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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
August 1944
27th Another glorious day. Sunny all day 78 degrees. Sat out until 8.40. Listened to recordings of the firing in Paris when De Gaulle went to Notre Dame. All war new good.
26th Lovely warm sunny day. 77 degrees. Sat out until 8.30. Had tea out. Bulgaria has disarmed German troops and want to withdraw from the war. Americans have reached Troyes. Germans being pressed against lower Seine. 1400 R.A.F. bombers out last night. 27 lost.
25th Lovely warm sunny day. Sat out until 8.30. French and American troops have entered Paris today and finally liberated the City. Gen. De Gaulle entered Paris this evening. Rumania has declared war on Germany and have liberated Bucharest which has been bombed by the Germans. (General Charles De Gaulle - French General and Statesman. In 1940, as Under-Secretary for War, he was meeting the British in London when France fell. He led the Free French Forces in exile from Britain. On 25th August, he walked from the Arc de Triomphe; down the Champs Elysees; and on to Notre Dame cathedral. After the war he became Prime Minster and, then, President of France).
24th Warm sunny morning but wet afternoon and evening with thunder. Situation in Paris is confused tonight. Fighting has broken out again. Bulgaria has asked allies for peace terms. Russian troops are reported to be fighting the Germans. Alerts 3.5 - 3.10 a.m. and 7.35 - 7.50 a.m. Heard a lot of guns and bangs all night. 2000 doodles have been sent over in 1st 3 weeks of August. 7000 all told. George got a bone stuck in his mouth and we had to get it out. 23 alerts so far in August.
23rd Summer back again. Warm and sunny 80 degrees. Sat out till 9. The news today is terrific. Paris has been liberated by the forces of the interior. Our forces from the South have reached Grenoble. We listened to the programme in honour of Paris and at 11 came a news flash that Marseilles had been liberated and that Rumania had made peace with Russia. 2 alerts today 7.50 - 8.5 a.m. and 9.15 - 9.30 a.m., heard a doodle go along both times.
22nd Dull and drizzly all day but milder. Many prisoners being taken in France. Enemy in full retreat in South. Alert last night 11 - 11.30 p.m. Heard one doodle go over.
21st Dull and cold and rainy all day. N.E. wind. Went back to office. Firman says I can have another week's holiday later on. Monty says the victory has been decisive and complete. He says the end of the war is in sight. French troops have entered Toulon.
20th Dull wet day. Rained very heavy at dinner time. Germans report a crossing of the Seine. Americans closing in on Paris.
19th Warm day 80 degrees. Nice until tea-time but rainy evening. Went to Dr. this morning and got signed off. Waited from 9 until 11. Pursuit of enemy in France continuing. Alert 2.45 - 2.55 p.m. Heard a doodle go along quite loud and went down outside shelter. Tried to see it but couldn't. 1000 R.A.F. raid on Bremen, only 4 lost.
18th The battle in France is won. Enemy no longer able to offer effective resistance. Retreating columns being smashed by the air force. Thousands of vehicles destroyed. Alert 7.30 - 7.40 a.m.
17th Great victory in N. France. Orleans and Chartres captured. Germans in full retreat. Only 30 miles to Paris. Nice day but rather windy. Sat out all day. Alert 8.45 - 8.55 p.m. Vera and I stood out in garden and heard d.G. go along, stop and big bang over at Bures. (d.G.=?Doodlbug) 1200 R.A.F. raided Stettin and Keil last night. 16 lost. (Stettin = Polish port on the Baltic, now called Szczecin. Once in Germany).
16th Glorious hot sunny day 84 degrees. Sat out in garden all day. Alerts 9 - 9.10 a.m., 6.30 - 6.40 p.m. In mornings raid, I could hear guns in bed just before siren went. Sirens went wrong and we could hear 3 go. In evening we could hear bug coming and rushed indoors, heard it go over quite loud and then stop and bang. Went right over Colchester and fell at Boxted. Not much war news.
15th Sunny day but cool E. wind. Got up today. Tried to go out in garden but was too cool for me. Landings are being made today on S. coast of France. In Normandy, gap is down to 12 miles. Had warnings 2.20 - 2.30 p.m. and 6 - 6.10. 1100 R.A.F. and 1000 U.S. Heavies have attacked German airfields today. 7000 tons dropped.
14th Still ill in bed. Had Dr. Says I can get up tomorrow but must not eat any solids. Don't look like having much of a holiday. Glorious sunny day. Exciting situation in Normandy. Eisenhower has issued Order of Day telling troops they have chance of major victory. Great efforts being made to close Falaise gap now 18 miles wide. Big attack by Canadians. More big air attacks on coast of S. France. Looks as though we are going to invade there.
The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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