I was pleased to read my article in today’s Guardian Newspaper (12th May2015), It appeared as a story under the heading “History” on page A7 Opinion. The story was almost unchanged from how I had composed it. That was until I reached the end! someone at the Guardian office decided to add the following, and I quote. “F.Ben Rodgers of Abram Village was born in England and sent as a child to a safer location in Northern Ireland during the second world war. Apart from deciding my birth place was in England the person writing this piece also altered a part of history. Northern Ireland might have been considered safer when the war began in 1939 because at that time we were beyond the range of German bombers. That all changed in June 1940 when the Germans entered Paris”. In April 1941 Belfast suffered one of the heaviest and most devastating air raids of the war. Two hundred German bombers attacked the city for over seven hours. They cause havoc within the huge shipyards and linen mills, fires blazed across the city, and over one thousand people lost their lives on that single night. The raids continued all month long and into May. Other Ulster cities and towns were hit and on the last raid that took place on 4th May even the neutral city of Dublin suffered loss of life and bomb damage. I was born in Belfast N.I and lived through those dreadful raids. Late in the summer of 1941 I was evacuated to the village of Bushmills for a short period. To say N.Ireland was a safer place during the war is wrong. The fact we were beyond the range of the bombers at the start of the war actually worked against us. Belfast while a huge industrial centre did not receive the same priority for air defense as other major British cities. When the Germans attack us in 1941 the city had less than 25% of what was needed to defend itself. One glaring shortage was the lack of Air raid shelters for the civilian population. I hope this explains why I was offended, not just because of the error of my birth place, but rather by the suggestion I was in a safer place.
God Bless and keep reading.