Emma Duffin had been at St Georges’ Market on 19 April 1941 (see 20th April 2022 post) to help with the identification of the dead. While she had been there she had ‘heard the voice of a woman in my eye asking for a child, a little boy, ‘in velvet trousers’’. [1] 

On 25 April 1941, the Belfast Telegraph asked readers whether they knew a little boy called Billy (see above). They said he had been found at the Mater Hospital at the Outpatients Department asleep on a couch. He was wearing ‘blue velvet pants’. He was aged 2 and a half and could only say that his father wore ‘a tin hat’ and ‘went on a big boat’. Was this the same boy who was sought by the lady Emma Duffin heard speaking at St George’s Market? We will never know.

[1] Trevor Parkhill (Ed), A Nurse in the Belfast Blitz, The Diary of Emma Duffin, 1939-42 (Belfast: Northern Ireland War Memorial, 2016), p.83.