Phyl Didsbury, who was a Wren, living in a house at Tilbury Gardens, recalls the night the Tilbury Hotel was destroyed by fire.
“Tilbury was a very hot spot, especially the nights when incendiaries showered down and the Tilbury Hotel burned down with the loss of a few lives. It was a huge fire which left only the brick chimneys standing and they tumbled down the next day. The officers from the ships in dock were allowed to sleep there instead of onboard, and they escaped in pyjamas and dressing gowns – but alive.”
An extract (p. 167) from A History of Coalhouse Fort by Carole McEntee-Taylor (published by Pen & Sword Books). Signed copies were on sale by the Coalhouse Fort project at the Orsett Show and may be available on Coalhouse Fort Open Days. Copies are also available at other sources including Amazon.