Ellen Charlotte Mary Josling (later Barritt) was Great Baddow born and bred. She married in 1902 and had a son. In May 1941 the couple's flat in Coval Lane was demolished by a German bomb. She spent several hours trapped in the wreckage and once dug out spent three days in hospital. A week later she suffered a relapse and died in Great Baddow.
Ellen was born in Great Baddow in 1876, the daughter of Thomas C. Josling and Sarah Josling. Her siblings, all born in Great Baddow, were: Charles Ernest Josling (born in 1878, Lilian Susannah Josling (born in 1880), Edith Elizabeth Josling (born in 1882), Mabel Maud Josling (born in 1885), and Clare Miriam Josling (born in 1887).
In 1881 the census recorded four year-old Ellen living with her parents and two siblings in Great Baddow where Ellen's father was a baker. A decade later 14 year-old Ellen was listed by the 1891 census living with her parents and five siblings in Great Baddow. Ellen In 1901 the census recorded 25 Ellen, her parents and four siblings living in Great Baddow where her father remained working as a baker.
In 1902 Ellen married Albert Ernest Barritt. Four years later the couple had a son, Wilfred Ernest Barritt, who was born in Springfield. The 1911 census found the family of three and a servant living at 24 Queen's Road in Chelmsford. Ellen's husband was employed as an accountant's clerk.
By 1941 Ellen and Albert were living at 24 Coval Lane in Chelmsford, one of ten flats in a block on the road's western side.
At 12.50 a.m. on 21st May 1941 a German aircraft dropped a heavy calibre bomb onto the block of flats. What the intended target may have been is unclear. The resulting explosion demolished the block. Sleeping residents, many of them elderly, were buried in the debris.
The rescue services, consisting of three stretcher parties, four ambulances, a sitting case car, police wardens and fire brigade were quick to arrive on the scene. Five seriously injured and three slightly injured people were rescued from the wrecked flats. However, five bodies were recovered and a sixth was to die in hospital later. Some 244 properties in the area suffered some degree of blast damage.
Ellen Charlotte Mary BARRITT (nee JOSLING), Civilian
Died in Great Baddow following injury in an air raid on Chelmsford. Aged 64
Ellen and Albert were dug out alive by rescue services, having been buried in the remains of their home for several hours. They were both taken to hospital suffering from shock, cuts and bruises and were released three days later. Ellen then went to stay at her sister’s house at Manor House in Great Baddow but suffered a relapse and died on 29th May 1941. Her funeral service was held at the Baddow Road Congregational Church on with interment afterwards at St. Mary’s Church in Great Baddow. Her widowed husband, who retired from the staff of the County Accountant, died in 1947.
Ellen left an estate of £600.
The other deaths were Esther Meggy killed at 18 Coval Lane, Lucy Emma Coulcher killed at 22 Coval Lane, Barry John Gowen and Winifred Gowen killed at 26 Coval Lane, Winifred Kate Stokes killed at 28 Coval Lane, and Winifred's uncle William Howard, who was injured at 28 Coval Lane and died later in hospital.