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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
May 1941
28th Two warnings last night 10.40 p.m. - 1 a.m. and 2.45 - 4 a.m. Sat up till to one, heard several planes and one lot of bombs. Had a warning at 12 o/c at Chelmsford today and heard the danger bell go. Got a cold coming.
27th Great excitement. The Bismarck has been sunk by Naval action after chase of 1750 miles. Germany's newest Battleship sunk only 4 days after having been put to sea. Germans are advancing in Crete. We have lost 2 Cruisers and 4 Destroyers there. No raids. Set out some lettuce plants.
26th Wet last night. Heavy showers to-day. The news from Crete sounds bad. The Germans have penetrated our defences at Canea. Got photos of garden, they are very good.
25th Rather dull windy but mother managed to go down garden. Could not sit out. Bismarck being chased in Atlantic. Severe raids on Crete.
24th Had a holiday. Fairly nice day but rather windy. Sat out in shelter for a little while in afternoon. Came on to rain in evening. H.M.S. Hood sunk by the Bismarck off Greenland. Battle for Crete still going on.
23rd. Windy, rained a little. No raids. Germans driven out of two places in Crete.
22nd No raids. Called to get photos but they are missing. Invasion of Crete still continuing. Germans got control at 3 points.
21st Warm and close 70 degrees. Mother went out afternoon and evening. No warning last night but heard some bombs dropped at Chelmsford. 6 killed and 9 injured. 3000 troops landed by air in Crete. Most of them had been rounded up. One daylight warning to-day. Set Nasturtiums.
20th Had 2 raids in night. 9 bombs dropped at top of St. Clare Road. We had just run downstairs into kitchen. Heard bombs dropped at Danbury. German Invasion of Crete began - 1,500 troops landed by air. Situation in hand. Dull day.
19th Had a nice rain in night. Set out 50 lettuce and set Strati-gem Peas. Had 2 raids in night, heard one big bomb. Amba Alagi (Northern Ethiopia) surrenders.
18th Warmest day so far this year 68 degrees. Lovely and sunny, sat out in shelter all afternoon and again in evening, lovely and sunny. Had 2 raids last night. Heard 2 mines dropped in sea at Mersea. Duke of Aosta asks for terms to surrender. (Prince Amedeo of Italy).
17th Lovely sunny day. Temp. just over 60 degrees. Mother came out and sat out for 2 hours after tea. Siren went while we were out there and there were a lot of planes kept coming over, too high up to see. Had a raid last night 11.15 - 4.30. Heard 2 bombs. Got up for a little while. 3 shot down. No. of raids this month 27. Set runner and French beans.
16th Another quiet night without any warning. Had 3 daylight raids today. 8 shot down to one of ours. British troops recapture Sollum from the Germans. Nice day but very dry.
15th Cold day. Hail shower. Hess reported to have come over to see Duke of Hamilton. No raids last night or to-day. German planes using aerodromes in Syria to get to Iraq. Set second lot of marrows.

The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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