It's a miracle I survived WW2 bomb

Ray Howard near where the bomb dropped in Deepwater Road, Canvey

Ray Howard near where the bomb dropped in Deepwater Road, Canvey

First published in News

TO this day, Ray Howard bears the scars of the devastating wartime bomb attack on Canvey.

Although faded, 70 years on, they are still visible and provide a daily reminder to Ray of the horror of July 22, 1944.

At about 11.30am a Spitfire had been chasing a German V1 doodlebug flying bomb along the Thames, trying to stop it reaching London.

The usual practice was to try and upturn the bomb and leave it to explode at sea.

However, on that day, the doodlebug veered towards Canvey, narrowly missing the Red Cow pub – now the King Canute.

It landed on two homes in Deepwater Road, killing Ray’s brothers Eric, seven, Peter, five, and their cousin Betty Brace, who was delivering papers.

Neighbour Peg Scott was also killed.

The only bomb to drop on Canvey during the war wreaked havoc, injuring almost 30 people, causing extensive damage to more than 150 homes and a church.

Among the injured were Ray’s mum Elizabeth, who lost the baby she was carrying, and his older sister Doris.

But it was Ray, who was only two-and-a-half, who bore the brunt of the flying glass and shrapnel.

He spent the next six months in Rochford Hospital and for the next seven years of his life visited the hospital to have glass removed.

He still has some pieces of glass that cannot be removed.

Remembering the attack as the 70th anniversary approaches, he said: “I feel very lucky to be alive.

“Everything is a blank. All I remember is growing up to realise and remember having glass taken out of my body.

“I think it is a good thing I don’t remember it."

He will take part in a service in St Nicholas Church, in Long Road, Canvey, at 10am on Sunday to remember those killed, injured or affected by the bombing.
There will also be a history exhibition at the church and all are welcome

Comments (10)

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8:42am Sat 19 Jul 14

alarminstaller says...

That man certainly is not liked from above floods and bombs he has suffered, each time he has been lucky.

There is still time.

Watch out for the lightning Ray !!
That man certainly is not liked from above floods and bombs he has suffered, each time he has been lucky. There is still time. Watch out for the lightning Ray !! alarminstaller
  • Score: -4

9:13am Sat 19 Jul 14

InTheKnowOk says...

Any chance of having a break from seeing this dude in our daily rag? ... It's getting monotonous ....
Any chance of having a break from seeing this dude in our daily rag? ... It's getting monotonous .... InTheKnowOk
  • Score: -5

10:03am Sat 19 Jul 14

John Right says...

And that car is still parked on the verge..
And that car is still parked on the verge.. John Right
  • Score: -4

10:57am Sat 19 Jul 14

andyman1971 says...

Give him a break... He lost two brothers in this air strike as well as other victims, this is something that cant even be imagined in the 21 century of massive bombs being dropped on the UK. My thoughts are with you Ray.
Give him a break... He lost two brothers in this air strike as well as other victims, this is something that cant even be imagined in the 21 century of massive bombs being dropped on the UK. My thoughts are with you Ray. andyman1971
  • Score: 4

11:39am Sat 19 Jul 14

John Right says...

Seems the actions of the Spitfire pilot, meant the V1 landed on Canvey..
Seems the actions of the Spitfire pilot, meant the V1 landed on Canvey.. John Right
  • Score: -3

11:40am Sat 19 Jul 14

Howard Cháse says...

This is hardly news though is it?

Any excuse to get his photo in the paper.
This is hardly news though is it? Any excuse to get his photo in the paper. Howard Cháse
  • Score: -3

11:51am Sat 19 Jul 14

InTheKnowOk says...

andyman1971 wrote:
Give him a break... He lost two brothers in this air strike as well as other victims, this is something that cant even be imagined in the 21 century of massive bombs being dropped on the UK. My thoughts are with you Ray.
Millions of people lost loved ones in the war, they still are, he's nothing special ... Save your sympathy for someone that deserves it ...
[quote][p][bold]andyman1971[/bold] wrote: Give him a break... He lost two brothers in this air strike as well as other victims, this is something that cant even be imagined in the 21 century of massive bombs being dropped on the UK. My thoughts are with you Ray.[/p][/quote]Millions of people lost loved ones in the war, they still are, he's nothing special ... Save your sympathy for someone that deserves it ... InTheKnowOk
  • Score: -1

3:00pm Sat 19 Jul 14

alarminstaller says...

He is a politician say no more.
He is a politician say no more. alarminstaller
  • Score: -2

3:26pm Sat 19 Jul 14

John Right says...

Chest full of medals, what a hero..
Chest full of medals, what a hero.. John Right
  • Score: -4

10:31pm Sat 19 Jul 14

Kim Gandy says...

Oh for God's sake, listen to yourselves. Politician or not ... I don't know the man but don't envy his or his family's experiences or his poor mother who lost a baby.

Have some respect and decency for God's sake. Anyone's experience of both world wars is bound to be traumatic.

There is not one of you who, if God forbid, we had another, would risk your lives for anyone else, either as a civilian or armed services. You're not up to the mark.

You're all so full of your own bile.

At least mine is justified and directed at people who truly deserve it.
Oh for God's sake, listen to yourselves. Politician or not ... I don't know the man but don't envy his or his family's experiences or his poor mother who lost a baby. Have some respect and decency for God's sake. Anyone's experience of both world wars is bound to be traumatic. There is not one of you who, if God forbid, we had another, would risk your lives for anyone else, either as a civilian or armed services. You're not up to the mark. You're all so full of your own bile. At least mine is justified and directed at people who truly deserve it. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 1

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