The letters - 1941
Sunday 02 February 1941
Sunday here was quiet till after tea when we had 2 or 3 'Alerts' which lasted till late.
Monday 03 February 1941
Alerts started before 7.00am and lasted more or less till midnight. The Bomb that fell on the Pier when you were still here blew a piece of the bandstand into the window of Learner's workroom. As it happened no-one was there.
Editor's note: This refers to the bomb on the South Pier bandstand on 31st December 1940 (Port War - Ford Jenkins). Learners's workroom was probably on the top floor of their premises at 52 London Road North, about 200 yards away from the pier.
Tuesday 04 February 1941
We had a raid, I expect Winnie told you.
Editor's note: Winifred Cooper had been bombed out from her London home and stayed for some months with AJT's son JPT and family at Heatherton, Howard Road, Newbury. Winifred Cooper was AJT's cousin, the daughter of his mother's sister Maria Theresa Down (neé Pater). She had married Edwin Rawlinson Cooper in 1904 and lived in south London.
Wednesday 05 February 1941
'Alerts' lasted on and off till 11.30pm when we all tried to go to sleep but another came on 11.45pm and we both went to sleep forthwith and woke up with all clear at 1.20am. After that another raid round 4 which we did not hear but the 'All clear' woke us at 7am.
Yarmouth was bombed again. One bomb fell through the roof of the Regal onto the stage in front of the curtain. A few people were injured I hear. A number of houses were damaged at the back of the Aquarium on what they call Newtown and several casualties but I heard of no fatalities, although some must have occurred.
Thursday 06 February 1941
Thursday was quiet all day and night.
Friday 07 February 1941
Friday last we had just sat down to midday dinner and suddenly heard two explosions which I thought were heavy guns but in 2 or 3 minutes intense there was AA fire, machine gun fire, various crashes and crumps and continued heavy fire, and exceptionally heavy machine gunning. It seemed quite close to us so we cellared for a few minutes with Tibby who was shaking all over. We continued our dinner - tinned herrings in tomato sauce and very nice.
After dinner I went to see what the trouble was. The bus stopped at Pier Terrace - not allowed over the bridge. We found the Power Station for the bridge flat, the harbour master's house down, Custom House severely damaged but not flat, the Railway Company's works on the quay bombed, bridge slightly damaged on North side close to the Power House and of course lots of glass everywhere.
Saturday 08 February 1941
In addition there was a water main broken I hear and also a big gas main which runs up the quay preparatory to going under the water to Kirkley. There has been no gas this side of the Bridge since and I am writing at 7.30pm on Saturday.
We hear officially 9 killed including 2 bridgemen I know and 32 injured. Everyone still carrying on of course. Some bombs fell in the harbour, some on the railway line up as far as Trafalgar Street and no trains (running) this side of Oulton Broad. Buses are taking passengers both there and back. The Bridge of course is immovable. There was another heavy explosion last evening but we hear they were blasting the remainder of harbour masters house down.
The number of bombs dropped on Lowestoft from the beginning of the war to December 31st 350 and on the whole of Suffolk the same period 6,000. This is official. Various reports - possibly correct, say raiders brought down in sea between Pakefield and Kessingland, but officials cannot find any wreckage.
I noticed the Custom House more severely damaged than I thought the day before. The Excise Dept. got it badly and the main walls of E.T.W. are both down so you look right through it. They managed to move the Bridge by hand power but it takes 25 minutes to turn it off and I suppose the same time to turn it on. The bomb still lies on the railway opposite the end of Trafalgar Street. I am told it weighs half a ton. The Royal Engineers had a look and decided to leave it. If it goes off anything may happen.
Sunday 09 February 1941
After a quiet night with 2 or 3 'Alerts' one came on again about 7.30pm. We were listening to the service on the wireless and during sermon 'Crump' about 8.15. We all jumped up thinking it commenced a fresh raid. Mother said, "Was that a gun?" No! a bomb south of us somewhere. All quiet afterwards. It was a shrapnel bomb I am told, more or less a new kind, and does not make much of a crater and it fell in a garden in Elm Tree Road close to the little grocer's shop at the cross roads. Occupied by Dew's son-in-law, wife and baby 2 months old. Dew garages his car there.
He had just gone out to the lavatory, saw the plane, very low - there was an 'Alert' already on half an hour - and he intended locking the car up - and probably putting the car away - and he says he had no light at all. He heard the bomb whistling down, dashed for the back door and with the same the blast came behind him and blew him, the door and the lintels right through the kitchen, through another doorway into the hall. The hall door was blown out at the same moment.
He has a nasty scratch on his head and 3 bad bruises on arm and body. His youngest son has a piece of glass taken out of his head about 1/4 inch in; and that's all. I have had a long talk with him. His family were all in the back room. The soot was driven right through all their clothes to the skin. The lamp - a hanging one - was torn off its chains and they found it at the end of the front garden. Every room is riddled with shrapnel, furniture damaged everywhere and he says the house must be rebuilt. I saw his car at Mann Egerton: it looks as if it had been riddled with 1000 bullets, everything cut and scratched to pieces including the engine and is past repair. She stood up all the time and was towed away. He said there were 5 ambulances there - they took him and his youngest son to Hospital. A crowd of 2 to 3 hundred people, cars, a bus full of passengers were delayed for a quarter of an hour, fire fighters etc., all there immediately and also the mayor arrived within 15 minutes.
Thursday 13 February 1941
Last Thursday the Pounders were invited to tea with John (their son) who was home for week. At 3.45pm there were heavy bombs and heavy AA fire. Explosions seemed louder than usual. They fell on Railway line between Oulton Church and the river, probably Long Reach. It was reported that a train was machine gunned. Line was damaged and trains were running very late next day. Several 'Alerts'. 11.30pm 'All clear'.
Editor's note: Family friends, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Ward Pounder, who lived at 410 London Road South and are seen here outside their beach hut, in the Kensington block, which was next door to that rented by the Turners. Benjie Pounder was the manager of Midland Bank on the corner of Suffolk Road/London Road North.
Friday 14 February 1941
Friday several 'Alerts', 11.20pm 'All clear'.
Saturday 15 February 1941
11.30pm (Friday) 'Alert' lasting till 7.00am (Saturday) which woke me up. I counted 8 bombs in my sleep but did not wake up and in the morning was not sure if I had dreamed it. They fell on East side of High Street and on that side of Whapload Road. They smacked Tuttle's Stables but the two horses there were unhurt but stunned. They were lying down when owner saw them and they were rested till Monday when they were all right.
Damage was done to backs of High Street shops, back of International Stores was destroyed and a chemists. Louie Long's Post Office had holes in the roof, bricks resting on the ceilings, chimney pots gone, etc. I heard of no casualties.
Sunday 16 February 1941
Sunday, wet cold morning at 8.00am. We intended to go to church but for an unknown reason the alarm did not go off. All quiet then. 10.30am we were putting on our shoes to go to 11.00am when the 'Alert' sounded. We stayed put for a few minutes. As mother was shocked in the raid on the previous Sunday, just as she came out of church, I persuaded her to stay at home - fortunately - but I went as I thought Pounder would be at home with John.
The 'Alert' was still on. The Naval chaplain was to preach and the Rector gave out the usual notices when, just as the chaplain left his seat for the pulpit: bang bang bang - heavy AA guns. He gave out his text, something about Patience, just as there was a perfect hell of bombs, AA fire and extensive machine gun fire. Round and round the church apparently and once it shook badly and the Rector told me (afterwards) it seemed to lift under his feet. I expected to be blitzed at every moment but had great difficulty in restraining myself from going out to see what it was all about. No-one moved at all - which was jolly good. The preacher continued with his sermon, some of which was inaudible.
Editor's note: Rector: Rev. George R. Preston, Rector of St. Peter's Kirkley, his curate was Godfrey,
Afterwards I saw Jimmy Reeve who watched it from Kirkley Cliff Road until he was scared and bolted into a house. He saw two Dorniers. We fired at the first which did not drop bombs but went north followed by 6 Spitfires and the second one was besieged by 3 Hurricanes and 2 Spitfires but they were hampered by our ground defences. I think they got away, although an airman I saw in a bus said one was down.
They got Jewsons timber (yard) badly, Pertwee and Back's tall chimney was struck deflecting a huge bomb so it fell on its side on the road and rolled to railway lines there. A large bomb dropped on Reeve's pickling plot on Mill Road blowing 35 panes of glass out of Rix's house. They and Henman were under the stairs. Another shelter (was) struck and I hear 3 killed. Subsequently all nearby houses were evacuated by the Police, tenants taking dogs, cats and canaries with them.
Editor's note: Henman appears to have been a lodger.
The Rix's lived at 44 Windsor Road,
Pertwee and Back at that time were Great Yarmouth based engineers and iron founders with branch premises in Belvedere Road, Lowestoft.
Fred Reeve Ltd., haulage contractor, was on what was more recently a BP petrol filling station site.
A pickling plot is an area of open land where the travelling Scottish fisher girls filled barrels with herring in brine. Only in such use during the herring season - September to December - otherwise open land although from mid summer empty barrels would start to accumulate there in preparation for the herring season.
A squad came to Rix's at 4.00pm and covered the windows in. Some frames are broken as well but Henman's tooth glass blown across the room undamaged but with fragments of glass (from the windows) in it. Poor Annie (Rix) had been preparing dinner with Yorkshire Pudding and had to throw everything away, full of small pieces of glass, a lemon included. This is another case of small casualties owing to the exact time of day and also a Sunday.
Sunday night was quiet
Monday 17 February 1941
Bomb collected from railway lines 6.00am Monday
Monday - siren 7.00am continuing on and off till 11.00pm. 11.40pm 'Alert' again lasting all night till 8.00am this morning
Tuesday 18 February 1941
Gas and water mains fractures and no gas restored by 4.00pm Tuesday.
A lot of shrapnel everywhere and speaking of that Rix was shown a piece of railway line weighing over 7lbs which went through the roof and ceiling of a house in Beresford Road when the market was bombed several days ago. Poor old Gertie had such a severe shaking up when a stick of bombs dropped on Pakefield Rocks nearly opposite her. She says she thought her last hour had come. My tenant in Acton Road was looking out of his front door and saw the flashes and told us exactly where they fell.
Editor's note: 'Gertie' - Gertrude Collingwood, (Ann Collingwood's mother), one-time companion to EMT's mother, married Australian in WW1 who died in the flu epidemic 1919, returned to Lowestoft with the support of Turners. She lived in a cottage overlooking the sea in Nightingale Road.
Auntie Henson - one time companion to Grannie EMT, widowed and lived with AJT/EET until she died.
Pakefield Rocks were the remains of the old sea wall below Jolly Sailors,
We had a rotten night. Just going to sleep at 11.20pm when we heard 5 bombs to the South, no siren but it came on immediately after. 1.20am very heavy firing from somewhere woke me and I thought our window facing east was coming in. Between 2.00am and 3.00am there were four violent explosions but no blast. Heavy firing all night, probably heavy AA guns. I went to sleep and heard them in my sleep almost continuously.
I hear today the first lot were near Wangford and others nearer Southwold. Some fell in the sea and possibly were the ones we heard with no blast. Yarmouth had it very badly indeed. I am told by two people who had friends there and had come from there today they had 50 bombs. The gas works was hit and Bloomfields - Consolidated people - place burnt out and a lot more damage. They had a dose last Saturday as well.
I am told also Norwich got it badly last night as well - damage done near Roman church.
I had just gone down the town in a bus this morning as the 'Alert' went and when I got to the station I heard the 'Crash' warning so I went out into the lobby at the back of the Midland bank and under Garrett's office. Also they have a real pukka cellar and I waited till the 'Crash' was off which was a long time before the 'All clear'.
I forgot to say Mother went down the cellar with her Tibby on Sunday till it was all quiet. I was very thankful to hear that. Tibby hates the cellar but was ready to go down when Mother called her. She trembled all the while and knows something is going on.
