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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
April 1943
19th Turned much cooler. Rained a little in afternoon but not enough. Went up to Chapel in evening to practice solos.
18th Another glorious day. Clear blue sky and brilliant sunshine. 72 degrees. Had shelter out on law all afternoon and had to turn it back to sun because it was too hot. Had tea in shirt-sleeves. Mother sat out until to 7. Lovely evening. Very dry. 12 marrows up. Tulips out. Siren 1.45 - 2 p.m.
17th Hot and sunny again 74 degrees. Rather windy, had shelter out all afternoon and evening. All had tea out on lawn. Had siren while out there 2.50 - 3.30 p.m. Several planes about. Mother got scared and came in. Last night we were woke up by a big bomb and rushed downstairs at 12.30. Siren went 12.40 - 1.35 a.m. Several planes around but no guns. We sent out 600 bombers last night. Biggest force this year and lost 55.
16th Hot and sunny 73 degrees. Mother went out morning, afternoon and evening. Had shelter out and all sat out till 8. Had tea out in shirt sleeves. Too hot to sit facing sun. Huge force of bombers going out. Warning this afternoon 4.45 - 5 p.m. German plane circled over Chelmsford making trail.
15th Glorious day. Warm and sunny. 72 degrees when I got home. Had shelter out for 1st time. Mother sat out for hour in afternoon and from 5.30 - 8. We sat until 8.15. Had my tea in shelter for first time this year. Got 5 marrows up under cloches. Had a rare time last night. Siren went 12.5 - 1.30 a.m. Planes began to come and guns to fire as soon as warning had gone and we had to scramble up. Lots of planes and guns for an hour. Heard some heavy bombs. Shrapnel pick up about roads. Raid on Chelmsford. Prison burnt also Suet Factory, Hotel, houses, etc. Nearly all glass out in shop windows - rare mess. 4 shot down. We lost 23.
14th Warm and close but rather dull. Over 60 now at 9.30. Mother went out for about an hour. Vera went to Vets and got some med. for George. Went to Chapel to hear W. Fox. Heavy raid on Spezia. (Italy). 3 missing. Great force of bombers going out to-night. Can see them in moonlight.
13th Lovely sunny warm day 67 degrees. Lovely evening. Mother went out twice. and hour. Final battle in Tunisia will soon begin. Set second lot of peas.
12th Dull and close. Budget Day. Increase tax on Beer and Tobacco. Siren 12.15 - 12.55 a.m. One or two planes about so we came down. Sousse captured. (Tunisia). Total prisoners now 20,000.
11th Nice day. Rather dull but sunny intervals 64 degrees. Mother went down garden twice. 25 and 15 minutes. Rather windy. Did not feel very well and stayed at home in morning. Siren 9.55 - 10.10 a.m. Heard a lot of planes going out in night between 12 and 1 and came home between 5 and 6. Southern Germany raided. 18 lost. 8th Army making rapid progress.
10th Dull but no wind. Did gardening. 8th Army capture Sfax. (Tunisia). Duisburg raided. 8 lost. (The rivers Rhine and Rhur join at Duisburg).
9th Better day with fairly nice evening.Cut lawn.8th Army advance continuing. 9,500 prisoners. Heavy raid on Rhur. (Ruhr). 21 lost. Warning 10.35 - 10.45 p.m. just after we had got to bed. Nothing happened.
8th Cold day with N. wind. Snow shower just as I was starting. Sun came out in afternoon. Vera went to Braintree for day. Went to see Dr. in evening. Had to wait an hour which was not too bad.
7th Very windy day and cold. Lots of trees blown down along the road. About 12 balloons lost at Chelmsford to-day. Saw several go. One cable fell across Churchyard at back of office. (Barrage Balloons - "great silver elephants on steel cables", protected important buildings from low flying aircraft). 8th Army has gained new victory in Tunisia. Attacked Rommel at 4.30 a.m. yesterday and have broken through his positions. 6,000 prisoners. George went off last evening and did not come back today until 12. Has gone off again this evening. I went out and tried to find him.
6th Some change. Cold windy day. Dad went to Bergholt. Not much war news. 48 Axis planes shot down yesterday over Tunisia. Went to Dr.'s but had to come back. No surgery. Had some fun with the cat last night. He had a fight with Pixie and laid on his bed growling.



The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road
Lexden
Colchester


brought to us by
Heather Johnson



www.WW2inColchester.com


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