Martin Docherty-Hughes MP has spoken in parliament ahead of the 78th anniversary of the Clydebank Blitz, calling for a debate on the long-term impact of the Blitz on West Dunbartonshire and across the UK.
The SNP MP for West Dunbartonshire spoke about the social, economic and psychological consequences of the Clydebank Blitz bombings which took place over two days on 13 and 14 March 1941.
On the 75th anniversary in 2016, Martin Docherty-Hughes took eight minutes to read out each of the 562 named victims of the Clydebank Blitz.
It was the first time that an MP had spoken in the House of Commons to commemorate those who lost their lives during the Clydebank Blitz – the largest loss of civilian life in Scotland’s modern history
Speaking in parliament, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“My constituency is best known by many for its shipping history, whether it be John Brown and Company of Clydebank or Denny of Dumbarton.
“For the 78th year in a row, my community, including my family and friends, will gather once again to commemorate those we lost in what was described by a minister in an adjournment debate three years ago as the ‘worst blitzkrieg’ in the history of the Second World War proportionally anywhere in the United Kingdom.
“Does the minister agree that it is now time that this House considered in a general debate in government time the long-term economic and social consequences as well as the mental health consequences of aerial bombardment on the communities that suffered it across these islands?
“It is about time that we learned the lessons from it, given that the impact of it is felt by so many other communities across the world.”
Andrea Leadsom MP, leader of the House, responded by saying Clydebank’s MP was right to raise the issue, commenting:
“I pay tribute to him for all the work that he does in his community to commemorate the appalling bombardment.
“He is absolutely right to raise the fact that this is the reality for far too many people right across the world today with appalling consequences not just of physical injury and harm, but to mental health and the long-term effects of suffering from constant bombardment.
“I encourage him to go to the backbench business committee and see whether there is an appetite for a cross-party debate on this subject so that we can consider together how we might better commemorate these appalling acts.”
Public commemorations for the Clydebank Blitz will be held on Saturday, March 9 at Dalnottar Cemetery at 11am and at Solidarity Plaza at 11.30am.