Tuesday 25 February 1941
Brief this week fortunately. A raid took place last Tuesday about midday. About 20 bombs dropped in town and funnily enough we did not hear them although we heard the ones to the west of Oulton Church some days ago, very heavily indeed.
One fell outside main entrance to Police Station making a fairly deep crater in Police Station Road and another outside the Public entrance of the Police Station in Regent Road. There was no damage of importance. Others fell on various places including the empty site of Co-op, Clapham Road which had previously suffered, another on empty side of Maconochie's old Smoke House etc. in Till Road opposite Co-op. Another close by the corner of Till Road and Raglan Street, blowing down half a house and shop - Dorling's - (a girl slightly injured and the sole casualty), one in the garden of Pareezer's House, north side of Gordon Road, setting fire to garage and car (which was extinguished by men from the Bus Depot) and blowing a good sized tree over the top of his house into the large open space where buses stop. Others in the back of Clapham Road, etc. A lot of windows gone otherwise no serious damage which is simply miraculous combined with no casualties.
Editor's note: Pareezer's house: 20 Gordon Road,
I had a letter from Forward asking me to call that morning. The 'Siren' went and mother said 'I should wait until tomorrow now so I waited. Otherwise I should most probably have been outside Police Station just as they fell. I think this is the second time for me. I don't want the third.
Editor's note: Forward: Norton, Peskett and Forward, Solicitors, 148 London Road North,
Tuesday 04 March 1941
A quiet day, only two sirens. No warning at bedtime, first for a long time.
Wednesday 05 March 1941
A quiet day, only three sirens, also a quiet night.
Thursday 06 March 1941
Wet, misty day. 'Siren' at 7.30am for about an hour. At 9.30 'Siren' again, 'All clear' at 10.15am At 10.30 I took the bus to the Food Office, no coupons. The 'Siren' went and the 'Crash' warning. Coming back I waited for the bus outside Crisps bookshop in the High Street. There was much gunfire and after 2 minutes I took cover in the shop and was directed to cellar. Quite a nice place. Heard very heavy machine gunfire, AA gunfire then bombs. After a period of silence I went home.
Editor's note: Crisps bookshop: High street, opposite Dukes Head Steet,
Damage: our beautiful Public Library absolutely flat, Technical School facade is standing but all the rest is flat. Two houses next door destroyed. Austin & Wale very badly damaged as is all adjoining property. The old net works badly damaged. Looking down Stanley Street at the corner of Clapham Road, on right the houses will probably be pulled down, on left the entire corner blown to blazes. Nearer Bevan Street another bomb damaged 2 houses belonging to Mother and also one of mine in Surrey Street. The visible damage is the glass but I could not get in anywhere to see further.
Editor's note: Public Library and Technical School: both east side of Clapham Road in block between Surrey Street and Gordon Road
Austin & Wale: wholesale provision merchants and grocers, west side of Clapham Road in block between Stanley Street and Till Road
Following streets all closed to public and picketed by Police so could not see damage at all in any of them: Milton Road running from London Road to Clapham Road, Tennyson Road past the Hospital, Gordon Road, part of Commercial Road, part of Denmark Road. Seven unexploded bombs in Denmark, Commercial and Gordon Roads and also on Main Line. No trains are getting though nearer than Oulton Broad and passengers are taken by buses. I have no idea how many houses are down or due for demolition but I fear a large number.
The casualties I saw posted up at Police Station: first poor old Greasley. I am told by various people he was blown clean over houses opposite (Austin & Wale). A very nice little girl at the Library who frequently got my books for me. Steward - the Librarian - shepherded all the people there to the cellar, carrying two women down. This little girl was well in front but went to get her hat and coat from another room and - I am told - was smashed to atoms. Another woman missing, believed killed, not found yet. Someone else saw to the Technical School people and they all escaped from both cellars. It is impossible to believe this after seeing the most awful mess I have ever seen. I stood still and could have wept.
Editor's note: Greasley: Peter Greasley, 59 Kirkley Cliff Road, Lowestoft, aged 72 years, a retired missioner,
The small number of casualties also is unbelievable. 3 killed and 21 injured, of the latter 6 seriously and 5 in one house. It is believed this plane was shot down over the sea.
After dinner I had a meeting at Nicholson's office at 3.00pm. I took a bus. The 'Siren' went directly and we found a 'Crash' warning on at Tuttles where we stopped at the lights. We got to the Post Office and there was then intense machine-gun fire. The bus stopped outside Lloyds bank and nearly all the people inside slid off their seats to the floor. Two girls rushed past me and jumped out. I did not care to lie on the filthy floor so we all rushed into - apparently - the private entrance to Lloyds, stayed for 2 or 3 minutes then re-boarded the bus and I got out at the Arcade and walked across to Nicholson's.
Editor's note: Nicholson's office: Johnson and Nicholson, Solicitors, The Marina,
The Rector called me to sit by him in the window, watching about 25 men dodging in and out a big shelter. There was machine-gun fire and then very heavy AA fire, with planes weaving about and, we were told afterwards, two dog-fights. We all adjourned to the narrow part of the hall till it was all over then completed our business and came home about 3.45pm.
Having tea it all broke out again and seemed in our garden. Intense machine-gunning all over again then the AA. It only lasted a few minutes, Tibby refused to stay in the cellar so we went and finished our tea. It was a most unpleasant day in every way but we went to bed in the quiet and I slept like a log.
Our tails are right up and everyone is the same. We hear that two of the swine were brought down. By the way the 'Siren' went off in the morning AFTER the first bomb dropped although the 'Crash' was on.
Friday 07 March 1941
'Siren' started 7.30am, on for most of the day. Weather wet and foggy, clouds low, you could hear planes quite loudly but couldn't see them, they were quite invisible. 'Crash' warning at 9.00am but quite a quiet day. Official: Dornier shot down off Gorleston by AA, burst into flames, a shot hitting the bomb rack. It fell into the sea and one man was saved. 'Siren' continued until 11.00pm but nothing happened, slept like a log.
Saturday 08 March 1941
I wanted to go to both banks but the 'Siren' was on. I mucked about until 10.15am then caught a bus. I asked the conductor whether the 'Crash' warning was on. He said he thought so as the Police were wearing steel helmets. We got to the Station when the conductor looked out and said, "There's Jerry right over us". Most people went in that splinter shelter and I went in. It was full up so after a minute I went across to the Midland Bank. Pounder said "'Crash' is on, you must come round here to the back of the counter" and a minute later firing started. He pushed me down to the cellar and called everyone to follow. Then all Hell broke loose, we could not hear each other speak; machine-guns, AA gunfire and bombs. He was apparently near Notley Road when he dropped 4 bombs as 2 Spitfires went for him. It demolished 5 houses and 9 more were rendered uninhabitable, so Crawford says. Then he dropped 4 more bombs on Leathes Ham, Colville House, Normanston Drive and Laundry Lane.
Editor's note: Crawford: Kenneth J. Crawford, proprietor of Notley's Auctioneers, Valuers, Estate Agents of Royal Thoroughfare, Lowestoft; lived at 385 London Road South,
Very heavy gunfire but I am told that the Spitfires were so keen they went at him in spite of it and one of them was hit by our own people but landed successfully at Oulton. We all thought the dog-fight was between St. John's and the Suffolk Hotel. All cleared up quietly and I went to the National Provincial Bank, through the servants entrance in the garden as both banks had not yet opened.
Mrs. Preston (the wife of the Rector of St. Peter's Kirkley, Rev. George Preston) was here talking to mother and the Rector watched it all from his car outside the telephone box. Jerry was severely damaged by AA fire and by the Spitfire which had shepherded him over the sea and finished him off about 5 miles off Sparrows Nest. Another Dornier was shot down off Southwold at 8.00am. And that was that. Slept like a log that night though siren was still on as we went to sleep.
Sunday 09 March 1941
Very foggy, low ceiling. Siren went about 8.15am, just at consecration but nothing happened all day excepts sirens. I went to dear old Greasley's funeral Saturday. He was buried by St. John's vicar. He was blown right over houses from the Library to Raglan Street. He was badly damaged, not giving you details except it seemed the coffin was very light. The dear little girl I used to tease - I hear she was only 17 - they only found one hand and part of a foot so cannot identify her and there will be no funeral. Another woman posted as missing, believed killed is still missing, no vestige has been found. It appears she had been to hospital for treatment and had gone to the library porch for safety. These are, of course, Thursday's casualties. On Saturday no fatalities and casualties very small and very light. Isn't it marvellous?
Monday 10 March 1941
Last night was quiet although the 'Alert' lasted until very late. I have just been to see the damage done in Milton Road in Thursday's raid. The old Police Station there is down with adjacent houses and across the road is the little shop Jones had for bloaters which is seriously damaged at the back. Next door another small greengrocers and then a fried fish shop. These are smashed and also some houses in another road at the back, There is a narrow alley next door to the old Police Station full of houses. They had three bombs close together and will all have to come down. Damage much more severe than I thought. It looks absolutely awful.
Huke - a sower - employed at Robertson, High Street - used to be Curls - said he thought everything was coming on top of him. It is their third raid there. He shepherded 12 girls to safety. I then saw Mother's 15 and 17 Clapham Road. I could only go over 17, the ceilings are partly down upstairs, window frame blown in, roof slightly damaged. The woman and 5 children took refuge in a cupboard, all unhurt. She leaves for Scotland this week and repairs cannot be completed. Of course none of our raids are comparable to the dreadful ones in London and the cities but are bad enough and the comparatively few casualties are regarded by many as absolutely providential. Monday was a quiet night but we went to sleep with the 'Alert' still on.
Editor's note: May be Roberson, London Road North (Drapers),
Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday 11/03/1941 to 13/03/41
All very quiet days
Friday 14 March 1941
Only a few 'Alerts'.
Saturday 15 March 1941
'Siren' early around 7-8.00am. Went to bed 10.45pm. At 11.00pm, without any 'Alert' warning, bombs were dropped and Annie Rix apparently jumped out of bed and went straight to the cellar. It was all over in 10 seconds and we went into the Blue Room for warmth. No more bombs, no firing, nothing. I went outside and could hear intense heavy gun-fire and AA fire at sea. We think a convoy was being attacked off Yarmouth and have slight confirmation as Tildersley was at Gorleston and they watched flashes about 6 miles off and he also mentioned a ship on fire.
Editor's note: Unable to establish identity of Tildersley
The bombs we heard were dropped on Notley Road just as a lot of people were leaving the school hall where there had been a dance. I have not been to see the damage but I hear the front of 4 houses blown in, casualties very few and very light.
The raider dropped bombs blowing all windows in The Wherry, each side of the new bridge with no damage, a lot of incendiaries some in Salisbury Road and 4 or 5 or more duds on Whapload Road, which is roped off. We cannot imagine why there are so many duds. In the previous raid there were 5 or 6 on the main railway line, one 7 feet long. Hodges saw it and told me. Trains started last Tuesday 4.30pm. I went to post a letter that night with Hodges.
Editor's note: Hodges: neighbour, resident at 586 London Road South,
Wednesday 19 March 1941
There is nothing to report on this front of any consequence. There were two violent explosions on Wednesday night (19/3/41) about 9.15pm. Shook our windows very badly. In many other houses seemed very loud indeed though we did not get much noise. It is reported from 3 or 4 independent sources that they were two land mines dropped at Wissett, close to Halesworth. Apparently they fell in safe ground or there would not be much left of any town nearby.
Thursday 20 March 1941
We have been busy with 'Alerts'. Thursday we had a meeting at Nicholson's office again and all were naturally looking forward to it as Thursday is our day out. I had been there about 10 minutes when a large plane came over from the south, promptly fired at by apparently Bren guns from north end of the harbour. We saw the same lot of men as before scooting for the shelter but fortunately it was one of our new makes. I don't think we hit her.
Sunday 23 March 1941
Sunday morning we had an 'Alert' at 11.15am after some much earlier and in the afternoon 2 or 3 and later we had them continuously on and off all night till 7.00am Monday.
