The next morning I had to walk from Freedom Fields to our bungalow in Granby Barracks in Devonport, and it took me three and a half hours. I was walking over the top of houses and things, and the flames were meeting over the streets, and people were crying ‘Oh my sons gone, my daughters gone’. It was just terrible to hear it. You would just try and comfort them some way or another. When I got home, low and behold Mummy’s bungalow was flat.
The archive records for each Divisional police area, approximately equivalent to a London borough, contain page after page of records, with one or two pages for each day. The records for Plaistow for the 19th March 1941 are somewhat longer than usual, as this raid was the largest on London since the 29th December 1940, but is representative of the type of detail recorded. There is one unusual ‘feature’ – the death of Police Sergeant Murray, killed by blast in the Barking Road, on his way to an incident at the height of the raid.