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Kent's Doodlebug Summer: Graham Elliott interview

By Jenna Dobbs

Graham Elliott was just three when he was caught up in a devastating explosion in Carrington Road, Dartford, which claimed 10 lives.

The 78-year-old, of Park Avenue, Northfleet, was visiting his grandmother in neighbouring Colney Road when the huge blast struck - just metres from him and his parents.

The doodlebug fell on Sunday, August 6, 1944 - destroying 20 homes and damaging a further 700 in the surrounding area - devastating hundreds of lives.

120, Park Avenue, Northfleet..Graham Elliott at home. (Doodlebug supp)..Picture: Steve Crispe. (9420696)
120, Park Avenue, Northfleet..Graham Elliott at home. (Doodlebug supp)..Picture: Steve Crispe. (9420696)

It was marked with a commemorative plaque in March 2015, unveiled by Cllr Jeremy Kite, leader of Dartford council.

Mr Elliott, who lived with his parents, Albert Owen Elliott and Vera Nellie Elliot, in Horton Kirby at the time, has described the experience as a "very lucky escape".

He said: "I was travelling in the sidecar of a tandem bicycle, and we pulled up at my grandmother's.

120, Park Avenue, Northfleet..Graham Elliott at home. (Doodlebug supp)..Graham Elliott as a boy wit Parents, Albert and Vera..Picture: Steve Crispe. (9420763)
120, Park Avenue, Northfleet..Graham Elliott at home. (Doodlebug supp)..Graham Elliott as a boy wit Parents, Albert and Vera..Picture: Steve Crispe. (9420763)

"I was laid on the ground by the side of the house, with my mother on top of me and my father on top of us both, waiting for the explosion which duly came.

"The missile hit the house in Carrington Road, which, if I may hazard a guess, was only about 50 yards from my parents and I.

"When we got up I was covered in blood, and taken to unit made of corrugated metal, much like an Anderson shelter, where they were dealing with casualties.

"I was checked to ascertain the damage to my body, but it transpired it was not my blood, it was my father's.

"He unfortunately had a piece of slate stuck in his head, from a falling piece of roof tile.

120, Park Avenue, Northfleet..Graham Elliott at home. (Doodlebug supp)..Extra info for reporter..Picture: Steve Crispe. (9420394)
120, Park Avenue, Northfleet..Graham Elliott at home. (Doodlebug supp)..Extra info for reporter..Picture: Steve Crispe. (9420394)

"We went back to my grandmother's and the ceiling had come down onto the glass cake stand, but the cake inside was okay, and I can recall eating it."

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