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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
January 1943
18th A lot of news to-day. 4 Air Raids. Siren woke us up at 4.45 a.m. and after a few minutes planes came along and we all had to get up. We came down and got in the Morrison and the guns went two or three times but not very near. Could hear the barrage in the distance. Other warnings 1.45 - 2.15 p.m., 4.30 - 4.45 and 8 - 8.15 p.m. Then at 9 o'clock the wardens came along blowing their whistles and we thought it was another raid and that the sirens had gone wrong. Think however it was fire bombs but can't get to hear yet. Sat up until 11 waiting for all clear which did not go. Mother had bad attack in evening when raids were on. There were two raids on London during night, first for over a year. 10 shot down out of 50-60. We made another heavy raid on Berlin and lost 22. Russians have just announced lifting of siege of Leningrad after 16 months. Eighth Army advancing fast towards Tripoli. Have got a cold coming. Nice mild day after foggy morning.
17th Nice day but bit cooler, 40 degrees. Went round Miles Lane before tea. Big raid on Berlin last night. First for over a year. Only one missing. The Barrage has been going this evening but no warning. London went off the air just as we were listening to the Service. Russians have launched new offensive on Upper Don and advanced 50 miles. Eighth Army has started new offensive and have advanced 40 miles.
16th Dull with a little rain early then lovely and sunny. Quite spring-like down garden 46 degrees. Went to town in afternoon and had hair-cut. Went round Essex Street and had another look at bomb damage. Germans say 8th Army has attacked in Tripolitania. (Libya).
15th Mild day and sunny. Fire engines pumping flood water out of Chelmsford Recreation ground.
14th Very rough night with very heavy rain. Floods everywhere. Water was over road at Boreham this morning. 100 tons of bombs dropped on Ruhr last night in 12 minutes. 4 missing. Had some excitement this evening, looking at approval books of stamps which arrived to-day. (Books of stamps you could 'view on approval' - i.e. select ones you wished to buy and return the rest). Had 15 rise. (518.70 in 2010).
13th Beautiful day. Sunny and mild without a cloud in the sky. About 60 Flying Fortresses went over here to bomb France.
12th Dull and damp, mild. Rivers in flood.
11th Very wet at first but broke out nice and sunny at 1 o'clock. Went for walk through Park. (?Castle Park, Colchester town centre). Much milder 46 degrees. Dad went to town and waited from 2 - 4 to get a kettle but then they were only tin ones. Russians have just announced big advance in Caucasus. Had warning this morning 9.45 - 10.45. Bombs dropped at Heybridge, and Maldon machine-gunned. Used Morrison Shelter for first time.
10th Blew a great gale all night and snowed and sleeted and rained. Windows covered with ice on outside. Inch of half frozen snow. Temp. got up to 37 degrees. Dull and foggy all day.
9th Sunny day but cold and frosty. Cold S.E. wind. Too cold to go about in afternoon. Blowing up a gale this evening.
8th Bright sunny day but cold and frosty. Russians continue to advance but not much news otherwise.
7th Milder but rather cold. Rainy and very dull. Fanny went to Braintree and Dad went and helped her off. Mother has just had a bad windpipe attack, about worst she has ever had. Rushed to back door knocking everything over. Russians are now only 75 miles from Rostov. Roosevelt opens Congress and says we shall make substantial progress this year.
6th Bitterly cold day with East winds. Snowy morning but was raining when I got to Chelmsford and rained all day. Snowed here until after dinner and then turned to rain. Fanny had intended going to Braintree but funked it. Siren here this afternoon 2.30 - 3 p.m. Bombs reported dropped in East Anglia.
5th Cold and frosty and quiet. Russians have captured Nalchik (S.W. of Mosdok). Dad went all over town with Dr.'s certificate to get Mother a bottle but no go. Had an egg for breakfast. Dad managed to get two yesterday.

The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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