Tuesday 25 March 1941
Glad to say nothing happened during last night and although we did not wake up for them though I heard 2 warnings in my sleep. Really quite a quiet and restful week and we are not grumbling.
11.00pm bombs were dropped in Gorleston on the main Lowestoft Road close tom the hospital, damaging a new house never occupied. Little damage and no casualties.
Wednesday 26 March 1941
Bombs dropped on Corton Beach without damage.
Friday 28 March 1941
We were awakened by very heavy explosions and some gun-fire which turned out to be at sea. They seem to be after our convoys a lot.
Saturday 29 March 1941
A train from Norwich to Yarmouth was fired on. A Yarmouth man was killed and two others injured. Later on bombs were dropped on the Rifle Range or Pakefield Camp. Adams saw five bombs drop from a plane.
Pounder's maid said some were at Kessingland, she lives there, but there is no confirmation. Two were dropped at Walberswick which blew the windows out of Richard's sisters house.
Sunday 30 March 1941
During the night we heard some bombs drop. We also heard that fifteen were dropped at Carlton, none of which exploded. Peggy Lamb found one in the playground of her school. All scholars were sent home. There were thirteen unexploded out of fifteen bombs dropped on Ball's farm.
Editor's note: Unable to establish the identity of Peggy Lamb
We cannot imagine why we have so many duds. Some people think we have a friend there somewhere. We heard some more fall during the Sunday evening service but don't know where.
Monday 31 March 1941
Quiet except for 'Alerts'.
Tuesday 01 April 1941
All quiet except several 'Alerts' during the day. Went to the Pounders to tea. At 5.00pm machine gun-fire quite close, could not see Jerry but 3 Spitfires attended to her wants and he came down at Henstead. Pounders maid saw her come down, she had been to the Post Office. Alerts until quite late.
Wednesday 02 April 1941
Another dull day with low cloud ceiling. Went down the town after an 'All clear' at 10.00am. Thought I heard an 'Alert' on the way down. When I got to Pier Terrace I looked up because gunfire broke out and watched Jerry about a mile out over sea being barraged. Quite low, going south and I think he got away. Quite disappointing, marksmanship poor.
Thursday 03 April 1941
Thursday 'Alerts' all day. At 11.20pm we heard several bombs during considerable air activity overhead. The all quiet and I went to sleep again.
Friday 04 April 1941
Slept like a log till 7.45am. I hear last Sunday nights bombs were at Benacre, 18 of them. Thursday night's were at Gillingham in the marshes - we counted 8. Norwich was bombed on Thursday in railway station yard and Boulton and Paul. 'Alerts' all day up to 11.00pm. Jerry overhead and bombs dropped at Caister Holiday Camp - some fires. Plane cleared off from here about 11.30pm.
Saturday 05 April 1941
Quiet night last night. The plane brought down at Henstead had 2 dead in, two bailed out, a boy of 16 and an officer about 22.
Sunday 06 April 1941
Quiet night after siren late.
Monday 07 April 1941
Ditto but noisy after 8.00pm and we hear Yarmouth was heavily bombed for 3 hours.
Tuesday 08 April 1941
Very noisy planes from midnight till 2.00am, heard bombs at 3.00am. Yarmouth bombed again and Gorleston. Some damage but I hear not excessive in latter place.
Wednesday 09 April 1941
The family from Newbury arrived today. Contact made at Beccles 4.40pm. All well, tea, proceeded to Walmer in Miss Breese's and our own Talbot. All thumbs up and flap flying.
Editor's note: The family: AJT's son John P. Turner (Jack), Jack's wife Hilda (Scylla) and their children Keith, Mary and Michael.
Miss Breese - lived 479 London Road South, may be known from church (St. Peter's Kirkley)
Thursday 10 April 1941
About 9.30pm here 'Alert' opened and at 9.50pm bombs were dropped north of the Bridge and we were bombed intermittently till about half past midnight. At 10.00pm we all went to bed.
Editor's note: With his son's family visiting the weekly local news report is unnecessary. There is a gap of about a week in the records and the summary of damage in the entry for Thursday 17th April is probably the first viewing of what had taken place over a period of several raids.
Wednesday 16 April 1941
We witnessed a very heavy explosion from near our front gate followed by others. There seemed to be no protective fire from AA or from our own planes. We heard of damage near Railway Station and Odeon.
Thursday 17 April 1941
Thursday morning we found a huge crater outside Imperial Hotel by the Railway Station. Not much damage really apart from windows. All windows out in the Imperial, Railway Station and adjacent houses. A water main smashed, an underground lavatory flooded (and one or two sailors drowned in there I am told). Surrey Street - Boswell's house and next door levelled, all windows out and other smaller damage. London Road roped off from Regent Road to Old Nelson Street. Many shops levelled, Morlings and others up to Milton Road, also Perredes, Water and Gas Co. offices, Pikes, and places opposite damaged. Police Station all windows blown out again. Clapham Road caught it again, Austin and Wale flat, garage and ARP post flat. A very large crater at far end of Prairie when a bomb blew out all windows of RC Church and all windows in Gordon Road with other damage. In Denmark Road railway goods shed destroyed by fire and other damage done round about. Further survey later revealed extensive damage in High Street. Two large houses in Marine Terrace levelled, much damage in Milton Road, several small houses destroyed near where it crosses Clapham Road. Three houses at top of Denmark Road destroyed - one belonging to Cutts who told me he has lost everything he had in the world. There is much property contiguous with the levelled property that must eventually be pulled down and a lot more will need very heavy repairs. The death rate was 25 and 30-40 seriously injured besides others.
Monday 21 April 1941
We have had quite a quiet time since the above with no particular incident. The deportment of the whole family during the above raid merits my proud but silent approval. They all came up to my expectations. The number of HE bombs dropped is computed to be between 40 and 50 and at least 2500 incendiaries, most of which were extinguished or burnt out in open places with the possible exception of Austin and Wales place and the goods office which were probably set on fire by them and they were both burnt out.
What a night. I spoke too quickly when I said above 'no particular incident'.
About 8.40pm we were playing 'Rummy' when we heard gunfire and Keith shouts 'there are incendiaries', so we all made a dive for the cellar except Jack and Keith who rushed out, found an incendiary on the tennis court and promptly extinguished it with a sandbag, though bombs and incendiaries were coming down so close that they threw themselves down on their bellies four times. They then joined us in the cellar. Michael, who had gone to bed, was with us and also Jack and Kitty Boughton who had been to tea. We were quickly joined by Mrs Tuttle and her two daughters who were next door neighbours. Bombs were falling till about 10.20pm. and one of the last really shook the floor. The 'All clear' went at 11.30pm and we went to bed about 1.30am.
Tuesday 22 April 1941
We reconnoitred the town and found that the nearest HE bomb was on the corner of Acton Road and Walmer Road. Not much damage beyond glass but one man killed there. Pakefield Church is destroyed to all intents and purposes. The Venlaw and The Poplars both severely damaged and The Cedars, all in London Road South. A huge crater close to the Convent and St. Lukes and there is damage to the houses in the Middle Drive (Kirkley Cliff Road). There was a huge fire in the lower part of Walmer Road and we found 3 net stores all burnt out at once although some distance from each other. One was being used for storing furniture.
Editor's note: 'The Venlaw' was on the south corner of Kirkley Park Road and London Road South and 'The Poplars' was at the same junction on the north side.
Dr. Boswell's house in Kirkley Park Road had a bomb burst under a front window but not much damage to be seen. Meadow's private hotel badly damaged windows and all others nearby. Further south the yard of Suffolk County Council opposite Pakefield School had an enormous bomb crater about 40 feet across by 25 deep. Nearby property badly damaged including Sterry's Cottages, roofs, ceiling, windows, etc. Also houses on new estate knocked about. Casualties are believed to be comparatively small, reported 5 killed and 18 injured. There were several 'Delayed Action' bombs exploded between 1.00am and 5.30am.
Editor's note: Dr. Boswell lived in the house between Wilmington and no 7, Kirkley park Road.
Meadow's private hotel was The Kingswear, owned by Walter J. Meadows, was on the corner of Kirkley Cliff Road and Rectory Road. It became the Borough Planning Office and has now been redeveloped as flats.
Thursday 24 April 1941
Pounder gave me his experiences of the raid. They neither thought they would come out alive. Fifteen High Explosive bombs exploded with 50 yards of them, the nearest in the Catchpole's garden (406, London Road South) next door but one. During the raid in a quiet moment he fetched the lady in from next door.
About midnight after it was over he went out to see if he could help anyone and found a warden. He asked him about Gowing at The Venlaw, who is 80 and walks with two sticks. The warden told him that Gowing had been sitting in his armchair and had just reached for a match from the mantleshelf when a bomb fell on the room. It went right through to the back of the house and the next thing he knew was that some men were dragging him out of the rubble where he was buried up to his neck. They carried him round to the other side of the house where his housekeeper and servant were and he was all right.
Pounder asked the Warden about the Haileys and he said he would have to find his squad but he went first to look and found another squad who said Hailey and his wife had left the house at 7.30pm and no-one was there. Subsequently Mrs. Hailey told Pounder the bomb had gone right through their bedroom and the whole house had shifted 2 inches to the south.
Editor's note: the Hailey's: proprietors of Hailey's House Furnishers of 224-230 London Road South, who lived at 'The Poplars' at the corner of Kirkley Park Road and London Road South
Pounder then went to find the Greeves. There is a cellar under The Cedars (402, London Road South) and they were all in it - I don't know how many - uninjured and Pounder took them back to his own house where they stayed all night, none of them going to bed.
The Station Master told me he was informed that the planes came from inland having found visibility too bad, apparently saw the fires here and dropped their bombs. Also that two more waves were coming in from the sea but turned back, presumably because of the heavy mist, otherwise we might have had more. There is a huge crater in our cemetery here disturbing three lines of graves - where children are buried, close to the hedge on our side. Mrs. Eade was told by Goldsmith that possibly her nephew's grave is one of them.
We had a quiet night in spite of the sirens during the evening up to 11.00pm, then another at 11.30 which lasted until 4.00am. We were just going to sleep and Annie Rix called out "Did you hear the 'Alert'?" I replied "yes, we will sleep till the bombs drop" and we both went to sleep. Slept like a log.
Friday 25 April 1941
George Rix called us all up early about 3.00am saying, "There's something about and I heard something drop". He called Maggie down and we waited an hour but all quiet. Did not get up although the others did and Maggie wearing her hat. It turned out some bombs were dropped in the sea near Corton.
Editor's note: Unable to establish the identity of Maggie
Monday 28 April 1941
At 7.00pm we heard 2 heavy bombs and on going up Pakefield Street found out that a plane had dropped them about a mile from the beach - shook Gertie up.
Wednesday 30 April 1941
All quiet since Monday but at 11.00am we heard something very heavy come down.
Thursday 01 May 1941
Found out that last night's explosion was a mine (at sea). Very loud all over the town but no damage. Last night everything was quiet.
We hear that on April 28th there was a bad raid on Norwich again. Coleman's factory destroyed and I hear from a taximan who came through yesterday that it was still burning at 4.00am. Mrs Garrood saw the glow in the sky. There was a dance at Horning or Horning Ferry - people seem to mix them up. At closing time several motors switched on their lights and they were heavily and immediately bombed. Several killed and several cars smashed to bits. There is a small references to it in today's daily telegraph from the Chief Constable at Norwich. A man named Sutton - a great man in the Yarmouth herring trade - his son, son's wife and their two children were all killed. Pounder says they had been at that dance.
The crater in our cemetery is the biggest of any here I am told by 3 or 4 people.
Gowing is leaving The Venlaw and has bought a house in The Avenue I understand. The warden who pulled him out asked him how he was. He replied, "I am alright and have been in worse fixes than that". He was about again in two days on his two sticks.
