Milewater Road, Belfast

High Explosive Bombs, Incendiary Bombs, and Parachute Mines fell around Milewater Road off Duncrue Street, Belfast during the Docks Raid on 7th-8th April 1941.

In the early stages of the Docks Raid, the Luftwaffe caused a great amount of damage in the Belfast Harbour Estate. Station Master of Chichester Street Fire Station Paddy Donnelly - a native of Co. Cork, √Čire - dispatched crews to deal with rapidly spreading fires. The crew of Firefighter Jimmy Mackey arrived in the area of Milewater Road and Duncrue Street as High Explosive Bombs began to fall.

He heard other Firefighters shouting as they watched a Parachute Mine descending. Believing it to be a Luftwaffe crew member, shouts of “get the bastard” went up from the Firefighters on the ground. They ran towards the object and only too late discovered it to a mine. Mackey threw himself in a nearby drain, surviving the blast.

Auxiliary Fire Service members Archibald “Archie” McDonald of Percy Street, Belfast, and Brice Harkness of Cookstown, Co. Tyrone died as a result of the blast. A First Aid Party based at a nearby school recovered the bodies later that morning.