Area where bombs landed 75 years ago is commemorated in Lowestoft

Roger Smith (left) and Bob Collis (right) of the Lowestoft Aviation Society present Lynne Maynard an

Roger Smith (left) and Bob Collis (right) of the Lowestoft Aviation Society present Lynne Maynard and Bob Cowan with a picture of the bombed-out ruins of the ‘Clarendon Stores’ PH. - Credit: Archant

It caused damage and destruction in the heart of our town as the Second World War continued to escalate.

The front of the old Clarendon Stores building on London Road North. Pictures: Mick Howes/Supplied

The front of the old Clarendon Stores building on London Road North. Pictures: Mick Howes/Supplied - Credit: Archant

And now, 75 years on from an air raid which destroyed a popular Lowestoft pub, a presentation has been made to the coffee shop now standing on the same spot.

Chairman of Lowestoft Aviation Society, Roger Smith, and historian Bob Collis, presented a framed picture of the wrecked building to Lynne Maynard and Bob Cowan, who run the Coffee Heart shop.

The business, on London Road North, now sits on the spot of the former Clarendon Stores pub, which was damaged beyond repair on the morning of February 4, 1941, as a result of a direct hit from a HE bomb.

A Dornier Do17Z bomber from Luftwaffe unit 4/KG.2, had departed from France in clear conditions – tasked with a bombing raid against RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.

However, it was intercepted by two Hurricanes from RAF Coltishall as it crossed the coast, and was chased northwards across the town at about 9.23am.

As it tried to escape the RAF fighters, the German crew jettisoned their 18 x 50 kg bombs, which fell in a line between the harbour and Compass Street – near the Town Hall.

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Among the buildings also damaged or destroyed by the bombs were the Congregational Church, the Old Public Hall and a house in St Peter's Street – where two people were killed.

A short while later, the Hurricanes, flown by Pilot Officer Barnes and Sergeant Brejcha, brought down the Dornier aircraft, which crashed in the sea off Corton killing three crew members.

The fourth member of the crew, Feldwebel Waldemar Blaschyk, the aircraft flight engineer, survived after he parachuted into the sea.

He was captured by a vessel from Great Yarmouth and brought ashore as a Prisoner of War.

At the short presentation, held on Thursday, February 4, the framed and annotated photo – prepared by Simon Baker – was handed over.

Mr Collis said: 'We hope the picture will generate a bit of interest from your customers, but more importantly, we hope it will remind people of what a previous generation of Lowestoft folk endured, so that we can live the lives we do today.'

Mr Cowan, of Coffee Heart, thanked the Lowestoft Aviation Society on behalf of previous site owners.

He also paid tribute to the wartime emergency services, as well as the forces for their service.

Do you have a Lowestoft heritage story? Email joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk

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