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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
April 1944
23rd Beautiful day. 68 degrees all afternoon, got up to 70 degrees after tea. Sat out on lawn all afternoon and again after tea until 6.45. Got so hot that I had to take jacket off. Too hot to have tea out. 1000 bombers raid on Germany last night. 42 missing.
22nd Glorious day. Sun has not gone in once. Had shelter out for 1st time on big lawn. Mother sat out from 3-5 and from 6.10 - 6.30. Garden looks marvellous. All blue. Saw lots of bombers and fighters going home at dusk from big raid on Hamm. (North Rhine, Germany). Siren has just gone 10.20 - 11. All quiet.
21st Nice day but dull evening. New record by R.A.F. Over 4,500 tons on invasion rail targets in Cologne, Belgium and France. Cologne got 1600 tons and we only lost 4 there. Total losses only 16. Set first beet. First marrow up.
20th Nice day after lovely rain. Not much news. Set 1st carrots.
19th Nice sunny day after white frost. Raid in night 12.30 - 1.45 a.m. Had a lot of planes over and some guns in distance but nothing near. Heard a few bumps. 13 shot down. 1000 R.A.F. bombers attacked rail targets in France last night. Over 4000 tons dropped. Heaviest ever. 14 missing. Over 750 U.S. heavies been to Germany today. George came home very hungry in the raid and we gave him a big lights supper. (Lights = lungs of animals that have been slaughtered for human consumption. Popular cheap food for cats 1930s-1960s - not of high nutritional value but filled a cat up).
18th Broke out lovely sunny day but rather chilly. Mother went out in front garden. Secret diplomatic despatches banned. Everybody expecting Second Front to start. 2000 U.S. planes have attacked Germany today including Berlin. George has been missing all day.
17th Cold dull day. Heating ban starts - no more heating to be allowed until 31st Oct. Very cold in office. Heard cuckoo.
16th Rained all day. Did not feel well, thought I had got a cold coming. Went out in morning but stayed in rest of day. No news.
15th Rainy afternoon and evening. Could do no gardening. Not much news today. Heating ban to start on Monday.
14th Nice day but wet evening. Raid in night 1.30 - 2 a.m. Got up but did not go into shelter. Heard a little distant gunfire. Saw flares over London. Official total now 812. Mother went down garden. Russians have nearly overrun Crimea. 31,000 prisoners.
13th Another nice day. Big mass raids on Germany. Had just got to bed last night when there was some gunfire but no siren. Dad went to Bergholt. Mother went down garden again.
12th Nice day, fine and sunny. Garden looks lovely. Heavy R.A.F. raid on Aachen last night 1000 tons. 9 missing. (North Rhine, Germany). Mother went down garden.
11th Lovely evening. Set second lot of potatoes. R.A.F. made biggest raid of war last night. 3,600 tons dropped on "invasion" railways in France and Belgium by 900 bombers. 22 lost. Great American raid on Germany today. 64 bombers and 16 fighters missing. 126 shot down. Russians are advancing into Crimea.
10th Easter Monday. Nice day 59 degrees. Went to town in morning and looked round the St. Botolphs fire damage, also went round the Castle Park. Spent afternoon and evening in garden. Cut long path, looks simply lovely. Cut first lettuce for tea. Russians have captured Odessa. 2000 American planes have attacked "invasion targets" today, only 9 missing. Mother came down garden twice. Second time out this year.
The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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