Extract is from the Chelmsford Chronicle – Friday 5 June
1942, page 3:
NAZI BOMBS KILL EIGHT PERSONS IN RESIDENTIAL TOWN
OTHERS IN REMARKABLE ESCAPES
By J. C. CHAPLIN
Saturday one of the enemy air raiders which managed to cross our coast
during the night dropped bombs on a residential district of a small
coastal town. Eight people were killed and seven, injured, two of them
seriously. Fourteen houses were either wholly or partly demolished.
from Chelmsford Chronicle
Friday 5 June 1942 - page 3
casualties included the following people killed: Mr. and Mrs. H. C.
Wright, Mr John W Dykes, Mr. and Mrs. Harold S. Joscelyne, Mr. and Mrs.
Stanford C. Card, and their young son, Peter Stanford Card. Mr. Wright
was an air raid warden, and his wife was a school teacher. They had
packed up ready to go to London in the morning for the week-end. Mr.
Joscelyne was a clerk in Maldon Post-office. His father was killed in
the last war. Mr. Card was a 'bus driver. His wife's parents, Mr. and
Mrs Barrett, were living in another part of the town, having come there
after having been bombed out in London. A district nurse lodging with
Mr. and Mrs. Card received injuries to her thigh and back. Mrs. Judd
was injured, and taken to St. Peter's Hospital.
The damage was confined to two roads, one leading of the other.
Most of the casualties occurred at the end of a road, where two blocks
of semi-detached houses received a direct hit. In the other road, four
houses were practically wrecked, but the residents had remarkable escapes.
They were: Mr. and Mrs. E. D. Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. Barwell and their
two daughters, Jean and Barbara, Mrs. Rees and her daughter, Iris, and
Mr. and Mrs. J. Gower and their child Michael. Mrs. Rees had an injured
knee and suffered from shock, but otherwise none received physical hurt.
SAVED BY HELMET
Mr. Roberts is 68, and a Special Constable. His wife is 72. He had come
off reserve duty and heard a 'plane overhead. "That sounds like
a German." he said to his wife. He still had his uniform on, and
putting on his steel helmet, he went to the front door. Then came terrific
crash. Although stunned he called to his wife to “take cover.”
More crashes followed. Mr. Roberts called to his wife, as debris flew
in all directions, "For heaven's sake keep against the chimney."
“I rushed back into the sitting room and covered my face,"
Mr. Roberts told an Essex Chronicle reporter. “I think my life
was saved by my helmet.”
After seeing that his wife was uninjured Mr. Roberts went on duty, and,
the words of colleagues, he did excellent work, and remained on duty
for several hours.
“He was a brick, with no thought of himself —only for his
wife and others," said a police colleague afterwards.
BLOWN OUT OF BED
The Barwells, too, were very lucky people.
Their house was the most damaged of all in this road. One of the daughters
was blown out of bed, and in the place where she had been sleeping there
crashed a piece of concrete weighing several hundredweight!
"She's very fortunate girl," said Mr. Barwell, who is an income
tax official at Witham. He, too, is Special Constable. “Mind my
flowers, old man," he said, as members of the rescue party came
to the house.
Mrs. Rees, who was in bed at the time, was not quite so fortunate as
the others. She was struck by falling debris, but her injuries are not
Mr. and Mrs. Gower and Michael got out of their house —uninjured.
“That was near thing,'' said Mr. Gower, with a wry smile, as he
looked at his ruined home.
In the other road there was a scene of devastation. In one wrecked house
rescue squads worked untiringly, and extricated Mr. and Mrs. G. F. Rose,
and their eight-year-old daughter. They were uninjured, although Mrs.
Rose, badly shocked, was taken to hospital. She was later discharged.
Mr. Dykes, who lodged with Mr. and Mrs. Rose, was killed. He was over
70, and was blind. Mr. Rose, who was dug out in his pyjamas, was for
several hours pinned by part of a chimney stack. He is a salesman for
Messrs. Markham, mineral water manufacturers.
Mr. and Mrs. Ward owe their lives to war work. They were on night work
when their house was hit. Mr. Vyse, whose bungalow was wrecked, happened
to be sleeping that night with his nephew, Mr. Bert Gowen.
FINE A.R.P. SERVICE.
The A.R.P. and other services worked splendidly. Many of the men worked
12 hours without a break except to have a cup of tea at the mobile canteen
presented to the town by residents of the sister town in America. This
was the canteen's first serious "job," and it did it well.
"I don't know what we should have done without it,” said
Mr. T. J. Howson Russell, who was in charge of the A.R.P. Members of
the W.V.S., under Mrs. Blind, the Centre organiser, operated the canteen
in a highly efficient manner. Men from a Bomb Disposal Squad did magnificent
clearing up work.
The Mayor, Ald. S. G. Tydeman, J.P., lives only a hundred or so yards
from the spot, but his house was undamaged.
The funeral of Mr. and Mrs. Card and their child was on Tuesday. Mr.
Dykes was also buried on Tuesday. The funerals of Mr. and Mrs. Joscelyne
and Mr. and Mrs. Wright were yesterday. The Mayor, members of the Corporation,
and large numbers of townspeople attended the funerals.
During the last war a Zeppelin dropped bombs, mostly incendiaries, on
this town, but there were no serious casualties.