Saturday 03 May 1941
A fairly quiet week until Friday evening. We heard bombs about 9.40pm and went to the cellar for half an hour, then to bed. About 11.40pm there were two big cracks so got up and cellared again until 12.30am. Found out this morning the early bombs started near the bridge, smashing the locks and more bombs dropped in Harbour Works again, up Commercial Road and on the main line - Ruth had to come in by bus from Oulton Broad Station as there was some damage done to the line and shed. The later bombs were heavy land mines dropped on to the north of Oulton Broad Station at Oulton and the back of Gorleston Road doing much damage also to Yarmouth Road School I am told. I have not seen any of this. The explosions were terrific and Miss Tuttle - at Burton's - said they were heard at Halesworth more than here. Beccles was also badly shaken by them. We were asleep and got up for about an hour, for some of the time in the cellar.
Editor's note: Ruth was Alice Ruth Rous, older sister of Stanley Rous, the Mutford born ex-football referee who was at that time Secretary of the Football Association and was knighted for his services to football in 1949.
Two sailors were killed close to our bridge by the earlier bombs but otherwise casualties were light. A fire watcher on the railway said these bombs were released by the plane over the sea and were intended for the town and the harbour but the strong easterly wind took charge and they were blown as far as Oulton.
Editor's note: From the description they sound like parachute mines.
Hailey's house is being pulled down, partly at any rate and I expect fully. They had two bombs in the front garden. I have seen the craters, about 10-12 feet across and 5-6 feet deep, and two fell on the house. Hailey was not feeling well and had gone to bed. A brother-in-law from near Loddon came over in the afternoon and invited them to sleep at his house which they declined. He replied, "I am sorry to insist but I do insist", and he made Hailey get up and took all three of them to his own house for the night. Now isn't that a funny thing? Gowing has bought a house in the Avenue, did I say?
We had another rough night. Saturday night we were playing bridge and about 9.40pm heard two explosions. Mr. Rix shouted. "Take cover", so we promptly took it with our cards in our hands down in the cellar but it felt a bit cold thus returned and Annie Rix went down one trick, which she attributed to the excitement and perhaps it was.
Sunday 04 May 1941
I had put the clocks on about 11.00pm and went to bed with occasional bombs in the near east. Then nearer and heavier 'plonks' so eventually got up and cellared. Then something extra heavy and soon after Mrs. Tuttle and girls and a boy - 6' 3" tall - named Coomber came in. We all sat in the Blue Room for warmth, dressed and undressed, I in my dressing gown. Coomber's clothes were white and he admitted he had been helping people out of bombed cottages in Whapload Road when some nasty trouble had been called. We alternated, with the Rix's, with the Blue Room and the cellar. It was too cold in the latter for me and mother had gone back to bed and I joined her. Soon afterwards they all came up and the Tuttles decided to go home and so the party was broken up.
One heavy bomb dropped in Hamilton Dock and blew up a navy minesweeper, blowing a gun and her compass over onto Hamilton Road. She sunk. Another was damaged and partly sunk. The raider then went up Roman Road and High Street. The Police Station had another heavy dose at their front door and the back of Perredes. It is practically wrecked inside. Peggy Lamb was on duty and they kept her until 7.00am. She took Pounder, who had been fire-watching all night, over it. He told me the Court Room looks as if a herd of elephants had broken loose in it. All ceilings down, all windows and doors gone everywhere, the control room destroyed, telephone wrenched off. The place looks an awful wreck and one lady worker slightly hurt.
Editor's note: Unable to establish the identity of Peggy Lamb
A land mine fell on the sea wall near the High Light, this side of it. I took a bus up there yesterday and walked back. Glass damage enormous from High Light to Regent Road. All Devereux's is out, four shops and very much more. Pykes shop had another bomb opposite, caught fire and is utterly destroyed. The Water and Gas offices, butcher's shop next door, Perredes, the bicycle shop where we bought the bikes will all have to be finished off, in fact the whole terrace up to Morlings will, I expect, have to come down.
The buildings opposite, Marine Terrace, got it back and front, Forward's office roof and the glass in Nicholson's office and all along there. I walked down Old Nelson Street and two large houses at the bottom are totally smashed. One of them is Morling's. Fortunately they are not living there and houses both sides of the road were severely damaged. There were 4 or 5 'Delayed Action' bombs also - one went off at 5.30am half an hour after the 'All clear' and another at 8.15am while we were in church. No-one even coughed.
The London Road (North) is now in a terrible mess. Most of the people were up most of the night, not going to bed until after 4.00am. The people at the 8 o'clock were very few but also very liberal. There might be a reason even for that.
Monday 05 May 1941
Had another rough night, the siren went about 10.00pm Sunday old time. About 11.00pm we heard distant thumps - we had just gone to bed. The Rix's decided to stay put for a time and Maggie Buxton, who is really full of beans, sat up half dressed in the Blue Room. We stayed in bed then after 2 or 3 more bumps I put on our light. Maggie came in and we heard Annie Rix with her hand on the cellar door sighing her heart out and 'Oh dear me' as an anthem. Then I felt our bed throb 8 or 9 times very quickly and then the terrific explosions a few seconds later. We stayed where we were and I thought it was by the harbour.
Editor's note: Unable to establish the identity of Maggie Buxton
George was partly dressed and Annie said it was too cold for him to go out. He had a look for incendiaries and reported a huge fire in the centre of town he thought. Later on I dressed and went out but the fire had dulled a bit.
The first bomb sank the old Consolidated trawler just inside the North Pier. I spoke to one of the crew when I went over. He said the bomb cut her in half and she sank in ten seconds, also that 5 men were having tea below and 3 asleep in their bunks forward. No-one was hurt and they were all collected from the cabin top half and hour later by the little official motor boat. The trawler has been there for a year and was intended to act as a blockship in the harbour mouth if and when necessary.
The heavier bombs were placed on London Road again, I went to see in the morning. Woolworth's was bombed and burned and is completely destroyed. There are several 'Delayed Action' bombs about and they have been going off all day - now 5.40pm. The road from Suffolk corner to Gordon Road is closed to all traffic including pedestrians so I cannot see everything but more damage than I could see. Buses are using Whapload Road and I expect Old Nelson Street.
Waller told me his mother owned a house in The Prairie. He went to see what damage there was and found a hole in the ground. He fetched the Police who recognised it as a 'Delayed Action' bomb and cut all communications off and evacuated all tenants immediately, then they found four more round about. Waller sent his man to get food from his shop and the man had to get a Police permit before he could pass the Police cordon.
I am told that Raglan Street batch and that there are houses down but I have not been there yet. Total casualties nil! This is official. Also official last week - Lowestoft is credited with 700 'Alerts' and 60 raids, without this last group. Some of the latter relate to planes which dropped their bombs in the sea, off the harbour mouth and other places. I have no knowledge of such a number but apparently the authorities have. Most people seem to have been up until about 4.00am the last three nights.
Tuesday 06 May 1941
A comparatively quiet night. The was an 'Alert' about 10.30pm new time lasting until 5.00am. I hear there were a lot of planes about until 4 o'clock and many people were up and about or in the shelter until then. We were in bed by 12 midnight and I slept until 8.30am and heard nothing, for which God be thanked.
There was an enemy plane overhead today at 1.30pm just as we were at a hot dinner. It was fired at by AA guns and chased off by two Spitfires but she it dropped bombs on Hollingsworth House I hear, on the Denes - uncorroborated at present.
Later - I hear very much damage to glass all along Corton Road etc., also that this plane was destroyed by a Spitfire.
I went over to Oulton Village along Gorleston Road and found Gorleston Road School with no visible damage except for a few panes of glass out but further along on the opposite side of the road about 14 bungalows knocked about badly by blast. There was a lot of damage to all their roofs and windows and I would say the backs had got it very badly. They are all empty now.
Haileys house: Mrs. Hailey's bed was blown onto the roof and a billiard table turned upside down and flung across the room. Mrs. H. had been doing some fancy work for her bedroom and just concluded it and it was found intact and undamaged on the roof.
Wednesday 07 May 1941
We had a quiet night ourselves but an 'Alert' went at 10.30pm. We hear there was a lot of air activity and people heard bombers and explosions and a lot of them were up until 4.00am but we slept through it. I heard the 'All clear' (it woke me up) at 3.45am.
A man came with some goods for us today. He said that six Dutchmen working in a garage abroad had shot the guards, collared 3 new planes and made off and one had landed at Covehithe this morning, followed in by a Spitfire. It landed in a field and the two of the men came out of it. He was telling the story in a shop as a joke when a lady said, "That is perfectly true. I was there and I saw the two men, one spoke perfect English. They could not think where the other two planes were and were afraid they had been captured".
There are more 'Delayed Action' bombs unexploded, one in Stradbroke Road. They have dug down 18 feet but have not reached it and the men say there is much water at that depth and think it has gradually sunk much lower. There are more between London Road North and Raglan Street. London Road North is still barred by the Police to all traffic from Surrey Street to Milton Road and Clapham Road is the same.
I was talking to a man who is Morling's brother-in-law outside Morling's demolished house. He told me they were sleeping elsewhere but went there for breakfast. Last Sunday morning the maid went to open up the house and saw something strange near the front doorstep. She called the attention of a passing Official to it and he said it was all right. Morling himself arrived on the scene five minutes later and said to the girl, "You come away now, never mind what you have been told". He took her away and ten minutes later it went off and absolutely demolished two houses!! I should not advertise this.
Thursday 08 May 1941
For us a quiet night but many people heard many bombs, apparently some way away. The 'Alert' went at 10.45pm as per timetable and the Rix's were on the alert until 3.00am. The 'All clear' woke me up at 3.45. We heard a violent explosion at about midnight but went to sleep and I slept until 8.30am. when I heard another terrific one. I regret to say we lost a minesweeper last night to a bomb and another this morning to a mine. The crew of the first one were all lost but one of this morning's was brought in on a stretcher. He is the only survivor and is not expected to live. This is a terrible catastrophe, both are local boats and the latter is was one of the smallest of the fleet. I think the skipper is probably one of our old skippers as his name is a very uncommon one and I have never heard it except when he was with us. I am told, also, that he was not a very young man.
Quite a quiet day. 'Alert' at about 10.30pm. but all quiet and we went to bed and to sleep and were awakened about 2.40am by heavy explosions. I found later that bombs were dropped on five roads at the north end. Some houses in all roads damaged, no casualties.
Friday 09 May 1941
I heard that damage had been done at Kent Road last night and some others. Went there and found nothing, all other property undamaged. Went along Corton Road in the afternoon and found a lot of glass everywhere but slight damage besides to roofs. All by blast. Walked across to front - which is closed - and I saw two large convoys going south, about a quarter of a mile interval between them. Miss Breese had tea on Southwold front. I heard very heavy explosions far out at sea and saw large columns of water thrown up. No doubt convoy being bombed as the times I saw them and she saw them would be correct. She left hurriedly (having had shrimps for tea).
Saturday 10 May 1941
'Alert' yesterday at 12 noon. There was a 'Crash' warning while I was in the town. Nothing happened and 'All clear' in three quarters of an hour, otherwise quiet. 'Alert' again at 10.20pm and went to bed about 11.00pm. Sound asleep then an almighty crash at 2.30am and made us all jump. Pounder thought the back of his house had gone. We did not get up but waited. There was dead silence and we went back to sleep. We discovered a very large bomb had burst in Kirkley Run. There was also a 'Delayed Action' bomb there and Carlton Road was closed to all traffic. No damage or casualties. London Road and High Street opened up again at 5.00pm after being closed by the Police for more than a week. I have not been up there yet.
Sunday 11 May 1941
Last night was perfectly quiet and everyone had a lovely sleep. Lovely weather, cloudless but cold and there was a sharp frost on the grass at 7.00am new time.
All quiet all day. We were all in the drawing room and had just had supper when at 8.45pm there was intense machine-gunning in this road, noise and the patter of bullets very bad. No siren. I later found later that the Tramway Hotel had some windows broken, a smatter of bullet marks to their brickwork and a hole in Cole's the butcher front door. He must have come right past us and the next lot was in an upstairs window in a small house opposite in London Road South - four houses with small balconies - and then he fled north and back to sea.
