|At 10.12a.m. without warning two High Explosive bombs fell on the premises. The first struck the classroom occupied by Class 10. Std. IIB & IIIB 46 children on roll, 39 present, Teacher in charge Miss M Wright.
The Classroom & the clinic waiting room above were completely wrecked by the explosion which caused the total collapse of the Street wall. It is possible that the bomb entered the classroom, falling obliquely through the window & making a deep crater in the farthest corner among the children. All the furniture was smashed, not a desk remaining whole. Except for windows in the demolished wall, all the glass covered with fabric remained unbroken. Twenty-five children and the teacher were at once assisted from the classroom and received first aid attention. Fourteen others were rescued by demolition gangs as soon as humanly possible.
The serious cases were taken by ambulances to the Moor Road First Aid Post where expert attention was given to the injured.
Five children were killed.
Four others were moved at once to the Northampton General Hospital, where two died very soon after admission. A further child was sent to the Hospital on Saturday Oct 5.
The second bomb which fell in the Boys’ Playground, badly damaged the Boys’ Offices, blew down a large part of the playground wall & damaged, though not severely, one shelter. It is my opinion that had the children in the shelter the casualties would have been less severe.
A roll call was prevented by the false report of a time bomb in the playground, all the children not receiving first aid were at once dismissed. The children & staff showed great courage & remained quite calm carrying out all the precautions arranged for such an emergency.
Parents & friends who invaded the premises on the whole behaved well, but there were cases of bad hysteria among them.
Mr J L Holland B.A., Secretary, & Mr A Woodhead, H.M.I., were quickly on the scene.
I must record my admiration of the first aid & demolition workers, for their promptitude & efficiency.
The School was closed until pronounced safe by the County Architect, Mr J Perkins.
On Thursday afternoon Miss Bennett & Miss O’Connor visited all the injured, bringing back a complete report, every child being accounted for. A preliminary check had been made by volunteers from the crowd.
Visits were also paid on Friday. In the afternoon, Mr Orris, the visiting Colchester headmaster, with Miss Swann & Miss Hill of the feeding Infants’ Schools assisted me in the work of identifying the victims.
Members of the Staff with myself attended the funerals on Saturday of Dennis Felce, Donald Scriven of Alfred Street & Muriel Moye of Colchester and on Monday of Joyce Dodd & Ray Odell of Alfred Street. Lorna Paine and Patricia Chase were taken to Colchester for burial. [Note: 3rd October 2000. It came to light today following a memorial ceremony that it was not Patricia Chase who died but her sister Cecilia Chase. Patricia Chase visited the school today. J Kidney (Headmaster)]
During the week all the Infants Department & three classrooms of this School were declared unsafe, Miss Hill & myself, with Mr Williams, acting Asst. Secretary & Mr Woodhead found temporary accommodation in S. Peter’s Sunday School, S. Peter’s Mission, The Scout Room & The Adult School.
Mr Jenkins HM Dev’d & Mr Osborne HMI paid sympathetic visits.
A town relief fund was opened for victims of the raid.