On 8th July 1940, Ipswich received the preliminary caution at 09:45 hrs. At about 10:25 hrs, a German aeroplane believed to be a Dornier, was seen to dive from the clouds and the whistling of bombs was heard. The target appeared to be the docks, with seven bombs dropped in a line of about a quarter of a mile leading from the edge of the quay. The area also contained some key industries, but no loss of production was suffered as a result of the raid. A further three were believed to have dropped in the water. None of the bombs exploded although damage was still done to some buildings due to impact. There was one slight casualty, a female suffering from shock.
Wardens were quick on the scene, but as the area was close to a police sub-station, police control was very speedy. The only work for the casualty services was to evacuate some elderly people.
The seven bombs dropped as follows:
- Bomb 1: This struck the wall of the quay just above the water line, resulting in damage to the brick work. A diver located the bomb in mud the following day. It was described as a shell type bomb weighing approx 112 lbs.
- Bomb 2: This struck the railings of the gantry above Smart’s Wharf and hit the wall of a warehouse, deflecting it into the earth of the wharf. The Bomb Disposal Party located the bomb just a few feet under the surface. It was found to be a large bomb of about 500 to 600 lbs. A hole was made in the warehouse wall and a Rescue Party had to shore up a lintel and floor carrying beam.
- Bomb 3: This went clean through the corrugated roof of a warehouse, through a side of a shed, penetrating concrete and burying itself in the earth.
- Bomb 4: This penetrated the gable end of a malt warehouse and buried itself in six to seven feet of malt on the first floor of the warehouse.
- Bomb 5: This went through the chancel roof of St Mary-at-the-Quay Church and penetrated the stone flagged floor of the chancel, burying itself fairly deeply in the earth.
- Bomb 6: This dropped into a small ornamental pond in front of a house next to the church, burying itself in 12 to 15 below the surface.
- Bomb 7: This dropped in Turret Lane at the side of a footpath and buried itself about 10 ft below the surface.
Above: Summary of raid, 8th July 1940
Above: German map of Ipswich (Stadtplan von Ipswich) showing location of raid on July 8th, 1940. The docks, No 11 on the map,
(Docks, Werften, Kais: Wetdock) have been identified as an area of importance.