'Alert' again at 11.00pm. Went to sleep and the racket started at 1.20am. and continued intermittently until nearly 4.00am. A nasty night, full moon, cold and brilliant. A large bomb was dropped on the railway line near the station which blew parts of a lorry close by some 250 yards, the dry dock was damaged but it can still be opened and closed and there was some other damage in Commercial Road I hear.
The worst place is May Road, near Norwich Road. There is a crater - not very deep - in the middle of the road, four houses are flat and the other side of the road the houses are absolutely shattered and holding one another up. The destruction is the worst I have seen anywhere. They are very nice, small houses and I think there will be twenty-five on each side of the road that will have to be pulled down. Seven people were killed I hear and I wonder that it is not seventy.
I hear the town is averaging evacuation at 80 per day and that also a large number of people go out of the town to sleep at night. The aeroplane story is true and confirmed. She is being used as a trainer.
Monday 12 May 1941
The 'All clear' sounded at 5.40am. Had tea in the Conservatory Saturday and Sunday but too cold today, got a good fire.
Tuesday 13 May 1941
All quiet yesterday. The 'Alert' went at 10.40pm and we went to bed at 11.00pm. We were nearly asleep at 11.45pm in spite of the planes overhead we heard bombs some distance away then much closer. We went to the cellar at 12midnight for a few minutes then went outside and all very quiet. A policeman told me some bombs fell at the north end of the town and we heard four heavy ones a long way off, south-west or west. We went back to bed and heard more planes and more explosions but stayed in bed. Eventually went to sleep. Heavy bombs at 2.30am and also at 4.00am but did not get up. 'All clear' at 5.30am. Later we heard they had damaged Worthing, Sussex and Ipswich Roads and also that Adrian Lodge had a bomb through their conservatory. Eva May has a flat there. Only three casualties I hear.
Editor's note: Unable to establish the identity of Eva May
I walked up as far as Milton Road this morning. London Road North from Regent Road to Milton Road is a wreck - not a shop left on the left hand side, from Perredes to Kent's. They have been bombed again. The other side is nearly as bad and the backs of some that look less damaged from the front are terribly damaged at the back.
We were told that the Messerschmitt that machine-gunned us and also parts over the Bridge was shot down by two Spitfire. I saw them going after her but thought she had too good a start. There is a reference to it in today's Daily Telegraph and also the damage to May Road is mentioned although no address, and said to be six fatalities.
Fairhead - lives opposite side to The Towers in London Road South, close to Carlton Road - told Pounder that he was in bed on Saturday night and he heard the plane dive that dropped the mine in Kirkley Fen. The noise was terrific and he said "Under the bed!", to his wife. She fell out her side and he fell out the other just as the bomb exploded. He thought it was in his garden.
Editor's note: No previous mention of Kirkley Fen mine
When we were machine-gunned on Sunday evening - without the slightest warning - Annie Rix dived into the cellar from her chair, one motion. Miss Breese reached past mother and fell down on the slope in the hall. George acted as Traffic Director. I told him to go first and he stood like a pillar and said, "You go", so I used words to him to which he was unaccustomed, and he slowly went, sideways.
Editor's note: 'the slope in the hall' - the original date of Walmer House is not known. The original house/cottage was thought to have been a double-fronted two up and two down but it had been extended several times over the years. The result was a step down into the drawing room (and AJ's the bedroom above), a step up into the pantry/scullery and kitchen, and a slope in the hall.
Saturday 17 May 1941
Nothing of note to report since May 13th. We have had 'Alerts' every night at 11.00pm and they last until 5.00 or 6.00am.
Sunday 18 May 1941
George Rix reported a heavy night with planes and explosions a few miles away, apparently they had little rest. We had an 'Alert' as the Rector was giving his text this morning and another at 12.30pm but nothing doing here.
Monday 19 May 1941
Went to the station with the asparagus and found the door locked. There was a 'Crash' warning on which I was told was the second today. I walked across to the Midland Bank to cash a cheque. Pounder said, "There's a 'Crash' on, are you coming in for safety?" I said, "No, I want some money". Outside there was a loud crack. Pounder said, "Come here, quick" and I came behind the counter where they were scrabbing up money. I waited a few minutes, there was some gunfire then it all went quiet. I went out and found a lot of folk very excited. A Messerschmitt had dive-bombed, dropped two in Hamilton Dock and two more further north, then apparently turned right round and flew into the guns which gave him hell and finally, I am told, a shell which set him on fire, turned him right over and he fell into the sea. A naval motor boat had picked up the pilot and another man had been killed. I thought they only carried a crew of one. If Pounder had not detained me I should have seen it all. Fraser saw it and half an hour afterwards he was still shaking from the excitement. I was very disappointed, it was all over in under five minutes.
The Blitz: The plane shot down was probably 1/SKG210 Messerschmitt Bf 110E-1 (3483) shot down by No. 158 Light AA Battery RA, after dropping bombs on Lowestoft. It crashed into the sea half a mile off Corton. Lt. H. U. Hasse was taken prisoner, Uffz. W.Neumann was killed. The aircraft S9+BL was lost. (The Blitz Then and Now, vol3, p34).
Tuesday 20 May 1941
A very quiet night. The 'Alert' as usual at 11.00pm which is not at all nice just as you go to bed. I said to mother "Are you going to sleep right away?" and she said, "Yes, I shall try and will wake later if necessary. Keep your socks on in case!" So we, as usual, went right off and had a good quiet sleep. Very many people go straight into the shelters when the 'Alert' sounds but we think it rather too much to sit in the cellar until generally 5.00am. A lot of people are still leaving the town.
I hear from Mrs. Garrood, corroborated by the Pounders who both have relatives near Hull, that there has been a terrible blitz there. The entire shopping centre is destroyed, not a draper's shop left and the second night they destroyed three large mills. The Eagle Mill was one which turned out 2000 tons of oil cake etc. per week. The fatalities are estimated at 500 and possibly more and there are thousands homeless.
I hear today that the two bombs dropped in Hamilton Dock failed to explode. They fell between two ships and there was no damage.
Adams tells me the delayed action in Stradbroke Road is still there. They can't reach it and it is under water. He said the road is still blocked.
Rix reports that there was damage done last week in Elm Tree Road where he was called to see to some window glass in a bungalow belonging to a friend of his. The house is badly knocked about, he said. The owner was to have married and had this house all ready. The banns were put up twice but the girl got windy and put it off. He has put her off now.
In lighter vein, as they say, Mollie told us the following:
Lady S...... brought Lord and Lady Stanmore - or some such name - to see the posh canteen and there was a little ceremony of introduction to Eileen who was hostess for the day and other important people. Lord and Lady Stanmore are apparently not very young and the lady was very beautifully dressed in furs and fol de rols. All very nice indeed and she accepted the proffered homage of all the nice people she was presented to. A rating, who is acknowledge as a wag, got up from one of the tables, sidled up to the Lady and stretching out his hand said "Good morning, Marm". A very chilly "Good morning" in dignified accents and actions was received in reply and then utter silence and he turned round to Eileen and said loudly, "Nice chatty old party, ain't she?" - Tableau!
Saturday 24 May 1941
Since last Monday, May 19th, we have had a very quiet week. A few sirens generally about 11.00pm and one or two later but nothing more until 8.1opm Saturday when the 'Alert' went and about 8.15pm a bomber flew in and dropped bombs on the railway line again, on Brooke's boatyard and also on Anglo Armer Oil Co. near the swing bridge at Oulton. I have heard of no damage although some has been done, of course.
Sunday 25 May 1941
About 6.00pm a mine exploded on Pakefield Beach. The railway line was closed again on Sunday but I think open again now.
Monday 26 May 1941
The POW from the raider brought down here last Monday was temporarily placed in the Police Station next to a drunken sailor who, hearing who he was, strongly desired an introduction. Application refused.
The POW said he had been over London 3 or 4 times and knew London backwards. Also that he had been here 26 times. He did not want to bomb women and children and was trying to get our Gas Works , which seems possible as he was pretty close when brought down.
The 'Siren' went at 6.00pm. A raider dropped bombs while under AA fire at Woods Loke, just beyond Fir lane. The was some damage and some casualties vide the Daily Telegraph today. Second 'Alert' at 8.30pm and another at 11.00pm and I did not hear the 'All clear'. Nothing happened.
Friday 30 May 1941
Several quiet days up to the time of writing. Nothing, only 'Alerts' from time to time, some in the middle of the night.
The swine who dropped bombs on the lovely little cottages at Woods Loke last Monday killed 9 poor people and injured 11 others. He could not have found a more unlikely target from the military point of view in all England. You will see the notice of it in this week's Journal and also a picture. I hear some of the killed had gone there for safety.
Fresh notices are being issued by the banks and posted up on their doors advising people to make arrangements for transferring their accounts to another area in case of evacuation. Pounder told me, I have not seen them myself.
Wednesday 04 June 1941
Port War Four HE bombs fell on Whapload Road, Old Nelson Street and Tonning Street killing one serviceman and injuring five. (Port War, p75)
Wednesday 11 June 1941
The 'Siren' went on at 11.30pm and there were various noises and bombs until 4.30am. We were kept awake until about 4.00a,. and there was nothing very near. I understand that Gorleston and Yarmouth had it. (and in a later hand:) Hit Tramway Hotel - 5 killed and also some injured.
Thursday 12 June 1941
We went to bed about 11.20pm. There was no 'Siren' on but we had one about midday - nothing happened. Awakened at 2.30am to violent crashes some distance away and thought it probably the harbour.
Friday 13 June 1941
Next morning I found that the Central School near Christ Church had been heavily bombed, a direct hit in the middle. It had been full of soldiers and there were reports that 9 or 15 had been killed and 11 or 19 injured. Some were Border Regiment and some Royal Engineers. There was heavy damage again in Old Nelson Street and some in Whapload Road.
There was another bomb on the Trawl Dock in exactly the same place as former one - outside Gearing's office. A trawler lying alongside was sunk and another bomb in Hamilton Dock sunk two Patrol Boats or Minesweepers. We saw only one of them. The Herring Market was also damaged and the canteen slightly damaged. I don't know about the casualties, all hush-hush but probably small.
Editor's note: Gearings office: William J. Gearing, 21 & 22 Trawl Market, home at Ellerslie, 37 Beccles Road, Oulton Broad, opposite footpath through Crisps land to Crisps Creek.
Arrival of Keith, we are delighted of course. After supper we played Bridge in the Conservatory and Keith and I were walloped by Mother and George. To bed about 11.30pm, 'Siren' on about midnight. We heard bombs in the distance for 3-4 hours. I heard they fell at Lound, Bradwell, Burgh Castle and Gorleston. We know nothing of casualties. A quiet night, 'Siren' on from midnight until 4.00am but nothing doing. We heard the 'All clear' in our sleep. Saturday night quiet.
Sunday 15 June 2010
Midday - 1.30pm another raid on Gorleston. Heard heavy gunfire and bombs. We hear that the Middleton Hotel received a direct hit but no word of casualties.
Monday 16 June 1941
Air activity all night but nothing near.
Tuesday 17 June 1941
The 'Siren was on from midnight. There was great air activity and we think a convoy at sea was being attacked some distance away. Our windows shook violently several times until about 4.00am.
Saturday 28 June 1941
We have had no raid on the town for getting on for a fortnight but there have been various happenings nearby
There have been bombs on Somerleyton Park, with no damage. Also on Southwold, Benacre, Lound water works with a big main smashed, Belton, Reedham, Burgh Castle and Bradwell - all in the same district - and we have had several very disturbed nights. The 'Alert' usually comes on between 11.30pm and 12.30am and there is frequently heavy gunfire besides the sound of explosions in the distance. We have been up four nights this week, from about 1.00am until 3.00am.
Monday 30 June 1941
The Huns have been attacking convoys off the coast here. On Monday/Tuesday night the noise was awful and we hear that three bombers were brought down
Wednesday 02 July 1941
There was much activity over the sea on the convoy route around Southwold way but over the town our nights have been fairly quiet.
