First Hand account of the raid:-
During the early 1940`s we were
advised to move away from our house between St Osyth and Clacton
due to the war situation and so we arrived at Bures for safety.
Consequently my Grand Parents rented
a bungalow on Colchester Road and were at home when the bombing
From what my family has told me, I can pass on the following:
The bombing happened around tea
time so it was dark. The lights of the factory, to the north of
the village, were seen to be switched on without any black-out
precautions. With the rest of the village in total darkness it
must have stood out like a beacon.
The reason for this has
never been explained.
I think that it was a targeted
air strike on the factory and not simply the aircraft getting
rid of unwanted bombs.
My father recalls the noise of an aircraft in a steep dive, followed
by a series of loud explosions. There was no warning other than
the noise of the aircraft.
The front door was blasted
down the hall by the bombs. As already mentioned the family were
about to have their evening tea/meal. The children had sat down
at the table ready to start eating.
My Gran had managed to "obtain" a honey comb (not easy
with rationing) as a special treat for the children which she
placed on a plate in the centre of the table.
The children were very-much looking forward to eating it. This
is the point when the aircraft was heard in a steep dive and so
my gran and her mother each leaned over the children to try to
give them some protection. There was no time to do anything else.
As you probably know German aircraft tended to sound different
to British ones and so my Gran knew something bad was about to
When the bombs went off the glass light fitting above the lounge
table came crashing down directly into the honey comb and ruined
it with broken glass splinters.
My family say that a bomb landed on Colchester road, blocked the
The property was damaged by the
blast, the whole roof structure shifted 5 inches, all the windows
were broken and the doors blown off.
It was so badly damaged was uninhabitable
until being rebuilt after the war.
One of the bombs
only just missed a pile of bricks on the building site next door
( left side of bungalow)
In Nov. 1940 the ground was fairly damp so where the bombs hit
soil they tended to go down a long way before exploding and so
shielding much of the blast.
People at the time said that if the bomb had hit the pile of bricks
there would in effect have been a kind of "air burst"
explosion and my family would have all been killed. As a result
only my Grandfather would have survived as he was at work in Clacton
at the time.
My father suffered serious hearing
damage which he never recovered from. He also had nightmares which
lasted into the 1970 as result of this and other things that happened
in the war.
It is my understanding that a stick of 10 bombs were dropped with
the first ones landing near where my family were living on the
Essex side of Bures, Colchester road. Some landed in the meadows
next to the river, between the 2 sides of the village and the
final 1 or 2 landing on or near the council house on Nayland road
where the 4 people were killed. In other words the bombings on
Colchester road and Nayland road were both part of the same air
I have, seen it suggested that there were anywhere between 4 and
10 bombs dropped but I would think that the correct figure is
10 or nearly 10 judging by the damage.
There is also some confusion about the date of the raid as I have
seen it stated as being anywhere between the 5th and 11th November
1940. ( ed:- the insurance claim date this as Nov 6th )
My Grandfather was at work when the raid happened and when he
got home to a seen of total devastation my Gran said "we've
been bombed" my Grandfather replied "I thought
something had happened".
My Grand Parents moved out the
next morning, after spending a night with some people just down
That day they also found some alternative accommodation.
Barr of Malmesbury, Wiltshire
the bungalow as seen in 2014
dated circa 1940
Home of the "Barr" family