Liverpool from Oxton, 4 am May 4th, 1941
The May Blitz on Merseyside was one of the last series of big raids on Britain before the German invasion of Russia. It involved 681 bombers in all. They dropped about 870 tonnes of high explosive bombs and over 112,000 incendiaries (firebombs). This was the last major air assault on Merseyside during the war. It caused massive damage to the city centre, the port and surrounding areas. Over 1450 people were killed in Liverpool and many more were seriously injured. The artist wrote " I was living at Wrexham, working as an engineer on the design of ordnance factories, and was visiting my parents who lived at South Bank, Oxton; there was a very heavy air raid, which stopped suddenly - as they used to in that year, about midnight. My parents and I then walked up to the point in Fairclough Lane, Oxton where one can see across to Liverpool, and I was so impressed by the scene that every detail seemed to remain with me. I did the drawing the following day. I remember being particularly sad that the drawing could not record the most spectacular feature of the scene - the movement of the great pall of smoke as it heaved and rose and drifted with the wind.