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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
May 1943
26th Fine day 70 degrees but not very warm, managed to have tea out. Another great raid on Germany last night. 27 lost. Dad got some tomato plants and set them. Vera and I went to Bugg's and Theobalds to get some but no go.
25th Fine day but rather cold wind. George bad. Put more stuff in his ears. Don't know what we shall do with him. Vera crying. Mother went down garden in evening. Set second lot of beet. Sirens 12.30 - 12.45p.m. and 7 - 7.15p.m. Raid today at Brighton. 9 shot down.
24th Wet day. Thundered in evening. Set second lot of marrows. Heaviest raid of war on Germany last night. 2000 tons of bombs dropped on Dortmund. Total now dropped by R.A.F. 100,000 tons.
23rd Nice warm day 70 degrees but rather windy. Kept blowing shelter over. Nice evening. George got his ears worse, had to put some more stuff in. Daylight raids on Hastings and Bournemouth. Heavy damage and casualties. Many pubs and hotels hit.
22nd Nice warm day 75 degrees but came over dull in afternoon. Had tea out. French beans up. Filled up Fire-Watching exemption form. Warning last night 1.15 - 1.30 a.m. All quiet.
21st Lovely warm day 78 degrees. Could not get on bus and had to come home on Moores. (Moore Brothers (Kelvedon) Ltd. - local coach company). Big raids on Sardinia. 113 Axis aircraft destroyed. George a little better. Dad bought a tomato plant.
20th Warm day. Vera went to Dr.'s and got me another certificate about fire-watching. George's ears all bleeding.
19th Very sunny and nice day. Warning at night 2.35 - 3.15 a.m. Dressed but did not come down. Fire-watching. Went to Braintree. Churchill addressed Congress in Washington. Had two warnings during night at Chelmsford but only one here. Could not get settled down until 3.30 a.m.
18th Very sunny but cold wind. Able to sit out back to wind. Was going to Dr.'s about fire-watching but Vera has offered to go for me. Warnings 2.35 - 3.5 a.m. and 8 - 8.10 p.m. Got up but all quiet. Getting ready for fire-watch tomorrow.
17th Very sunny. Finished collecting up Straight Rd. 5: - 8 (174.5p in 2010) plus 17/6 (30.26 in 2010) in Dugard (Dugard Avenue). I got 1.18.6 and Vera 1.14.7. (66.57 and 59.79 in 2010). Total 12.17.- (444.35 in 2010). Warning in night 2 - 3.10 a.m. Got up. All quiet. Have got to get a fresh exemption sent in about fire-watching. R.A.F. blew up 2 biggest dams in Germany last night. Great damage. (R.A.F. 617 Squadron detailed to drop the new 'bouncing' bombs and attack the Moehne, Eder, Sorpe and Schwelm dams in the Ruhr valley. The Moehne and Eder were breached. 'The Dambusters'). Vera took George to Vets.
16th Lovely sunny day 65 degrees but lovely and warm in shelter. Had a nice day. Went for walk down Chitts Hill to look at last Thursday night's bomb hole.
15th Bright sunny day but much cooled. Only 65 degrees. Had a cold ride up with no windows in bus. Had tea out on lawn. Went collecting this evening and went round Ryalls garden. Warning 10.5 - 10.25 p.m. plus heard some guns and bombs.
14th Great blitz on Chelmsford last night. Siren went 1.50 - 3.50 a.m. Heard a lot of planes and all the bombs. Also some guns. Thunderstorm as well. No end of damage. Hawkes, Cannons, Bus Station etc. Half Duke Street wrecked. Went to work this morning in a bus strewn with glass and half windows gone. (Hawke's Sweet Shop on corner of Victoria Road/Duke Street, Cannons was a restaurant opposite. 12 buses were set alight at the Bus Station. The Suet factory in New Street also caught fire and melted fat ran across the road and made it difficult for people getting to work at Marconi's factory the next morning! None of the main factories were hit). Terrific hot day 85 degrees, came home dead beat. R.A.F. set up new record last night with raids on Berlin, Check. (Czechoslovakia?) and Ruhr. 34 lost. Glorious evening, have just come in from garden at 10.30. 68 degrees. Listened to Churchill broadcast from Washington.
13th Glorious hot sunny day. 78 degrees. Had tea out. The war in Africa is over. Last Axis forces have surrendered. 150,000 prisoners. Went in evening collecting Children's Home envelopes, came home very hot and knocked up. Heaviest raid of war on Duisburg - over 1500 tons. 35 lost.

The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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