Bombs over Doagh

One particular incident during the Blitz had a direct impact on Doagh. During one of the air raids, a German warplane dropped four bombs on the townland of Holestone, two of them landing on the Lorimers’ farm no more than 150 yards from their home.

Derek Lorimer talks about the night bombs landed on his farm:

I remember wakening up in below the table with the Labrador dog and it was sitting beside me and was terrified. I remember Daddy went outside and came back in and he said the yard’s full of stones or coals – it was that dark he didn’t know what it was. It wasn’t to the next morning that we realised what had happened. … We knew it was bombs, but we didn’t know they were so near. … There wasn’t so much damage done to the dwelling house, it was mostly to the outhouses – stones coming down and breaking slates. ... They said the shock went out over us. There were houses about a mile away and their ceilings came down with the shock. … There was a stone came down through the barn loft and landed beside a horse – I would have said the stone was a hundredweight – that horse didn’t eat for two days.

Two more bombs came down in Holestone Park, but did not cause the same damage. In one of the lodges to Holestone House a Mrs Brown had just got out of bed when a hundredweight stone from one of the craters came through the roof and landed in the bed where she had been sleeping. The day after the air raid a piece of shrapnel was found beside a hen and a dozen newly-hatched chicks in one of the Lorimers’ outhouses. One of the bombs on the Lorimers’ farm landed on rocky ground, the other on gravel. Derek recalls his father commenting that ‘Sightseers coming to see the holes did far more damage to the crops than the actual bombs did.’ Both craters were filled in, but a much commented feature of one of them is that after it was filled in nothing grew on it for five years.

South Antrim Living Memories Project wishes to acknowledge the assistance of: