Luftwaffe bombing run over Bures, November 6th 1940
 

In addition to the bomb damage at Nayland Road, a further six bombs rained down with the last falling along the Colchester Rd

The map shows the first and last bomb that was dropped by the Luftwaffe, The first in Colchester Road and the last in Nayland Rd.
Obviously, the accuracy of the Luftwaffe was very poor if the bomb aim was destined for the factory


First Hand account of the raid:-

During the early 1940`s we were advised to move away from our house between St Osyth and Clacton due to the war situation and so we arrived at Bures for safety.

Consequently my Grand Parents rented a bungalow on Colchester Road and were at home when the bombing occurred.
From what my family has told me, I can pass on the following:

The bombing happened around tea time so it was dark. The lights of the factory, to the north of the village, were seen to be switched on without any black-out precautions. With the rest of the village in total darkness it must have stood out like a beacon.
The reason for this has never been explained.
I think that it was a targeted air strike on the factory and not simply the aircraft getting rid of unwanted bombs.

My father recalls the noise of an aircraft in a steep dive, followed by a series of loud explosions. There was no warning other than the noise of the aircraft.
The front door was blasted down the hall by the bombs. As already mentioned the family were about to have their evening tea/meal. The children had sat down at the table ready to start eating.
My Gran had managed to "obtain" a honey comb (not easy with rationing) as a special treat for the children which she placed on a plate in the centre of the table.
The children were very-much looking forward to eating it. This is the point when the aircraft was heard in a steep dive and so my gran and her mother each leaned over the children to try to give them some protection. There was no time to do anything else. As you probably know German aircraft tended to sound different to British ones and so my Gran knew something bad was about to happen.
When the bombs went off the glass light fitting above the lounge table came crashing down directly into the honey comb and ruined it with broken glass splinters.

My family say that a bomb landed on Colchester road, blocked the road.

The property was damaged by the blast, the whole roof structure shifted 5 inches, all the windows were broken and the doors blown off. It was so badly damaged was uninhabitable until being rebuilt after the war.

One of the bombs only just missed a pile of bricks on the building site next door ( left side of bungalow)
In Nov. 1940 the ground was fairly damp so where the bombs hit soil they tended to go down a long way before exploding and so shielding much of the blast.
People at the time said that if the bomb had hit the pile of bricks there would in effect have been a kind of "air burst" explosion and my family would have all been killed. As a result only my Grandfather would have survived as he was at work in Clacton at the time.

My father suffered serious hearing damage which he never recovered from. He also had nightmares which lasted into the 1970 as result of this and other things that happened in the war.


It is my understanding that a stick of 10 bombs were dropped with the first ones landing near where my family were living on the Essex side of Bures, Colchester road. Some landed in the meadows next to the river, between the 2 sides of the village and the final 1 or 2 landing on or near the council house on Nayland road where the 4 people were killed. In other words the bombings on Colchester road and Nayland road were both part of the same air raid.

I have, seen it suggested that there were anywhere between 4 and 10 bombs dropped but I would think that the correct figure is 10 or nearly 10 judging by the damage.

There is also some confusion about the date of the raid as I have seen it stated as being anywhere between the 5th and 11th November 1940. ( ed:- the insurance claim date this as Nov 6th )
My Grandfather was at work when the raid happened and when he got home to a seen of total devastation my Gran said "we've been bombed" my Grandfather replied "I thought something had happened".

My Grand Parents moved out the next morning, after spending a night with some people just down the road.
That day they also found some alternative accommodation.


Stephen Barr of Malmesbury, Wiltshire

This is the bungalow as seen in 2014
Bungalow dated circa 1940
Home of the "Barr" family
17/11/2014
27/11/2014
02/12/2014

Account from John Barr, Uncle of Stephen Barr (see above)

My first real memory was standing in the near darkness of the hall with the family, except my father who was still on his way home, and shivering (cold /fear). At that point someone found my coat (brown with a velvet collar I think) and we were just looking at the hole where the front door had been when someone (ARP?) ran up to the opening and called out to check if everyone was alright. The next I remember was when we were in the front garden, which was not the same, but just a pile of earth and what I found strange was that we did not have to go out of our gate and in through our neighbours gate but just walked over the earth and we were there. I believe
the next door house was not badly damaged and their children were possibly told to keep us two amused which they did with the help of a wind up gramophone and one or maybe two records.
I have no direct memory before this of the sound of the bombs etc. but was told about it later. Also I cannot remember anything after the gramophone for some years.
I was told that Lesley and I were put to bed in the small room at the back of the house ( windows protected with that stick on netting) whilst our parents stayed up all night planning the move back to our own house. The next day I think I got in everyone's way because I wanted to hunt for the honeycomb which I seemed to think was behind the sofa. I grew up with the firm idea that the raid was all about the attack on the honeycomb.


Acknowledgement to John Barr for allowing me to print this account

The above account confirms once and for all that between seven and ten bombs fell during this raid.

This information confirms the damaged extended to the Colchester Road.


Courtesy of
Stephen Barr, Wiltshire
and John Barr
updated 15/12/2014