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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
August 1942
23rd Lovely day. Had tea out on lawn. Raid last night 10.50 - 11.50 p.m. I did not get up but Vera and Clarice did. All quiet. Vera sang at Chapel.
22nd Not very nice day. Windy, came on to rain in evening. Had shelter out.
21st Fairly nice day but rough and rained a little in evening. Clarice and Chips (Aunt Clarice Major and dog Chip/ps) came for week-end. Germans claim 2,000 prisoners and 3,000 killed in Dieppe raid.
20th Cooler but fine. Not much more news about Commando raid but Germans claim invasion attempt repulsed.
19th Big news to-day. Big Commando raid in progress on Dieppe. Tanks have been used. Our forces have had heavy casualties. Big air battles. We have lost 98 planes and the Germans 91 with over 100 more probables. Another hot day. Sat out till 8.
18th Hot sunny day. 76 degrees. Lovely evening. Sat out till about 8.
17th Beautiful day. Sunny all day. Went back to office. Heard big bombs dropped at night at Parsons Heath. (Area of Colchester). No warning. Churchill been to Moscow for conference with Stalin.
16th Heavy rain early in day but then broke out lovely, hot and sunny. Had tea on big lawn.
15th Quite nice but windy. Came on to rain in evening. Sat out on lawn all day and had tea out. Cut second cucumber yesterday - beauty 16 inches long and weighed 1 lbs. Raid last night 10.55 - 11.45 p.m. - all quiet. Another this morning 9.40 - 9.50 a.m. Military exercises being held to-day but we have not heard anything except for 4 Mustangs which swooped low over garden.
14th Nice warm day. Sat out on lawn all day. Had tea out.
13th Another dull day. Went to Braintree for day. Two raids last nith 2.10 - 3.20 a.m. and 3.22 - 3.40 a.m. Heard a plane roar over house-tops and then come gunfire. Could see some fires burning.
12th Lovely morning. Sat out on lawn all morning. Vera went for Nat. Service interview and got exemption. Went fishing in afternoon and got caught in heavy showers. Death roll at Severalls now 35. Germans driving on in Caucusus.
11th Very windy. Showers in afternoon. Had shelter out for half hour in morning and for a little while in afternoon but had to rush in as a big storm blew up. Went to town in morning and had my hair cut. Went out on bike in evening and went down to Sheepen (Sheepen Road, Colchester) and up Bakers Lane to see the A.A.(Anti-Aircraft) guns. Warning in night 12.50 - 2.5 a.m. Heard a bunch of planes come over and rushed down as the guns fired. Flares or fire-bombs were dropped over Colne way and lit up all sky. Bombs were dropped on Severalls and one of the wards destroyed. (Severalls Hospital - psychiatric hospital on the north side of Colchester. 1913 - 1997. 38 patients killed - all women).
10th Disappointing start for holiday. Dull and very windy but not much rain. Vera went to Dr. and got a Cert. to take to labour exchange. Had thing cut out of her eye. I met her and we went for walk through park. Had old shelter out on path for about 1hour in afternoon. Raid last night 11.40 p.m. - 12.40 a.m. Heard 2 bombs. Further riots in India. American forces have made landings in Solomons.

The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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