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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
November 1944
26th Sunny with white frost but rained in evening. Could hear rockets going off all day. Sang at communal. Georges eye bad.
25th Have had some day today. Came home on early bus. Had a good mind to take George to Vet's but decided not to. Went to town on 3 o'clock bus. Crowds thronging the streets and shops. Nothing to buy. Awful trash at dreadful prices. Got caught in heavy storm of sleet and hail while standing in queue for bus to get home. Got drenched. Had bath in evening and oil stove got up and filled kitchen with smoke and smuts. Had warning in night 4.50 - 5.15 p.m. Heard one doodle go along in distance.
24th Still mild. Raid 5.40 - 6.15 a.m. Doodle came down at Berechurch. Heard 3 V2 Rockets today. Strasbourg captured. Had to keep George out all day.
23rd Fine and very mild 58 degrees. Lovely moonlight evening. Put bill on Notice Board (?) and went down garden and looked at it by torch and moonlight. Dad been setting out wallflowers. Saw flash and heard rocket go off while we were out. Heard big rocket later in evening. Had a crop and washed my hair. Mother in bed all day with very bad head. George's eye bad, seems ill. Raid 12.45 - 1.20 a.m. One or two doodles went over. French have reached Strasbourg.
22nd Dull damp day, very mild 57 degrees. Quiet day with no rockets. My cold gone.
21st Cold but brilliant sun all day. My cold rather bad. Have heard a lot of rockets today. One fell at Lt. Waltham about 3 miles from office. Made a terrific noise. George worse again. Picked some roses.
20th Mild springlike day but turned cold in evening with strong N. wind. My cold not very bad. They had another fire in drawing room. Good news from West fronts. French have reached the Rhine in South. Germans retreating from Metz.
19th Windy and very mild 55 degrees. British troops capture Geilenkirchen, their first German town. (North Rhine). Raid 8 - 8.45 p.m. I was in dining room when a doodle came over with its engine off. Vera shouted and I rushed in shelter. It blew up at 7 Star Green with a huge bang just after I had got in. One or two more came over after that. My cold not too bad but kept in.
18th Fine and dull but very mild 55 degrees. I stayed in for afternoon with cold, not very bad. Have heard a lot of rockets to-day. There was a huge one at Chelmsford this morning and then 2 more soon after. Heard two close together this afternoon. Have just had 2 alerts 6.55 - 7.5 p.m. and 7.10 - 7.20 p.m. but have not heard anything. (15). British 2nd Army has today joined in the Western offensive and launched big attack.
17th Very wet, heavy rain all day. Turned much milder. All out offensive started on Western front. 8000 tons of bombs dropped yesterday of which R.A.F. contributed 5600 tons. Only 8 bombers lost. Raid 6.45 - 7.30 p.m. heard 4 doodles go off and one go over. One dropped at Tiptree. Mother in bed all day with bad heart pains. I have got a cold coming.
16th Cold again. All western front on the move, 6 allied armies attacking. 2 American Armies have launched new offensives today. Over 2350 heavies have been out in support. Had a lift to office by car. George better.
15th Still cold. Had to get up twice last night. 12 - 12.35 a.m. 5.30 - 5.55 a.m. Heard a few doodles go along. British troops have advanced 5 miles towards (River) Maas.
14th Cold but sunny. Heavy rain in evening. Raid 6.50 - 7.25 p.m. Heard 5 bangs. Brit. Troops launched new offensive in Holland at 4 p.m. today.
13th Cold again but sunny. German Battleship Tirpitz sunk yesterday by 29 Lancasters using 12,000 lb bombs. 1 missing. Went to dentists. George was better this morning but tonight his eye is bleeding. Don't know what to do with him. Raid 6 - 6.45 p.m. Doodle went along just after I got home. Heard one big bang. Heard 2 rockets in night and 2 more today. The doodle fell at Felsted.
The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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