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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
May 1943
21st Lovely warm day 78 degrees. Could not get on bus and had to come home on Moores. (Moore Brothers (Kelvedon) Ltd. - local coach company). Big raids on Sardinia. 113 Axis aircraft destroyed. George a little better. Dad bought a tomato plant.
20th Warm day. Vera went to Dr.'s and got me another certificate about fire-watching. George's ears all bleeding.
19th Very sunny and nice day. Warning at night 2.35 - 3.15 a.m. Dressed but did not come down. Fire-watching. Went to Braintree. Churchill addressed Congress in Washington. Had two warnings during night at Chelmsford but only one here. Could not get settled down until 3.30 a.m.
18th Very sunny but cold wind. Able to sit out back to wind. Was going to Dr.'s about fire-watching but Vera has offered to go for me. Warnings 2.35 - 3.5 a.m. and 8 - 8.10 p.m. Got up but all quiet. Getting ready for fire-watch tomorrow.
17th Very sunny. Finished collecting up Straight Rd. 5: - 8 (174.5p in 2010) plus 17/6 (30.26 in 2010) in Dugard (Dugard Avenue). I got 1.18.6 and Vera 1.14.7. (66.57 and 59.79 in 2010). Total 12.17.- (444.35 in 2010). Warning in night 2 - 3.10 a.m. Got up. All quiet. Have got to get a fresh exemption sent in about fire-watching. R.A.F. blew up 2 biggest dams in Germany last night. Great damage. (R.A.F. 617 Squadron detailed to drop the new 'bouncing' bombs and attack the Moehne, Eder, Sorpe and Schwelm dams in the Ruhr valley. The Moehne and Eder were breached. 'The Dambusters'). Vera took George to Vets.
16th Lovely sunny day 65 degrees but lovely and warm in shelter. Had a nice day. Went for walk down Chitts Hill to look at last Thursday night's bomb hole.
15th Bright sunny day but much cooled. Only 65 degrees. Had a cold ride up with no windows in bus. Had tea out on lawn. Went collecting this evening and went round Ryalls garden. Warning 10.5 - 10.25 p.m. plus heard some guns and bombs.
14th Great blitz on Chelmsford last night. Siren went 1.50 - 3.50 a.m. Heard a lot of planes and all the bombs. Also some guns. Thunderstorm as well. No end of damage. Hawkes, Cannons, Bus Station etc. Half Duke Street wrecked. Went to work this morning in a bus strewn with glass and half windows gone. (Hawke's Sweet Shop on corner of Victoria Road/Duke Street, Cannons was a restaurant opposite. 12 buses were set alight at the Bus Station. The Suet factory in New Street also caught fire and melted fat ran across the road and made it difficult for people getting to work at Marconi's factory the next morning! None of the main factories were hit). Terrific hot day 85 degrees, came home dead beat. R.A.F. set up new record last night with raids on Berlin, Check. (Czechoslovakia?) and Ruhr. 34 lost. Glorious evening, have just come in from garden at 10.30. 68 degrees. Listened to Churchill broadcast from Washington.
13th Glorious hot sunny day. 78 degrees. Had tea out. The war in Africa is over. Last Axis forces have surrendered. 150,000 prisoners. Went in evening collecting Children's Home envelopes, came home very hot and knocked up. Heaviest raid of war on Duisburg - over 1500 tons. 35 lost.
12th Dull and windy but mild, over 60 degrees. Churchill in Washington. Mopping up continuing in Tunisia. Warning last night 11.35 - 11.50 p.m. We got up but nothing happened.
11th Dull and windy but much milder, although rather cold for May. Clarice (Clarice Major, cousin on mother's side) came for day. Went out delivering envelopes in evening. Prisoners in Tunisia now reported to be 100,000. Warning 6.25 - 6.40 a.m.
10th Wet and cold all day. Stiff opposition being met in Tunisia. Prisoners now 50,000.
9th Cold and very windy. Sun came out in afternoon. Wore Harris Tweed and winter scarf all day. 20,000 prisoners taken in Tunisia.
8th Cold and very rough. Great gale and heavy rain early morning. Had a days holiday but had to stay in all day. Washed my hair in evening. Great news today of big victory. Tunis and Bizerte occupied. Siren this morning 7.10 - 8.5. Planes going round and we had to get up. 6 Jerries attacked S.E. and dropped bombs in Kent, Essex and Herts. 2 shot down in Essex. 3 out of 7 shot down last night.

The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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