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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
October 1941
24th Cold day. Showers. Moscow offensive has been halted. Germans advancing in South. Big arguments going on as to whether we should invade the Continent. 100 French hostages have been shot for the killing of 2 German Officers.
23rd All Clear went at 11.35 last night after 3 hours. Had just gone to bed. Longest warning for some time, 3 shot down. Very bad weather reported from Russian Front. Cold day but nice and sunny. Mother did not go out to-day. Picked another 3 lbs tomatoes, one weighing 7 ozs.
22nd Sunny again but cold N.W. wind. Mother sat down garden in shelter for 1 hour. Picked 4 lbs of tomatoes. Siren went this evening at 8.35 and the time is now 11 o'clock. We are still waiting for All Clear, there have been several planes over but no bombs.
21st Sunny day but cooler. Mother sat out for hour. Germans still held up outside Moscow.
20th Lovely mild sunny day. Mother had shelter out for hour. Russians slowing down advance on Moscow. State of siege declared.
19th Lovely mild day 64 degrees. Had shelter on grass path for an hour after dinner. Went out without a coat. Had warning this evening 8 - 9. Heard All Clear but not the warning.
18th Very windy day but mild, over 60 degrees. Dad picked cooking apples. German advance on Moscow reported to have slowed down. Odessa evacuation. Took up marigolds and set out wallflowers. Cut lawn.
17th Nice day. Mother sat down garden in shelter for nearly an hour. Grave situation round Moscow. City directly threatened. British Military Mission leave Moscow. Japan expected to take action in Pacific. Siren has gone this evening at 8.55. Grace and Eunice called this afternoon. (Paternal Aunts). All Clear went at 9.50 p.m. Heard nothing.
16th Had little rain but nice afternoon and evening. Situation round Moscow has deteriorated. Japanese Cabinet resigns. Went to Jiggins. He had got a cold. Had short warning Colchester and Chelmsford 11.40 p.m. - 12.25 p.m. No bombs.
15th Nice sunny day. Met Hilda and Lillie at Chelmsford and had tea with them, got home at 8.20. Wish I had arranged to do my fire-watching tonight. Sunday night bombs were dropped at Berechurch Road - 40 of them, 4 pounders.
14th Rained today. Germans only 65 miles from Moscow. Heard Germans keep interrupting the news. Had to fill in a paper today to say where we are going if we get bombed out.
13th Had a scare last night. About 20 bombs on something nearby at 11.30 p.m. Heard the plane and saw the flashes. Can't hear exactly where or what they were. No siren on but went at 12.30 - 3.15 a.m. Kept running downstairs for planes. Biggest or one of biggest R.A.F. raids on Germany last night by over 300 planes, 11 missing. Vera and Fanny went to Braintree to see Lillie and Hilda. (Maternal Aunt Lillie, with her ?daughter). Sharp white frost, first bad one this Autumn. Cut off marrows.
12th Made a brave attempt to sit out. Had shelter on green path and sat there for hour before going to Chapel. Lovely and sunny except when we were trying to sit out but rather chilly. Had another warning for short time during last night.
11th Very windy day. Cold North wind. Managed to cut the lawns. There is still no important change on the Russian Front. Germany raided last night by 200 planes, 10 missing. Warning tonight at 8.20. All Clear has just gone at 9.45. No bombs but a few planes over.

The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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