raid lasted several hours, wave after wave of bombers coming over
to be met by fierce fire from ground defences which were constantly
in action during the night and which compelled the raiders to fly
at great heights.
been shot out of the skies by our fighters and ground gunners. Attacks
were again widespread.
One, a Junkers 88, crashed near a village, the
other, which came down in flames, fires some houses, and there were
a few casualties. British night fighters were again co-operating
with the ground defences.
Raiders were over in large numbers, and at a late
hour a heavy attack was launched on a West Midlands town by relays
explosive and fire bombs damaged business premises and houses and
early today rescuers worked to free people trapped in wreckage as
bombs continued to fall
After starting early in the night the attacks
intensified later, and went on for some hours. Casualties included
some killed. A number of the injured were at a police station that
was damaged. Fires were started and immediately tackled by the fire
Hit on Shelter
another Midlands town considerable damage was done in a small areas.
A tunnel being used as a shelter received a direct hit and a number
of people were trapped. A schoo, a chapel and a cinema were also
Bombs crashed down, too, in many other parts including
the North-East, East Anglia and the South-East. Aircraft were heard
during a London Alert, but no incdents had been reported when the
raiders passed sounded some time after midnight.
Three if the ten raiders brought down last night
were destroyed in the Midlands, one in a Southern county, one in
the sea off the East Coast, and another off the South Coast.
The Air Ministry and Ministry of Home Security
communique states: "Attacks by enemy aircraft last night were
directed mainly against a town in the midlands and districts in
"The number of casualties in these attacks
is not yet known and may provoe to be heavy."
"Strong German bomber formations successfully
attacked an English port and an important industrial centre last
night," the official German News Agency claims today.
damage was done to commercial and dwelling house properties and
there were many casualties, some of which were fatal.
A number of fires were started and, although Civil
Defence personnel worked heroically in fighting these, the flames
were not under control in some cases until dawn broke.
One town, where there were a number of fatal and
non-fatal casualties, suffered heavily from fire bombs.
A theatre, commercial premises and houses were
wrecked, and when dawn broke, firemen were still playing water from
a hydrant on to the blackened shell of the theatre. During the night
they had fought the fire increasingly ignoring the dangers to which
they were exposed when huge tongues of flame leaped up into the
sky and made the blazing building a target for the overhead bombers.
Other buildings in the town were set on fire and
at one time huge red glows could be seen in the sky before the Civil
Defence services were able to get the flames under control.
people had to leave their homes and be accommodated in [rest] centres
where they were given food, hot drinks and shelter, while others
were given refuge in houses in nearby areas which had escaped the
thickly populated area of the town presented a pathetic spectacle
houses, craters in the roadways, and old people standing looking
at the remains of what had been their homes were some of the scenes.
Rescue and demolition squads were working ceaselessly to release
civilians who had been trapped beneath the wreckage of their houses.
In other parts of the town a number of houses
were damaged by high explosives and incendiary bombs. Voluntary
fire-watchers dealt quickly with the majority of incendiary bombs,
and in one instance a householder was so intent on helping to put
out a fire started in a neighbour's house that he did not know his
own home had taken fire.
When his attention was drawn to this he promptly
began attacking the flames in his own building and had them under
control in a short time.
another house in this area a man and his wide who are both Civil
Defence workers had just left home to report to the first-aid station
when a high explosive bomb wrecked their house.
A.R.P. Controller today paid to the splendid work carried out by
the defence services during the raid: "All sections worked
magnificently," he said, "and their morale was of the
Civilians showed a similar spirit and shortly
after daylight industrious housewives were busy with broom and shovel
clearing away the debris from near their houses.
Notices such as "This window couldn't take
it, but we can," appeared in damaged business premises, while
one young business girl, looking coolly at her shattered bedroom
window declared "Well, they've save me the trouble of opening
my window to do my morning exercises today."
people probably owe their lives to their kitchen table, for when
their house received a direct hit, the table under which they were
sheltering supported the debris which fell on them
They are Mrs N. Nicholson, her two daughters,
Laura and Mary, and her grandson, John Peel, aged [six] months.
