of enemy action during the Belfast Blitz.