My experience of the day a German bomber attacked De Havillands 3rd October, 1940

June Margaret Lawrence ( née Bullen )

I remember that I was 9 years old at the time and it was mid-morning and rather misty. I was coming back from Pearmans Grocers and had just passed Tingeys on the way back to my home in Dellfield Road.

As I was approaching Lustys sweetshop, I was suddenly aware of a crackling noise and saw pieces of wood flying up in the air behind the Railway Houses.

I stopped under a tree and looked up to see an aircraft flying over, low enough for me to be able to see the crew inside the front canopy and cockpit. I also noticed the black crosses on the plane and realized it was German.
I began to run along the footpath and into Dellfield Road, where I passed the milkman, who was ducked down behind his cart.

The plane had now passed out of sight and I reached our front gate and saw two workmen, who had been building a wall, now hiding behind it.

As I reached the back door my Mum opened it and began to pull me inside. I looked behind me and saw the plane again, now flying low over the Regent Cinema, trailing fire from its wing and fuselage. As my Mum closed the door we heard two very loud bangs.

Some time later my Uncle Bob (Robert Bullen) came cycling round. He came in and said sat down in a chair, pale and shaking, trying to calm himself down enough to tell my Mum what had happened.
He had been working in the hangar at de Havillands but had gone out to get something a few minutes before the attack.

This page was added on 03/01/2019.

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