Two items of local gossip:
A boat with seven Dutchmen was picked up by one of our Patrols on June 30th. During an RAF air raid over Holland these men had borrowed a boat, carried her over the sand dunes and rowed out to sea after the petrol had run out. After they had been picked up by our Patrol ship a convoy came along and they all scuttled below. "Why?" they were asked by the skipper and they replied, "Oh but they are Germans". "Nonsense," said the skipper, "they are all our ships". "But no", they said, "we are told that you have not one English ship left afloat!"
...and from a farmer Godfrey knows and vouches for:
Some three or four months ago a gypsy asked a farmer near Bungay to let him put his caravan in his field and was told, "Yes, put it in this one" by the farmer. Some time later the farmer found that the gypsy was in the next meadow. He went to him and said, "You must use this one" and the gypsy replied, "No. That meadow will be bombed tonight", and it was - two bombs fell on it that night.
The farmer was very surprised and the next day asked the gypsy if he could tell him anything else, say about the war and when it would end. The gypsy looked at him and refused. The farmer persisted and after much talk the gypsy said, "I have warned you, you will have a great shock." The farmer still persisted and the gypsy said, "The war will finish six months after you are dead".
The farmer died two months back and all Bungay market place was ringing with the story.
Friday 04 July 2010
There has been much activity over the sea again and heavy gun-fire.
The new heavy AA guns near St. Margaret's Church are very loud and Mrs. Tuttle said a friend of hers was practically blown out of bed with the vibration. They have been in action but the results have not been up to expectations.
Saturday 05 July 1941
We heard that an invasion practice would commence at midnight and it was so. The row was awful. It sounded as though there were several machine guns in our garden and then the 6" coastal defence guns went off at a target 2 miles out - shooting I am told was excellent.
Sunday 06 July 1941
I went out at 12.30am in my night-shirt and heard shells whistle over my head. I saw red and orange lights thrown up probably from the sea and the whole place was lit up by white light. The display finished very abruptly at 12.50am and within a few minutes an 'Alert' went which lasted until nearly 4.00am. There were bombs to the south and west of us.
Editor's note: 'shells whistle over my head': Almost certainly from the battery of field artillery unit based near Harper's Pit, off Dell Road, whose field of fire would have included the beach at Pakefield (Reference: Fortress Lowestoft - Robert Jarvis)
Lovely day, all quiet.
Monday 07 July 1941
About 1.30am the 'Alert' went and on until about 3.50am. I am told there were four bombs in St. Peter's Street and more at sea and also that Yarmouth had it again badly with several killed but this is unconfirmed.
The Blitz: A Heinkel He 111 of 2/KGr100 was recorded as lost in an attack on Lowestoft on the night of 6/7 July (The Blitz Then and Now, vol3, p52)
Wednesday 09 July 1941
There is no news of actual attacks on the town since the last time I wrote when bombs were dropped close to St. Peter's Street and in the playing fields of St. Margaret's School killing two horses but we have had much night activity and noises.
Friday 11 July 1941
The 'Siren' goes about midnight and the alert lasts until about 4.00am with very many people up all night. Yarmouth and Gorleston have had it badly twice or thrice and at the latter place a gasometer on the main road has been destroyed, the one on the left. I have heard from a Gorleston man that a lot of nice houses from Gorleston church onwards from here, both sides of the road, are down. Several nights we heard the bombs so loud that we thought they were at the north end of this town. Anson Road close to Southtown Station had it badly and next night Cobholm Island at the back of the Two Bears Hotel. I heard also that they had two land mines close to the harbour.
Monday 14 July 1941
On Monday night at midnight a very large force of our planes were going over us. I was wide awake and I heard a very funny almost undescribable (sic) very loud noise - it sounded something like a very powerful motor lorry but on a high note. It was followed by a crash and I thought a collision between two of our planes had taken place. Other people think this too.
Thursday 17 July 1941
We don't know what really happened except that one of our bombers came down three miles out at sea practically opposite our house. We hear one man was picked up alive and one washed ashore. Other stories are that two bailed out and three were washed ashore. Pounder got up see what had happened and saw two specks in the west slowly coming down, silhouetted against the light in the sky, which he took to be two men bailing out.
Mrs. Pitt, Mrs. Henman's brother in law, picked up small thick felt mat either in his garden or in Rectory Road and pieces of metal were found next to the 'Fighting Cocks' in Carlton Road. Everything has been taken to the Police Station.
People explain the noise differently. Many though it was a dive-bomber unloading as they distinctly heard the swish of a bomb. Mrs. Pounder was one of these. Mrs. Eade thought, like I did, that it was a collision. The noise was so violent that Tibbie woke up and sprang on our bed, waking mother. It seems to be a very hush-hush affair and no-one knows yet what actually happened though it is genuinely thought there was an explosion in the plane and the pilot jettisoned his bombs in the sea instead of the town. Anyway it was a dreadful affair. Apparently everyone in the town heard the noise.
Editor's note:The fact that AJT was probably writing up his notes two or three days after events, the fog of war and the lack of positive information at the time has led the above description to be confused by your editor with two different events.
Wellington 1C (X9634) of 75 Sqn took off from Feltwell, Norfolk, on an operation to Bremen and was climbing on course when the starboard engine cut out as it crossed the coast at 6000 feet. The pilot immediately turned about but was unable to prevent the Wellington from crashing into the sea near Corton, 2 miles north of Lowestoft. Both pilots (Sgt. F. T. Minikin and Sgt. Gilding) were picked up injured from the water at about 0215, some two hours after the crash, and taken to (sic) Louth Hospital. The remaining crew of Sgt. E. Fox, Sgt. F. J. E. Price, P/O J. T. Leacock and Sgt. H. P. Clarkson were killed. (RAF Bomber Command Losses, vol2, p90).
The body of Sgt. Price must have been recovered as he is buried in West Bromwich Cemetery. The other fatal casualties are recorded on the RAF Memorial at Runnymede.
Bob Collis: The two survivors (Sgt Minikin and Sgt Gilding) from Wellington X9634 (14 July 1941) were actually brought ashore and taken to hospital in Lowestoft. The "Louth" mentioned in Bill Chorley's 1941 loss book is actually a corrupted version of Lowestoft. Source of info is the casualty log at the hospital. Their injuries included lacerations and "shock from immersion".
Friday 18 July 1941
'Siren' came on at 7.20pm and again at midnight, each time for about two hours. Nothing on here but it sounded like bombs in the distance and some heavy gunfire from our guns. Reports say the raider was driven off from here and dropped its bombs near Corton.
It is further said that there were no bombs but it was all gunfire, which was heavy, and that it was one of our chaps who had come in from over the sea without dropping any recognition lights and that the guns had opened up on him.
Saturday 19 July 1941
'Siren' at midnight, heavy gunfire 10 minutes later, no report yet.
The Blitz: A Heinkel He 111 from 3/KG26 failed to return from a sortie to the East Coast on July 19 and on the next day a Junkers Ju 88 of 3(F)/123 was lost. (The Blitz Then and Now, vol3, p56)
Sunday 20 July 1941
I am told that the Royal Hotel is closed and that it is due to be taken over by the Navy on 1st August, as also is St. Lukes where 700 men and 100 officers are going. I don't think the above should be advertised. I expect more active business here.
Monday 21 July 1941
'Siren last night at midnight as usual. All clear 2.00am this morning, all quiet.
Tuesday 22 July 1941
'Siren' sounded last night at midnight. We went to sleep and I heard terrible crashes at 1.10am and then silence. I put the light on for 10 minutes and then went back to sleep again
I met Crawford at 11.00 who had been down to Lorne Park Road and he took me to see the damage.
It is colossal. They say that four bombs were dropped together right in the area 'Box Iron Square'. Three houses opposite our house 'Mizpah' were flat and Crawford thoughts ours would have to be demolished but I don't know yet. Our tenants were in a shelter and had no ides of the magnitude of the damage.
Crawford reckoned that between 200 and 250 houses had been more or less damaged, among which are 20 demolished. Casualties we hear were 7 killed, 10 missing and 17 badly injured but I am afraid that there may be many more killed as the whole place was a mere rubbish heap.
The rescuers found pieces of bodies that night which they put in pails and when daylight came they filled a sack with them and asked Miss Breese to take it to the mortuary but someone else told her not to do so, and some men took it up.
A bomb fell at the foot of a shelter and blew everything and everyone to fragments. There were six people it in. Our tenant told us a man was blown through his roof and was still lying on the ceiling. All three roads got it and other roads have roofs lifted and, of course, thousands of windows gone. The blast went north so we did not get it at all but several shops in London Road South had the plate glass gone, from Carlton Road to Windsor Road - the shop at that corner got it badly.
Some of those shops affected are Hailey, Parr, Adamson, Gertie's old shop ('Starlings'), Bunyards, etc. and on the opposite side of the road it was quite as bad. I only mention this superficial damage to tell the reach of the blast from the Lorne Park Road bombs, which must be half a mile away and not even in a direct line. I have not been down there since. In addition to the casualties I have already mentioned there were dozens of sailors sleeping in the area and how many of them were killed I don't know. It is the very worst blitz that we have had and the whole of it was completely over in ten seconds. The plane went back over the sea without a shot being fired.
Editor's note: 'Starlings': 210a London Road South, described in 'Kelly's' as 'Miss A. Collingwood' (Gertie's daughter) - wools of all descriptions, art needlework, silks and fancy goods, orders taken for knitting and all needlework',
The 'All clear' went at 2.00am. The funny thing about it is that a tremendous lot of people had no idea that it was a bomb. Pounder's clerk, Watson, with other men was fire-watching at the bank and they commented at the time, "Two guns, what are they for?" Ever so many heard the 'swish' as they called it, Pounder was one, who said that he thought it was coming on his roof. I called mother who asked what it was and I told her bombs on the town or on the sea nearby as we felt no vibration. We were very glad you were not here.
Oh, I forgot to say, the 'Siren' went on again the same night at 2.30am but we slept through it and we only heard the 'All clear' when it went at 4.00am. I hear they went to Reydon.
Wednesday 23 July 1941
'Siren' at midnight. Very heavy big gun fire at 1.10am lasting several minutes. Nothing here and we are told that the guns drove them off.
Thursday 24 July 1941
All quiet last night but I am told the 'Siren' was on at 2.30am until 4.30am.
Friday 25 July 1941
A plane came over and was met by heavy gunfire, driven off and went off towards Yarmouth.
Saturday 26 July 1941
There was an 'Alert' at 7.30pm but nothing happened. Another 'Alert' at midnight and the heavy guns were in action at 12.30am. Ten bombs were dropped and three delayed actions but very little damage and no casualties. The plane was reported destroyed.
We later heard that there were two houses down at the North End, a large crater in the main road opposite Belle Vue Park and a water main smashed with a crater full of water.
Tuesday 28 July 1941
Sunday night was quite quiet. There was an 'Alert last night at midnight and bombs we hear were dropped at Blundeston but no details of casualties. Our heavy guns were in action.
Saturday 02 August 1941
Saturday night there was much gunfire and we heard bombs were dropped quite close by and at Yarmouth.
Sunday 03 August 1941
The Newbury contingent arrived safely today and we met at Beccles with great welcome and the hopes that they would have a good holiday, fine weather and a rest.
Saturday 09 August 1941
We have had gunfire and bombs for three or four nights and one night quite quiet.
Sunday 10 August 1941
We hear there was a very bad raid on Trafalgar Street and Seago Street and others in that neighbourhood, with damage to our cottage in Walton Road and also to Jack's house in Stanley Street. It is said that two bombs of 2,000 lbs. each were dropped. Six people are reported killed in two shelters and many houses damaged including several demolished and very many more due for demolition. There are very many people homeless with nowhere to go.
There was activity on most subsequent nights with more bombs in the vicinity and sirens every night.
