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Air Crash in Combs Village, Stowmarket.

by Ipswich Museum

Contributed by 
Ipswich Museum
People in story: 
Mr Gardner
Location of story: 
Stowmarket, Suffolk.
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
24 November 2004

My first memory - a Searchlight from Wattisham, placed on Poplar Hill. There were tracer bullets from the airfield, as a German fighter attacked the Aeordrome.

My brother came home from Dunkirk and at three o'clock in the morning my father woke me up and told me to get dressed. As I opened my eyes the barn opposite the house was on fire.

A Wellington bomber had crashed coming home from Germany. We went to get out the front door but could not as the wing from the bomber was across the front door.

We found out next day as the crew came from the aerodrome and told my father they had bailed out and hit a tree near the house then crashed.

When the fire brigade arrived they put their hoses in the pond next to the barn and put water on the fire. This made the fire worse because fuel from the plane tank had run into the pond.

We stayed at the local shepherd's, Sam Last.

Next a tractor came and dragged off the cows which had been burnt alive. My father told me to come away. As they were pulled away the meat fell off the cows.

Shrapnal had come into the house, through the wall. It broke every cup hanging on the shelf, but, as my mother showed the neighbour, it left the handles still hanging.

We moved to Ipswich. I saw barrage balloons, the first was on top of Sherrigham Road, now where there's the old people's home. I remember a tree trunk, hit by fire, and fallen down in Gypsswck park and playing field.

Reproduced by Ipswich Museum with Mr Gardner's permission.

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