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Bomb Raid with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © Transcribed and Researched Martin Edwards 2018

This Extract is from the Chelmsford Chronicle – Friday 5 June 1942, page 3:



EARLY on 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.

Photograph from Chelmsford Chronicle
Friday 5 June 1942 - page 3

The 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.


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.


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 serious.

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.


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.

Last updated 8 December, 2018

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