Wednesday 13 August 1941
The 'Siren' went about 11.00pm and an hour later we heard bombs presumably on the town. It turned out that a very large bomb fell in the surf opposite Hatfield House and the damage to windows and frames from Waller's shops to Claremont Road was excessive.
Editor's note: Wallers had shops at 2a, 3 and 4 Pier Terrace at that time
Fortunately there was no more serious damage to property and no casualties, but many windows and some doors were blown in on The Esplanade, Wellington Esplanade and Kirkley Cliff, not much damage to Marine Parade but a large number of properties in London Road South. It was a very unnerving night.
Later we found that Pryce's shop in Suffolk Road and a shop on Suffolk Road corner had a lot of glass smashed.
Thursday 14 August 1941
A quiet night but rain and high winds.
Friday 15 August 1941
There have been four sirens, two lasting during darkness, and a lot of aerial activity all the fore-part and up to 3.30am. We all adjourned to the cellar at 10.30pm but there was nothing on the town. I hear bombs were dropped in the sea near Gorleston. It had been pouring with rain all day and I saw several balloons scudding across the sky, I don't know what they are but possibly targets for machine guns.
Sunday 17 August 1941
On the night of Saturday 16th August at 10.40pm bombs were dropped on the Trawl Market and Herring Market, destroying the new canteen there and also injuring the new tug boat. There were not any fatalities and very few casualties fortunately as the canteen had been closed 10 minutes earlier. I am told that this was half an hour earlier than usual as the committee had decided to sell no food after 10.00pm. Had this raid taken place half an hour earlier it is estimated that there would have been 300 men in there.
With the exception of the sirens - which are more or less constant about midnight - and gun fire at various times and various bomb explosions round about we have had a fairly quiet time for a few nights and days.
The 'Siren' sounded one morning and a balloon was being sent up when something happened to its cable and it rose until it burst and fell into the sea. We have five balloons now.
Thurday 21 August 1941
Last night about 10.00pm after the 'Alert' had just sounded we heard explosions which we thought was heavy gunfire to the north but this morning we were told bombs were dropped on the North Beach and on Boardleys stables.
The Blitz: Boardley's stables - probably of M. Boardley, Contractor, of East Street. (para)A Dornier Do 217 from 6/KG40 is believed to have been brought down in the North Sea (The Blitz Then and Now, vol3, p68)
We found that five 500lb bombs had been dropped there not far from Christ Church. There were very large craters owing probably to the soft ground and considering everything the damage was very small and limited and no casualties fortunately. Tiles, slates and glass broken was pretty general but one cottage on the brink of one crater appeared hardly damaged.
There were two surface shelters close by with about 20 yards between them. One was vacant and much damaged while the other, which had had seven people inside, was quite undamaged. Some people call it another curious coincidence.
Boardley's horses had been removed to a grass meadow some hours previously.
Sunday 31 August 1941
There has been no resumption of enemy activity for some days until last night when heavy gunfire and bombs were heard.
Editors's note: The image below is a permit for use of a car in the restricted area, signed by the Lowestoft Town Clerk and valid for three days, 30th August to 1st September 1941 inclusive, which was displayed on the windscreen of the vehicle (number DG 5734) with J. P. Turner named in the same hand on the back.
It is only speculation but as 31st August 1941 was J. P. Turner's daughter Dilys's nineteenth birthday it was obtained so that a car could be used either as a birthday treat or for the journey home on 1st September (see below, 1st September).
Monday 01 September 1941
The Newbury contingent left this morning at 10.10am to our great regret. They all said they had had a jolly holiday but as it was wet nearly every day - much or little - and then there was no holiday sport to offer we can only regret our inability to provide usual holiday amusements such as motoring or yachting.
Editor's note: 'no holiday sport': A holiday would normally have included much of the time spent swimming from one of the beaches (public banned by anti-invasion defences), sailing (AJT's yacht Hiawatha laid up for the duration) or motoring (severe restrictions on petrol and use of motor car).
The bombs early Sunday morning fell near Lound and at Yarmouth. We hear damage and casualties are slight.
Wednesday 03 September 1941
Three 'Alerts' at 4.50pm, 7.00pm and 11.00pm. Bombs heard in the distance and we understand that Fritton was bombed with very little damage. They are after our water supply.
Saturday 06 September 1941
Thursday and Friday were very quiet with no 'Alerts' but today much activity in the afternoon over a convoy. We heard much firing.
Monday 08 September 1941
We hear a minesweeper was lost past the Royal (Hotel) and only four survivors landed.
Mrs. Garrood's sister from Hull reports terrible destruction there. The shopping centre was destroyed some time ago and in a raid there last week the residential part was attacked and several streets badly hit. 220 killed in one street alone. Computed total damage £3million.
Wednesday 10 September 1941
Nights are fairly quiet at present. Last Saturday night two ships were sunk off Norfolk. There were eight 'Crash' warnings here between 8.00pm and 5.00am but no siren sounded so we slept in peace and only heard about it later.
Friday 12 September 1941
Wednesday night was quite quiet. Last night the 'Siren' was on at 10.00pm and we heard one bomb and much heavy gunfire to the north. We hear today it was somewhere between Corton and Gorleston. The 'All clear;' went at 11.30pm.
At midnight there was another 'Alert' but we went to sleep. Woken by heavy bombs at 1.00am. The Rix's got up and George went out but could get no information. I hear today they were close to the Brampton Dog and also near our Sanatorium.
Unconfirmed: Forty-three survivors were brought in by naval boats last week and one from a second ship, who is Norwegian. Lady Crossley took him home with her.
The Blitz: On September 15 a Junkers 88A-5 (5247) was seen attacking a convoy off Lowestoft when it was shot down by Sq. Ldr. F. J. Soper in a Hurricane of 257 Squadron. It crashed into the sea off Happisburgh at 7.00pm. Oberlt. H. von Heyder and Oberfw. K Utzen, Gefr H. Lessmeister (injured) and Sonderfuhrer H. W. Kelcgh (injured) were rescued by a trawler and taken into captivity. The aircraft 7T+LK sank. (The Blitz, vol. 3, p71)(para)On September 16 a Junkers Ju 88 from 1(F)/123 was lost and neither its mission nor fate is known.(The Blitz Then and Now, vol3, p72)
Wednesday 17 September 1941
Other than daily 'Alerts' we have had a quiet time until Tuesday and Wednesday with heavy gunfire on both nights with no bombs that we have been told about but we heard explosions.
Thursday 18 September 1941
We hear that there was a plane brought down off Kessingland on Tuesday/Wednesday night and two brought down on Wednesday/Thursday night, one off Pakefield. The crew of five were landed here. One was dead, two were wounded and sent to hospital and the other two sent to the Police Station. One at hospital had his foot nearly off and the doctors asked his permission to amputate but he refused, saying they were trying to invalid him for life. The other heard a child crying a lot and asked if it had been injured in an air raid. He was told it had and he said that it was, of course, accidental. The third plane brought down reached The Wash. Pounder told me the people at his fire-watching post could see the glare in the sky.
Friday 19 September 1941
Two 'Alerts' during the day.
Saturday 20 September 1941
'Alert' at 9.45pm and quarter of an hour AFTER two bombs had dropped, followed by heavy AA fire. The bombs fell on Burton's Creek, east of Crisp's, injuring a Mrs. Jenner. She and two other ladies were sleeping there in boats. The bombs seemed to us to be farther away than that. We were playing cards and the second bomb made the houses shake a bit. We went on playing and another burst of AA fire came on about 10.20pm so we went to bed.
Sunday 21 September 1941
Heavy AA fire broke out at 9.00pm, again at 9.40pm and again at 10.20pm. It seemed all around us and even in the garden. We heard no bombs. Whatever it was also visited Yarmouth three times and again dropped no bombs.
The Rector had told me that he thought the 6 o'clock service would be better as Jerry was calling earlier and we could get everything over and finished and go to bed after it was all over. We went to the cellar for ten minutes at 10.20pm.
Tuesday 23 September 1941
Last night very quiet. The 'Alert' went at 8.30pm only for half an hour.
About three weeks or a month back we heard that six convoyed ships had gone ashore on Haisborough Sands. There is a full account in the Lowestoft Journal this week of the marvellous rescue work performed by four lifeboats taking off the crews under fearful weather conditions. We were told at the time that one of the convoy went too far and the other five followed her. They apparently all broke their backs on the sands.
Editor's note: On 6th August 1941 the southbound coastal convoy FS69 came to grief on Haisborough Sands when escort trawler 'Agate' went off-course onto the sands and was followed by six merchant vessels which were 'torn apart' in a ferocious storm. Cromer's no.1 lifeboat with Cox'n Henry Blogg led the rescue, assisted by Cromer's no.2 boat, Gorleston lifeboat and the Harwich anti-submarine trawler 'Bassett', and 119 lives were saved. Henry Blogg won the BEM for this rescue. (Reference: Battle of the East Coast 1939-45 - J. P. Foynes)
Thursday 25 September 1941
Wednesday and Thursday nothing to report, we have had two absolutely quiet nights with no 'Siren'. There was thick fog this morning and at 12 noon going over the Bridge I could only see half way to the Pier Heads. Coming back in the bus the fog had cleared up and we could see a boom right across the harbour mouth. I suppose that is what they do in a fog. From the Bridge it looked like five large boats tied stern to stern.
Last week after my last letter we had a rough evenings of heavy gunfire but apparently the planes were driven off and on the following night we had an 'Alert' at 8.30pm until 10.30pm, 11.10 until 11.40pm and 11.45 lasting until 2.40am but nothing was dropped. The plane was reported on fire and subsequently brought down according to Boughton's post.
Friday 26 September 1941
I went to post a letter and saw what I thought were eight Hurricanes, well up, over the sea. They came back lower over Pakefield and then six of them amused themselves by dive-bombing our garden. I stood under the big elm tree on the corner and was certain one was coming down in it. It just skimmed over our trees like a blackbird hedge-hopping then came right down and had to zoom up to clear houses in the Avenue and Acton Road. The noise of all six at that height was awful.
Saturday 27 September 1941
'Alert about 8.00pm, 'All clear' at 10.00pm. At midnight the 'Alert' came on again and there was heavy firing close to us. The devil machine-gunned the town and Fraser told me they also machine-gunned the Broad.
Sunday 28 September 1941
At 11.00am the Hurricanes came over the church quite low and drowned the organ.
Wednesday 01 October 1941
We have had 'Alerts' each night between 8.00 and 9.00pm and Wednesday there was very heavy gunfire from north to south at 11.00pm just as we were going to bed, bad enough for the ladies to go to the cellar. George said he heard heavy bombs to the north as well but I have heard nothing yet of any damage. Anyway, we went to bed and were asleep before the 'All clear' sounded.
Thursday 02 October 1941
The Pounders, Boughtons and Mrs. Garrood have all had steel table shelters fixed but we shall not. We would have to provide two, one for the Rix's if we did and so we are just taking our chance as we have all the while.
Fraser has bought a houseboat in which they all sleep. He arranged to use Burton's Creek at 4/6d a week and £1 a year for use of the road. Burton was very rude to him because he gave two soldiers a cup of tea and a cake one night so next day he saw Miller and asked if he could find him a berth. He then arranged with the Harbour Master to have him towed round to Miller's the next day. That night they dropped bombs right on the spot he had been moored and they all must have been killed. One boat there was sunk. Mrs. Tanner and Mrs. Jenner were injured but she was at our church again last Sunday.
Editor's note: Fraser: probably Daniel Fraser, living in St. Peter's Road. A D. Fraser is recorded as being a wholesale fruit and vegetable merchant 1925-1948, trading in Potatoes, Fruit, etc. from premises in Commercial Road.
Miller: probably F. Miller & Co. Ltd., Yacht builders, Commodore Road, Oulton Broad,
Friday 10 October 1941
A quiet week with few 'Alerts' but in the early hours of Friday, 12.30-1.00am, we had heavy gunfire, bad enough to wake us up, lasting about half an hour. Ruth who is, as you know, is staying with us and came downstairs to the cellar. At 1.45am it broke out again and was very heavy indeed. We heard one plane was brought down near here.
