Vote count falls silent in memory of hundreds killed in blitz

On May 6 and 7, 1941, German bombers attacked Greenock and the surrounding area.

Vote count falls silent in memory of hundreds killed in blitz Inverclyde Council

An election count fell silent in memory of the Greenock Blitz in which 271 people lost their lives when 350 German bombers flew over the town on May 6 and 7, 1941.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the raids which targeted shipyards but dropped bombs over residential areas.

More than 10,000 people were injured and thousands of homes destroyed across the area.

The election count at the Waterfront Leisure Complex fell silent at 11am as those in attendance observed a local minute’s silence.

Inverclyde Council chief executive and returning officer Aubrey Fawcett speaks before the minute's silence in respect of all those affected by the  Greenock Blitz (Inverclyde Council)Inverclyde Council

In a ceremony scaled back in accordance with coronavirus restrictions, Provost of Inverclyde, councillor Martin Brennan, laid a wreath at the blitz memorial in Greenock Cemetery on Friday morning.

Provost Brennan said: “While Greenock bore the brunt of the bombings, the events of the sixth and seventh of May 1941 had a devastating impact on communities and families right across Inverclyde.

“Although the Covid-19 crisis won’t allow us to mark this dark chapter in our history properly, it’s vital that we don’t let this milestone anniversary pass without remembering those who were killed, as well as the many thousands more who were affected by this awful tragedy.

“I hope everyone can take a moment today to observe their own moment of solemn reflection as we remember the Greenock Blitz.”

Speaking ahead of the minute’s silence at the count, returning officer and Inverclyde Council chief executive, Aubrey Fawcett, said: “The sixth and seventh of May marks the eightieth anniversary of the Greenock Blitz.

“As we count votes for the Scottish Parliament in peacetime, it is important that we do not let these two days pass without acknowledging the tragedy that befell our area during World War Two.

“The raids by German bombers over these two nights targeted the shipyards and berthed ships around the town.

“However, the brunt of the bombing fell on residential areas across the town.

“Over the two nights eighty years ago, 271 people were killed and over 10,200 injured.

“Many of those were children and entire families were lost.

“Nearly 25,000 homes suffered damage and 5,000 were destroyed outright including many within a very short walk of where we stand now.

“As a mark of respect please join me in marking this occasion to hold a local minute’s silence to remember those who tragically lost their lives 80 years ago in the Greenock Blitz.”

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