My Name is Edward Jolley. I was 4 years and 7 months old when the North Strand was bombed in 1941. I lived at 13 Henrietta Street, near enough to the bombed area with my mother, two brothers and three sisters. My father was a soldier in the Irish Army stationed in Sligo at the time. We lived on the third floor of the tenement house, and my grandparents lived across the landing. When the bombs started to fall everybody in the tenement houses went panicking down to street level, screaming and praying out loud. I was more scared of the mayhem than the bombing.
The Catholic Church in Dominick street opened its doors to the people and they filled the church. My Grandfather refused to leave his bed saying the aircraft is overhead and the bombs won’t land on us. He was not afraid. He was in the British Army in the 1914/18 war and spent two years in a German prison of war camp. My Mother took us to her sister’s rooms at no 5 Henrietta St, as she lived in the basement – it was considered safer to be off the Street. I remember carrying bed clothes with us. We were put to bed, but I’m sure the adults were unable to settle down on that night.
My mother went down to visit the bombsite after a few days and I remember looking at the devastation hanging on to the pram with my sister Nora in the pram. My grandmother was with us.
My father and mother’s names were William and Isabella Jolley and my Grandparent’s names were John and Catherine Horrigan. My mother’s sister was Eileen Mc Manus.