Millie says the memory of walking over dead bodies haunted her for a long time
The first German bombs fell on the north-east of England 70 years ago.
By the end of World War II almost 7,000 civilians in the region had been killed or maimed by bombing raids.
Cold statistics rarely do a tale of desperate human suffering justice - but the story of North Shields might just be different.
In a single night, still within living memory, 41 children died together in a basement on Tyneside.
Now read that line to yourself again.
To most of us, the events of the Blitz are now so distant they might never have happened at all - until you meet those who were actually there. Those who witnessed it remember every second as if it was yesterday.
Millie Matthews is one of those people. Now in her 80s, she was 13 in 1941.
There was screaming, there was shouting, people just wanted to get out
When the sirens sounded just after 11pm on the night of 3 May, Millie and around 200 others crammed into the Wilkinson's shelter, beneath the town's lemonade factory.
It was Saturday night and music from an accordion filled the shelter.
They couldn't hear the bombs falling; they didn't hear the direct hit that crashed through the factory at quarter to 12.
This rare footage shows people amid the rubble after a raid on Newcastle
And when the bomb exploded on the floor above them it sent heavy machinery crashing down on the people cowering below.
Ninety six people died there and then; others died later from their injuries.
Yet the thing Millie remembers most in the seconds after the impact seems unusual. She remembers silence.
Millie said: "It was very, very quiet and then everybody realised what was happening. There was screaming, there was shouting, people just wanted to get out."
Most of the dead were buried together, their graves side by side in long rows in Preston cemetery. Many contain the remains of families - mothers, fathers, children, buried together.
Even now, there are fresh flowers placed on some.
The North Shields tragedy was the biggest single loss of life in the region from World War II bombing but its suffering was far from unique.
Imagine, for instance, the impact on South Shields as German bombers laid waste to the market place in a 90-minute blitz the same year. Sixty eight died.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.