Frederick Gill and his wife Dorothy became the first civilian fatal casualties of the war in England, when a Heinkel bomber crash landed on their house, No. 25 Victoriia Road, Clacton. Moments later there was an enormous explosion. The plane had been circling over Clacton in Essex for about half an hour before it came down, and many people looking out of the windows were injured in the blast.
‘Almost simultaneously there was a giant waterspout as high as the bridge alongside one of the capital ships and a barge tied up alongside; it seemed to fly up in the air! In later life I discovered it was HMS Southampton.’