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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
February 1943
22nd Dull misty and cold. Could only get some half raw (?) sausages for dinner. Had Salmon for tea. German advance in Tunisia creates serious threat to flank of 1st Army. Heavy raid on Bremen last night. 100 two ton bombs dropped. None missing. No change in Churchill's condition.
21st Dull cold foggy. Germans have made further advance against Americans in Central Tunisia. Not nice enough to go for any walks. Saw our cat lying on Dawes' window sill. Went down after tea and he was still there. Churchill's condition improved.
20th Disappointed. Dull day but improved a little in afternoon. Went for walk down Bergholt Rd, then did some gardening.(Lexden - W. Bergholt road). Set some lettuce seed and hoed the lettuces. Siren has just gone at 7.55 p.m. and London has gone off the air. There has been some gunfire in distance. All clear 8.35 p.m., no planes or bombs. Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Nationalist Leader/Spiritual Leader) is in grave condition after 11 days fast. Churchill has got spot of inflammation on lung. 5 Aircraft over St. Osyth.
19th Came over very foggy as I went to work and had a job to get there, then broke out lovely day. Churchill in bed with feverish cold. Dad started to weed strawberry bed. Vera bought lettuce for 1/3. (1 shilling and 3 pence = 2.16 in 2010). First one since they got dear, been using own.
18th Lovely sunny spring day. Did not feel well and went to bed early. Americans have had serious defeat in Tunisia. Heavy losses in men and tanks. Driven back 30 miles.
17th Nice day. Sunny and not so cold. Mother went to front door. Warning 8 - 8.20 a.m. bombs at Clacton. Americans are being thrown back in Tunisia with heavy losses. Lorient bombed again.
16th Very windy and cold but bright. Russians capture Kharkov. Germans have made big advance against Americans in Tunisia.
15th Rainy morning but fine afternoon. Russians have captured Rostov. Big raids last night on Cologne and Milan. 11 missing. Warning this evening 8.45 - 9.30 p.m.
14th Wonderful day 56 degrees. Did not go out in afternoon but went for lovely walk down Bergholt Rd. after tea. (Most probably Chitt's Hill etc route/road to West Bergholt, as opposed to 'Bergholt Road' in Braiswick area of Colchester). Been looking for the cat all day but he has not come round. Lot of planes going out in evening. 1,000 tons of bombs dropped on Lorient last night. (German submarine base in Britanny, France).
13th Sunny day but cool N. wind. Went to town in afternoon and got hair cut. Vera got a kettle at Luckin Smith's (Hardware Store in Head Street). Russians had their most successful day yesterday. Captured 4 large towns. Germans in Donnetts being cut off. (Donets River Plain, close to Dnieper area - coal producing region). Our cat came in again to-day but I did not see him.
12th Mild 54 degrees but windy. Russians now only 75 miles from the Dueiper. (River Dnieper, Russia).
11th Mild spring-like day 53 degrees. Went for walk in evening. Churchill has given war review in Parliament. Says plans have been made which will be carried out in next 9 months. Russians now only 20 miles from Kharkov. Had a tabby (visiting tabby coloured cat) eat in this afternoon. Wish I had been here.
10th Bright morning but came on to rain in afternoon. Single raiders have been over this afternoon and 2 have been shot down. We did not have a warning but the balloons went up. Guns have just been firing during the news but no siren. Had teeth scaled.
9th Dull wet day. Had 2 warnings. 8.38 - 9.35 a.m. and 11.40 a.m. - 12. Siren went while I was waiting for bus. Nothing happened here. Russians have captured Kursk. (280 miles south of Moscow, on the Eastern Front).

The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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