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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
October 1942
24th Bright sunny day but a lot cooler. Another big raid on Genoa last night. Eighth Army has launched offensive in Egypt. More planes going out this evening. Warning went 7.20 - 7.40 p.m. while they were going over. Vera and I went for walk along Cowdray Avenue in afternoon to see bomb damage. Went into bombed house. Mother went down garden.
23rd Dull and very mild 63 degrees. Dad set out some lettuces. Heavy raid last night on Genoa. All our planes returned. Big force gone out to-night. Saw a lot of them. Did not sit down to tea until 7. Russians counter-attacking in Stalingrad. Mr. Roosevelt arrived in London.
22nd Heavy rain in night. Dull mild day 62 degrees. Warning 7.55 - 8.15 a.m. Heavy rain at Stalingrad.
21st Bright and sunny but cold. Listened to broadcast of Genl. Smuts (General Jan Christiaan Smuts, Prime Minister of South Africa) addressing Parliament. Germans still held at Stalingrad. Lorient (France - German U-boat base there) raided by Flying Forts.(Flying Fortresses).
20th Bright sunny morning but came on heavy rain in afternoon and evening. Got wet coming home. 20 places were raided yesterday by 30 planes. 70 houses damaged down Cowdray Ave. Olley machine-gunned and a train. Germans held at Stalingrad. Had a letter from Majors. Mother went down garden for hour.
19th Mild again 63 degrees. Very dull and misty all morning but broke out sunny in afternoon. Had 3 warnings this morning 9 - 9.45, 10 - 11.45, 12.20 - 1.20. Bombs dropped at Chelmsford and Colchester at 11 o'clock. Dived under desk whilst bombs dropped on Hoffmans (made ball bearings) and guns fired. 4 killed and 8 injured. Jerry came over here (Lexden) three times machine gunning and then dropped bombs on Masons. Mother sat out on back lawn for hour in shelter. Germans make slight advance at Stalingrad.
18th Very mild 64 degrees. Sun shone a little while at dinner time. Put shelter up on big lawn and sat there for nearly an hour. Germans held again at Stalingrad. 94 Lancasters raid French factory in daylight last evening. One missing.
17th Quite mild 62 degrees. Rather cloudy. Rained a little but got lawns cut and beds trimmed up. Looks very nice. 106 enemy planes shot down over Malta this week. Germans have captured factory in N. Stalingrad. Situation serious again. Mother came down garden for hour.
16th Nice day. Mother in bed until evening with very bad sick head ache. My cold gone. Germans making new assault on Stalingrad. Have made some advance. Fighting has reached a new crisis. 3000 bomber raid made. We lost 18 bombers last night. Bevin says war is entering a crucial stage. Germans say we are going to land in Normandy.
15th Had a heavy squall about 8 this morning. Big gale and heavy rain. Then came all blue sky shining all day. German attacks at Stalingrad have been resumed.
14th Another quite nice day. Vera went to Braintree. My cold better. Heard 3 bombs this evening, then siren went 8.40 - 9.5 p.m. Heaviest raid on Kiel last night. 9 missing. Conditions quiet at Stalingrad.
13th Nice day. Mother sat out hr. in front in morning and hr in shelter in back in afternoon. My cold not too bad.
12th Nice day. Cold a little better. Warning 9 - 9.10 p.m. Heard recording of Churchill speech.
11th Sunny but cold. Had to stay in all day with a bad cold. German attacks at Stalingrad have slackened.

The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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