During the blitz, Plymouth suffered tremendous damage it was described as the worst-bombed city in the country.
For the first 9 months of the war Plymouth went the way it had in previous wars – At distance. Air raid control centres were organised underneath the guildhall and Devonport market, they were to be the centre of activity. In early summer 1940 the blitz began, schools and churches were destroyed. In the dockyard the damage was heavy, some of the old buildings including the ropery and the mould loft were gutted by fire.
The night of April 22nd/23rd 1941 saw the worst disaster of the blitz, an air raid shelter in Portland area had a direct hit, 72 people died. The city centre was completely destroyed. shops and houses, all that was left of the guild hall and the St Andrews church were empty shells.