2nd June 1942: An Air Raid on Ipswich


About 2 o’clock this morning I was awakened by explosions and gunfire.  I felt very ill, and was only half awake.  I could hear several planes flying fairly low (there were light clouds) but whether English or German I could not say.  Guns were firing fairly near at hand.  I dozed off again, only to reawaken and find I had a considerable fire in the bedroom, as the candle had burnt down, igniting matches and grease in the candlestick.  The whole thing was blazing a foot high, considerably endangering the curtains.  I did not know what on earth to do, but finally smothered it with a cushion, with the result that a perfect silhouette of the candlestick was burnt into the cushion.

By the time I got the fire out, guns were still going off all round, and when I looked out of the window I could see a very considerable fire towards the N.E., and could hear more gunfire in that direction.  I felt horribly sick and tired, and could not be very interested in what was going on.

Got up early, left at 6.30, and was glad to find Colchester intact.  I heard a woman say to another as they went into Paxman’s, “What a night!” And the other replied, “I never slept at all!”  However, nothing had happened in the vicinity of the town, except that the guns at Lexden and Bergholt fired about a dozen rounds.  The attack was on Ipswich, but not very much damage seems to have been done.  Mr. Craig came in this afternoon on his way back from Ipswich market, and said that about 5 people had been killed in a house near Foxhall Rd., and that a factory had been set on fire.  That was the glare I could see.

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