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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
August 1943
14th Lovely day. A bit windy but nice and sunny and warm 76 degrees. Has turned rather dull and cooler now. Writing this is garden. Starting 2nd weeks holiday today. Americans raided Me.(?) works in Austria yesterday (Aircraft works?) and dropped 150 tons. All planes returned. Randazzo in Sicily captured. Russians reported to be fighting in suburbs of Kharkov. Roosevelt say we are on eve of important developments. Attended an inquest at the Shire hall this morning. (Chelmsford). Rome declared an open city. (A city that is declared demilitarised during a war).
13th Windy day. Dull at first and looked like rain but broke out nice and sunny. Warning in night 11.45 - 12.10 a.m. but did not hear anything, they got up but I didn't. Got bad indigestion. Biggest raids of war on Italy. 1000 tons on Milan and heavy raid on Turin by home bombers last night. Only 7 lost. Second big raid on Rome today by Americans. 500 tons dropped, all planes returned.
12th Unsettled day. Rained a bit. Nothing much happening. Russians closing in on Kharkov. Nice evening.
11th Unsettled and cold. Only 60 degrees at tea-time. 1500 tons of bombs on Nuremburg last night. 16 missing. Went for walk in evening and came home with very cold hands. Very slow progress in Sicily. No news from Italy.
10th Much better day, turned lovely in evening. All sat out until 10. Mannheim raided last night. 9 missing. (Mannheim - a city in S.W. Germany). Special late news - Mr. Churchill has arrived in Canada for conference with Mr. Roosevelt.
9th Not a very nice day. Managed to put shelter up for an hour in evening. German army said to be taking over from Nazi Party. German Morale rumoured to be cracking.
8th Dull windy day. Put shelter up in corner and sat there all afternoon with overcoats on. Slow progress in Sicily against stiff opposition. Genoa, Turin and Milan raided, only 2 lost.
7th Dull day and rather cold but managed to have tea on lawn. Geraniums are lovely. Did up garden and made it look grand. Came on to rain as soon as we had finished. Russians advancing on Kharkov. Great speculation going on about what is happening inside Germany.
6th Heavy rain in night, cool day. Not much doing today after yesterdays exciting news. Budded the briar with shot silk. Set 3 Geranium cuttings.
5th Rainy with sunny intervals. Great news today. Russians capture Orel and 8th Army capture Catania. Special late news - Russians capture Bielgorod. (Oral Salient - The Battle for Kursk on the Eastern Front. Orel & Belgorod Front). Blackest day of war for Germany.
4th Rather dull but nice sunny evening. Satisfactory progress in Sicily. Berlin being evacuated for fear of big raids soon.
3rd Calm with bright intervals. Stiff resistance in Sicily. Another heavy raid on Hamburg. 30 missing. 10,000 tons in 8 days. City said to be in ruins. Last month was R.A.F. record with 16,000 tons dropped.
2nd Bank Holiday Monday. Quite a nice day. Cloudy at times and rather windy but fairly warm, 75 degrees. Had shelter out all day. Put new tyre on my bike and went for ride round Fordham Heath in evening. General Offensive has been launched against Axis in Sicily. Steady progress reported.
1st Rain and thunder most of night but warm day but windy. 80 degrees. Nothing much happening. Cut 5th cucumber 13 oz.

The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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