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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
August 1942
17th Beautiful day. Sunny all day. Went back to office. Heard big bombs dropped at night at Parsons Heath. (Area of Colchester). No warning. Churchill been to Moscow for conference with Stalin.
16th Heavy rain early in day but then broke out lovely, hot and sunny. Had tea on big lawn.
15th Quite nice but windy. Came on to rain in evening. Sat out on lawn all day and had tea out. Cut second cucumber yesterday - beauty 16 inches long and weighed 1 lbs. Raid last night 10.55 - 11.45 p.m. - all quiet. Another this morning 9.40 - 9.50 a.m. Military exercises being held to-day but we have not heard anything except for 4 Mustangs which swooped low over garden.
14th Nice warm day. Sat out on lawn all day. Had tea out.
13th Another dull day. Went to Braintree for day. Two raids last nith 2.10 - 3.20 a.m. and 3.22 - 3.40 a.m. Heard a plane roar over house-tops and then come gunfire. Could see some fires burning.
12th Lovely morning. Sat out on lawn all morning. Vera went for Nat. Service interview and got exemption. Went fishing in afternoon and got caught in heavy showers. Death roll at Severalls now 35. Germans driving on in Caucusus.
11th Very windy. Showers in afternoon. Had shelter out for half hour in morning and for a little while in afternoon but had to rush in as a big storm blew up. Went to town in morning and had my hair cut. Went out on bike in evening and went down to Sheepen (Sheepen Road, Colchester) and up Bakers Lane to see the A.A.(Anti-Aircraft) guns. Warning in night 12.50 - 2.5 a.m. Heard a bunch of planes come over and rushed down as the guns fired. Flares or fire-bombs were dropped over Colne way and lit up all sky. Bombs were dropped on Severalls and one of the wards destroyed. (Severalls Hospital - psychiatric hospital on the north side of Colchester. 1913 - 1997. 38 patients killed - all women).
10th Disappointing start for holiday. Dull and very windy but not much rain. Vera went to Dr. and got a Cert. to take to labour exchange. Had thing cut out of her eye. I met her and we went for walk through park. Had old shelter out on path for about 1hour in afternoon. Raid last night 11.40 p.m. - 12.40 a.m. Heard 2 bombs. Further riots in India. American forces have made landings in Solomons.
9th Lovely day. Warm with sunny intervals, sat out on big lawn and had tea out. Gandi and other Congress leaders arrested in India. Riots in Bombay. Germans claim capture of Maikop oil-fields. American Navy taking offensive action against Japs in Solomons.
8th Dull wet day. Rained hard in evening. Started week's holiday. Serious crisis in India. Gandi (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi/Mahatma Gandhi) has demanded withdrawal of British. Situation in South Russia very grave. Germans have reached foothills of Caucusus. Warning last night 11.57 - 12.5 a.m. Siren went just before dark to-night 10.10 - 10.25 p.m. Saw shells bursting in the sky and heard the guns and the plane. Single raider dropped bombs on East Coast and was shot down. Vera had call-up papers.
7th Nice sunny morning but came over dull in afternoon and rained fast at Chelmsford. Had raid last night 1.45 - 2.35 a.m. All quiet. Saw a Spitfire this morning shooting at stray Barrage Balloon. Fire-Watching to be compulsory for women 20-45. Germans making rapid thrust to Caucasus.
6th Still dull. Had another fire. Tried to have shelter out for hour in evening. Had raid last night, 3.15 a.m. - 4.15 a.m. heard 2 huge bombs dropped at Wormingford and rushed downstairs. Very serious situation in South Russia. Germans have broken through and are rushing towards the Oilfields.
5th Still dull and cold, had a fire.
4th Dull and cold with strong N. wind and some showers. Set out a lot of lettuce plants. Fanny went to Braintree for 3 days.



The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road
Lexden
Colchester


brought to us by
Heather Johnson



www.WW2inColchester.com


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