The Blitz: In the six days October 5-10 three Junkers Ju 88's were lost on maritime duties. Neither their missions nor fate is recorded. (The Blitz Then and Now: vol3, p75)
Saturday 11 October 1941
Monday 13 October 1941
The 'Alert' started at 9.30pm on Sunday until 12.20am this morning and again from 1.20am until 3.00am but we heard nothing.
Thursday 16 October 1941
Since writing the above our baker just called and said that he heard that bombs were dropped near the Scenic Railway in Yarmouth at 1.30am this morning but he heard no further particulars of any damage or casualties.
I don't know whether you would like these notes continued now the children have left, please let me know.
Since writing the above I have seen Fraser's son, home on leave, who told me the RAF are very well fed and have butter, etc. I asked about sleeping and they have good beds and he would not be anywhere else for anything. He said it was splendid. He thought Keith (AJT's eldest grandson) would probably go to Blackpool.
Editor's note: re Fraser's son - in the event Keith went to the Lords Cricket Ground RAF reception centre and to Eastbourne
Thursday 23 October 1941
We has a 'near miss' last night. At 8.10pm the 'Alert' went just as we were having supper. Five or ten minutes later I heard something shrieking down and called out, "Bomb!". We all just jumped up and made for the cellar and as the ladies got down there, there came another heavy crash with the tinkling of falling glass. There was then more or less quiet for a time but later on severe gunfire from the north.
It took us a little time to investigate and we found a brick had gone through the glass over the french window in the Drawing Room. There were also some panes were gone in the roof of the conservatory. Rix and I went out and found bricks on our front doorstep but we examined the front of the house and could see no damage here. There were some more bricks on the path to the front gate and going outside the garden into the road we found the first three bungalows opposite had been demolished.
By this time the ambulances were there and getting their stretchers out and also the AFS people. There were no fires, however, and there were only five people slightly hurt.
At 586 London Road South Hodges and his wife were sleeping out. At 588 Mrs. Chipperfield, the wife of the Boots manager, was in her shelter. A large slab of concrete was laid over it but she was taken out uninjured and I have just been talking to her. I hear Mrs. Downes was in her house at 590. In the fourth house 592 Tripp was in his front room with two other men. They were covered in soot and dirt but otherwise uninjured. This house will also have to come down.
I have just been over to see the hole. It was a direct hit on the second house 588 leaving a crater 26 feet across by about 14 feet deep (our house is about 14 feet to the eaves).
Editor's note: The houses affected were numbers 586-592 London Road South, directly opposite Walmer's lawn. The direct hit on no. 588 was enough to demolish it and the houses either side, 586 and 590, and cause enough damage to 592 for it not to be economic to try saving.
Our roof has several holes in it cause by debris, the gutters are down including the new ones and those over the conservatory smashed the glass. The roof is really badly hurt in places but I think there is no damage to the windows except the one over the Drawing Room porch. We must have been in the thick of it, the mess is awful. Bricks are everywhere, some buried three inches deep in the law, there are lumps of clay and wood, and at least a ton of sand.
There is sand all over the concrete at the back mixed with half bricks, all over the rockery at the front with slates and bricks and right down the garden to the chicken runs with every kind of rubble. Really we had a marvellously providential escape. Miss Breese was here and not one of the ladies turned a hair.
In addition to the above Acton Road is closed and evacuated on account of an unexploded bomb in Miss Musson's front garden. Two small houses there had their fronts blown in but no-one is allowed in the road so I haven't seen them. Poor Mrs. Musson broke her leg some weeks ago and had to be evacuated. Mrs Garrood also and the only people left there were Mr. Mallett and his sister-in-law, whom apparently the Police forgot to call. I have just seen him and his only damage in his front gate broken. The Hodgsons are evacuated and are probably coming here until the bomb goes off or is dug out.
Editor's note: Miss Musson: 52 Acton Road,
Hodgson: 26 Acton Road
Friday 24 October 1941
We have been inundated with callers all the morning. The Misses Cochrane, the Prestons and Mrs. Hodgson came in and several others came up to us in the street. The following also came to the house: Pounder and John, Mrs. Hunt, Kittie Boughton, Dr. Mead, Mrs. Pitt, etc. Since writing the above we have had Warnes men here and they find roof damaged much more than we thought. Our tails are still up.
During the day only one 'Alert' up to 9.00pm and then another at 9.30pm with intense AA fire, very loud. We went to the cellar for a few minutes.
Saturday 25 October 1941
'Alert' on at 6.20pm while we were playing cards. At 9.00pm AA fire was very heavy again and again on the third 'Alert' at 10.20pm. We went to the cellar three times but nothing dropped.
The plane that came over on Friday night was shot down in the sea in flames off here, several people saw it.
The Blitz: Erpro/KG30 Junkers Ju 88 (1432), was shot down believed by Fl. Lt. J. R. D. Braham DFC and Fl. Sgt. W. J. Gregory in a Beaufighter of 29 Squadron. It crashed in the sea off Lowestoft about 6.00pm. Uffz. F. hall, Uffz. T. Molscher, Uffz. K. Winter and Oberggfr. H. Zettier all missing. The aircraft 4D+DA lost. (The Blitz Then and Now, vol3, p77)
Sunday 26 October 1941
We had five 'Alerts' on between 4.00pm and 10.50pm and had just settled down in bed when the last 'All clear' went. Quite quiet all night.
Mallet tells me the bomb disposal squad has been at work in Acton Road. He thinks both those bombs exploded at the time. I will write particulars if any in the next letter.
Monday 27 October 1941
The two bombs in Acton Road were dug out this afternoon by the Bomb Disposal Squad after lying there for 110 hours. They were 1000lbs each. Adams, watching from our garden, saw them take out a lot of 'golden balls' out of them. One made a direct hit on number 42, went through the top floor, deflected through the party wall into no. 44 wrecking the chimney breast, ceiling and stove, subsiding under the floor lying about three feet down. Bath houses completely wrecked inside and I hear unrepairable.
Tuesday 28 October 1941
'Alert' at 9.20am and two Spitfires went out. Two hours later they came back and did an elaborate Victory Roll, which I missed of course, although I heard the planes.
Editor's note: The endurance of Spitfires under combat conditions at that time would not have been as much as two hours and so these would most probably have been on what was known as a 'rhubarb' raid into enemy territory.
Wednesday 29 October 1941
'Alert' about 11.00am and two violent explosions at sea. I was told that Jerry dropped two bombs over a tanker and made off. The ship was apparently undamaged and my informant said he saw the whole thing.
Thursday 30 October 1941
Awful day for weather with a heavy gale from the north with a lot of heavy hail showers, then snow from 11.00am until 1.00pm and then much more hail until it turned to rain. Stayed in all day. Quite a quiet night.
Friday 31 October 1941
Yarmouth had bombs last evening from 6.00pm until 7.00pm. A plane tried twice to get in and was driven by gun-fire. The third time it was successful. Griffiths told us two houses are down close to him, behind the Naval Barracks, and possibly other damage. The papers say 'no damage'.
There were two 'Alerts' this morning at 2.00am and 5.00am but neither of us heard them or the 'All clears'. Emms says they heard the bombs at Yarmouth last evening and the windows rattled. Heavy explosions apparently at sea, we thought.
Editor's note: Emms: Archibald G. Emms, Pounder's Chief Clerk at the Midland Bank,
Monday 10 November 1941
A bomber sunk one of our patrol vessels and one man was killed. The bomber was brought down.
Wednesday 12 November 1941
A passing convoy was attacked and one bomber flew so low that he broke the mast of one of the ships, tearing off his starboard wing and he crashed.
The Blitz: On November 12 a Dornier Do 217 from 4/KG40 had been lost whilst on an anti-shipping sortie off the East Coast.(The Blitz Then and Now, vol3, p81)
Saturday 15 November 1941
The 'Siren' went at 9.30am and again at 6.30pm. The papers report one brought down on the East Coast in the early morning and another at dusk. They are losing affection for us, we hope.
Editor's note: 1/Kustenfliegergruupe 106 Junkers Ju 88D-1 (1294) on another anti-shipping sortie believed shot down by Pilot Officer I. A. McRitchie and Sergeant A. G. Beale in a Defiant of 151 Squadron (Coltishall). It crashed into the sea some 20 miles of Great Yarmouth at 5.25pm. Fw. K. Rethage, Uffz. F. Griss, Obergefr. W. Hulterhoff and Gefr. J. Christ all missing. Aircraft M2+DH lost. (The Blitz Then and Now, vol3, p81)
Monday 17 November 1941
A relatively quiet week, except for a few sirens. No bombs or 'noises off' and the silence is appreciated.
Tuesday 18 November 1941
We had an alert at 9.00pm and at 9.05pm we heard two bombs drop. At 9.10pm our lights went out for about a quarter of an hour. We were playing cards and went to the cellar but when the light came on no-one knew who's lead it was so we packed up and went to bed. There is no fun in bombs, though. All quiet since.
Wednesday 19 November 1941
It seems a very heavy bomb dropped on Geoffrey Palmer's office next to the Imperial Hotel, completely demolishing it and also the hairdresser's next door and I am not sure if another is down. Also the entire gable of the Imperial together with the beautiful foyer, offices, public approach and the entrance. I saw the crater and guessed it at 40-45 feet across and 15-20 feet deep as they had started filling it in.
All the windows to the Imperial, the Suffolk and most of Tuttles gone, in spite of the iron shutters that Tuttles have on their big windows. The Station has hardly any damage except to all their windows
Many people were in the streets awaiting buses. The splinter shelter on the pavement was crammed. There were only three casualties, all very slight. The official report was that there had been two planes over, another bomb was dropped in the harbour, two more at Waveney Crescent and three more in a field close to Grove Farm - Peto's - with no damage.
Pounder was told that two houses in Waveney Crescent were lifted from the ground and dropped down again but I heard they would have to be demolished.
Friday 21 November 1941
I hear Lang is out of hospital staying at his brother George's White House Farm in Pakefield.
Editor's note: Lang: John Lang, pharmacist, business premises at 28 London Road, Pakefield, (home shown as 40 Kirkley Park Road in 1936).
Tuesday 25 November 1941
We hear from a friend who went over to a nearby aerodrome that one of our planes came back for bad weather, and he had some damage as well, he got in radio touch with the aerodrome saying he wanted to land but he still had bombs aboard and he was told to go out again and drop them in the sea.
A drifter coming back from a patrol got ashore in the harbour mouth last Friday. A London tug came yesterday and pulled her right over so she sank!
German radio said, "We bombed Lowestoft on Monday night". It was Tuesday. Heavy explosion at midnight.
Tuesday 02 December 1941
We are told the explosion 25/11 was caused by a military foot patrol mistaking the path on the north beach. An NCO was killed and two men severely injured, see this week's Journal.
Thankful to say no activity over this town for the past week.
Private - Official: One of our patrol vessels found a buoy light showing unusual flashes. It investigated and found two e-boats tied to it, one each side, waiting apparently for a convoy. Destroyed and sank one and damaged the other.
Secret: One of our MTB boats captured and brought in an e-boat entire. This is the first one we have captured and I am told the discoveries were of great interest. This must not be broadcast.
Did you notice in the Journal that people in the Imperial did not hear the bomb that blew the gable end off? This is most curious and has happened several times here.
Mrs. Woodcock who lives only a few doors from here did not hear the bomb opposite us and Huddart in the Avenue thought it was 2-3 miles away, possibly west of Oulton Broad.
Editor's note: Mrs. Woodcock: 535 London Road South (para) Huddart: 70 The Avenue
Wednesday 10 December 1941
Nothing at all to report for over a week, fortunately.
Mother was down the town with me this morning. We were just going into Marks and Spencer when the manageress met us with the news "The 'Crash' warning is on Sir, please go to our shelter if you are staying as we are about to close the doors". Nothing happened.