"We were sitting in the down-stairs of our
house," Mrs Nicholson said today, "and when the gunfire
became heavy we all went under the dining table.
"We heard a bomb coming down, and heard a
crash, and our house collapsed on us. We were completely buried
by the debris, but the table supported it and none of us were hurt.
My daughter, Mary, [created] a tiny hole through the debris and
was able to shout for help. The rescue squads heard us and after
about an hour we were rescued."
Mrs Nicholson also had a narrow escape when a
nearby house was [hit] several months ago.
family also had a narrow escape when their house was bombed.
Mr and Mrs William Piper, the [...] James (19),
John (15) and their daughter Mary (28), were sheltering in the wash-house
of their home when a high explosive bomb
the house and partly damaged the wash-house.
The wash-house was covered with debris and the
occupants were trapped. They heard rescue men digging and by shouting
were able to tell them their position, and were rescued unhurt.
The next door neighbour, who had left his shelter
and gone into his house, was also buried and was not released until
about five hours later.
In an adjoining house, four people were trapped
and rescue workers were still digging for them this morning.
a long intensive raid on another town, a number of people were killed
and injured - first air-raid casualties of the war.
Hundreds of high explosives and incendiary bombs
were dropped indiscriminately and there was considerable damage
One bomb demolished some shops, one of which belonged
to Mr Thompson, a local fish merchant, who was killed at his home
by another bomb.
police officers were killed in another street. One was Constable
Mornington Clements, who had 21 years service in the force, and
who was due to start annual leave today.
other was ex-Inspector George Murray, who retired from the Force
many years ago, and was a member of the Police War Reserve.
Three members of the staff of a first-aid station
are believed to have been killed. There are believed to have been
casualties among first-aid workers in other areas of the town. Rescue
and demolition squads were still working today searching among debris
Shops and residential property suffered severely
and a number of persons were injured by flying glass.
Some families were rendered homeless and the arrangements
for their welfare were brought into immediate use.
houses were reduced to shambles in one street as a result of a direct
hit by a heavy calibre bomb and all adjoining property was wrecked
in the blast. A few bodies were taken from the remains and search
is proceeding for others.
Mes Emily Chalmers, who was bombed out in London,
and was on a visit to the town, was injuered about the face head
and hands by debris.
The wing of a public assistance hospital was wrecked
and there were many casualties, including five dead.
Licensed property and several self-contained houses
were razed in another section and a few people are understood to
have lost their lives.
An Anderson shelter in which there were memners
of one family received a direct hit and all lost their lives.
considerable number of incendiary bombs were dropped at another
town, together with a number of high explosives, some of which fell
on working class houses.
houses were demolished and there were some fatal
casualties. A search continued for other people who were missing,
including a newsboy.
Amongst the killed in this town was a Home Guard
who was on duty.
The Town Clerk received severe burns to his face
and hands when he attempted to put out an incendiary bomb which
had fallen in the roadway.
A school was among the buildings damaged. Some
people were rendered homeless and received aid from the emergency
Another town which had many incendiaries showered
upon it escaped serious damage and there were no casualties.
At another town damage was done to property and
three people were reported killed.
plans during their attack on a North-East town damaged shops and
a departmental store was wrecked by fire. This store, over three
storeys high, was gutted. Flames shot high into the air and l ighted
up the whole town.
Deupty Town Clerk, who was acting as a fire-watcher, helped to put
club was damaged.
A small number of high explosive bombs was dropped
and on demolished five houses and a number of people were trapped
beneath the debris.
people are known to be dead and others were extricated
in an injured condition.
losses in the moonlight air-battle over Britain jumped by at least
another ten last night.
Thus, in the last three nights 23