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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
August 1944
31st Cool windy day with showers. Tried to have tea out but was so draughty that I had to give it up in middle. Great war news. British have advanced 60 miles in 2 days and taken Amiens and have got bridgehead over the Somme. Alert 4.30 - 5.10 a.m. Got up but did not hear anything. Another just as we had got to bed 10.20 - 10.25 p.m. 26 this month. Total 917.
30th Quite nice day. Sat out until 8. Mother had attack in evening. British armoured forces have launched big attack N. of Seine against doodle bug sites. U.S. have reached Rheims. Russians have captured Ploesti. (The oil refineries in Ploesti, Rumania, supplied one third of Germany's petroleum products). Alert 1.45 - 2 p.m.
29th Unsettled early but cleared up later. Heard that Lilie has had a bad operation at Luton last Friday. (Maternal Aunt Lillie Agnes Major). Mother a little better. U.S. troops have reached Soissons. 90,000 prisoners taken last week. Went to Petticans with plan.
28th Rain in morning then bright but windy. Much cooler. Allied troops have reached the (River) Marne. Had a warning at Chelmsford for most of afternoon but did not hear anything. Mother had a choking attack in night and has been ill all day.
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.
The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road
Lexden
Colchester


brought to us by
Heather Johnson
www.WW2inColchester.com


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