Concrete braced shelters were built on waste ground between Auckland Road and Brunswick School before the start of war in 1939.
This was the shelter which Michael Bowyer’s family would try to reach. On the night of the 27th July 1941 he witnessed the attack by a JU88A on the area near the Round Church, recorded in Air Raid! pub.1986.
Flying incredibly low a JU 88 a-5, possibly of the K Gr.106, arrived from the east in moonlight. Frequent claims that cockpit lights in low fliers were visible are often made. Possibly but in this case with the bomber at no more than 100ft above me I saw none but picked out the oil trays beneath its engines, as featured by later Ju 88 As. As it roared overhead, engines emitting their characteristic, Ju 88 smooth sound, I watched from outside the Brunswick School, shelters, a splendid vantage point from which I tried to observe events. The aircraft had astonishingly to rise to clear elms by the River Cam, and as it did so the LAA mobile Bofors Troop on Midsummer Common fired two rounds, to which the ’88’s crew hopefully responded with a Very light. A power surge carried the climbing aircraft into a very steep turn which resolved itself into a dive. Hurrying south, it released twelve bombs along the eat side of Bridge Street. Against the red and yellow explosions masonry could be seen hurled high. Quickly following more muted ‘cracks’, bright fires burnt too. I was held transfixed, this was a once in a lifetime experience for rarely was it possible to see such an event so clearly unfold. Rapidly the sky reflected a fierce fire, and next morning’s discoveries were equally memorable.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Thank you for exploring historical Cambridgeshire! We hope you enjoy your visit.
Did you know that we are a small, independent Museum and that we rely on donations from people like you to survive?
If you love Capturing Cambridge, and you are able to, we’d appreciate your support today.
Every donation makes a world of difference.
The Museum of Cambridge