I watched sneak raider target town

First published in Your Second World War Memories

While many Colchester residents witnessed the devastation caused by bombs, perhaps few came as close as Marie Jackson to the bombs themselves.

On the day in question, the now 90-year-old had gone to buy sprouts and potatoes with her young daughter from a shop in Military Road.

She said: “I was on the way back when I looked up to see this big black plane coming towards us from the Bourne Pond area. It was so silent, just gliding above the houses – we used to call them sneak raiders.

“As I looked, the bomb bay doors opened and five bombs came gliding out. Why did I stand and count them?”

Mrs Jackson, of Holman Crescent in Prettygate, Colchester, remembered advice she had heard – if you are near falling bombs, run towards the plane.

“I dropped my bag, picked up my daughter and ran into the grocery shop on the corner of Canterbury Road,” she said.

“I laid on the floor, sheltering my little girl.”

The pair, thankfully, survived unscathed, with no-one killed in the attack.

Mrs Jackson later found out that one of the bombs had landed in the playground of a school in Barrack Street, with another near the river at East Gates.

“I couldn't find out about the others,” she said.

“And I never did find my sprouts!”

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