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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
February 1944
17th Dull cold day. Kept coming on to snow finely. Dad got 4lbs of oranges. George had not been in bed all night. Came home this morning all wet and dirty. Germans attacking again at Anzio.
16th Cold day. Raining all day. Had another bad night. Coughing all night. Decided to have Dr. Vera went and phoned and found that Wirth was away so decided to have Smith. He called at about 1.30, says I am to stay in bed 2 days and go and see Wirth next Tuesday. Siren went 1.40 - 1.50 p.m. Glad the old Jerries have kept away the last 2 nights. R.A.F. carried out biggest raid of war last night, dropping over 2,500 tons on Berlin. Over 1000 bombers including Mosquitos were out. 43 missing.
15th Had a very bad night. Vera had to get up at 1.30 and make me a cup of tea. Feel a little better today. Don't know what to do about having the Dr. Decided not to.
14th Dull cold day. Felt very ill all day, got flu coming. Came home on 4.15 bus and went straight to bed. All on the shiver, temp 100.5. Seventh dose this winter.
13th Bright sunny day but cold. Went for walk round Life & Let Live. (Public House in Miller's Lane, Stanway). Situation at Beach-head now satisfactory. Wireless went off air while we were listening to the Service this evening. Then siren went 8.20 - 9.45p.m. Lots of planes over and no end of guns. Heard the rockets go off 3 times. Guns kept going bang bang right over top of house. Looked out when things quietened down a bit. I had a look out and there was a big fire burning towards Coast, could see sparks flying up. Expect it was at Clacton as there were a lot of bombs dropped there and damage done, including Woolworths. 50-60 planes came over and 9 (inc. 1 over France) were shot down. 15 got to London. Germans say they sent hundreds.
12th Cold and showery. Position at beach head slightly improved. Statement from Churchill this evening says that there is good grounds for confidence in Battle for Rome. Heard a bomb this evening and then siren went 9 - 9.25 p.m. Less than 20 came over last night.
11th Not so cold. Showery. George's birthday. He is a very good boy. Vera tried to get some oranges but there was a huge queue. Roosevelt says position in beach head is very tense. Was just going to have a bath when wireless went off air. Siren 7.55 - 8.35 p.m. Nothing happened.
10th Cold day. Strong N.W. wind. Snow showers. Germans making heavy attacks on our Anzio beach head. Situation serious.
9th Sunny morning but wet evening. Dad came up to Chelmsford with me to go on Jury at the Assizes. Got dismissed just after 12 and came down to Williamson's and had dinner with me. We had a look round afterwards. 550 Mauraders have been out to France yesterday and today without loss. (American Martin B-26 Marauder aircraft).
8th Colder. My cold much better. Lord Chief Justice at Chelmsford Assizes. Russians capture Nickopol. We have lost initiative in Anzio beach head. ('Anzio Beach Head', Italy - landings began 22 January 1944).
7th Mild day. My cold bad, worst day.
6th Cold day, lit fire. My cold not too bad. Stayed at home all day and mother slept in bed. Raid this morning 6 - 6.30 a.m., all got up. Bombs dropped at Tiptree. Russians have cut off 5 divisions at Nickopol. (Nikopol in Southern Russia).
5th Cold day 40 degrees. Slight ground frost this morning. My cold rather worse so stayed in this afternoon. Mother went to bed to get out of way. Counted 177, 4 engined bombers go over as I was coming home. George is lost again. Has not been seen since 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Russians have now crossed Estonian border and in new offensive, have got within 50 miles of point where Germans started their invasion.
4th Cold day. Snowed a few flakes early. First since before Christmas. My cold only very slight. Raid this morning 4.20 - 6.5 a.m. Had a noisy time. Guns made some great big bangs and fighters swarmed about. Heard 3 or 4 bombs. Could see 3 fires burning. Fire bombs dropped between Marks Tey and Kelvedon, was still smouldering as I went to office. Fires started in many places. 70 planes came over last night and this morning and 20 got to London. 9 shot down.

The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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