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The night 12-year-old Danny found a bomb in his bedroom

War veteran Allan Doughty

Danny Mannus was 12 years old and living in Belfast, Northern Ireland when the country experienced its first major air raid on the night of April 7, 1941.His father had joined the Royal Air Force at the outset of the Second World War, leaving his mother, younger brother and him at home.Mr Mannus, who now lives in Bermuda, recalled hearing sirens and said his family moved to their aunt’s house two doors away. Later that night they heard a banging on the front door from an old lady who saw a bomb fall onto their house.They went back and “found the bomb in my bedroom burning next to my bed”.“At that time there were rumours that the Germans were producing incendiary bombs with added explosives.“As we all stood there crowded in the doorway of the bedroom the bomb suddenly sputtered causing everybody to make a mad dash for the stairs to get out of the house, falling and fighting to get away.“Of course it did not explode, but before it was eventually extinguished the bomb damaged the house enough to make it uninhabitable and my family had to be evacuated to the countryside for several years.”Mr Mannus told The Royal Gazette he sadly lost several relatives during the war.Shortly after that incident in 1941, his family was evacuated to the hills around Belfast. The following week saw major bombing in the capital, which then housed the largest shipyard in the war and the largest aircraft manufacturing factory.Despite the sad times, he said one of his most vivid memories is when his dad returned home from war in 1945.“To me Remembrance Day is always a sad day, not because of my incident, but generally. I know there were thousands of people killed in those two raids in Belfast.“I think it’s very important to remember such things and hope it will prevent the same things happening in the future. I lost several relatives during the war and I sometimes think of the people, my next door neighbours, who were all killed in the two raids.”