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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
February 1941
7th Benghazi (Libya, North Africa) captured. Quite mild. Snow going quickly. No raids.
6th Blizzard raged most of night, snow very deep, several inches. Thawed fast. All Clear went just after 12 last night. Had a warning during afternoon.
5th Still cold with sprinkling of snow. Temp. been down to 24 degrees during night. Siren went at 6.45 p.m. but A/c after an hour. Went again at 8.45 and is still on. Several planes over. Big gale got up from South and has just started to snow.
4th Air raid as soon as I started this morning but I did not know anything about it. Siren went again at 7.10 just before I got home. Heard several planes but no bombs. Sat up till All Clear at 12. Cold day but sunny periods. 5 degrees of frost. Snowed a little at Chelmsford in morning. Lovely clear night.
3rd Freezing N. wind with sprinkling of snow. Snowed fast all the morning. Two raids at Chelmsford. One here. (Lexden). Italians retreating on all fronts.
2nd Sunny periods but cold N. wind. Went for walk round Church Lane. No raids. Sandbags for fire fighting left on step.
1st Snowed fast here in morning but only a few flakes at Chelmsford. Came out nice and sunny in afternoon, first time we have seen the sun for a fortnight. Went to town and bought a fire watching blanket. Had a look at some chairs and beds at Griffins (became independent store Williams & Griffin in the High Street, Colchester - purchased by Fenwick retail chain in 2008). Put my new cloches together. No raids.
January 1941
31st Had a longer raid still today. Warning went at 9.35 a.m. and A/C did not go at Chelmsford until 3.50 p.m., was a little earlier here. Went again from 7.15 - 9.30 p.m. Did not hear anything. 29 raids this month. Still dull and cold with E. wind.
30th Still cold and dull. Air raid warning was on when I arrived at office this morning. A/C at 10 a.m. Went again at 12.30 for longest daylight raid we have had. Derna (North Africa) captured by British.
29th Cold, wind still in E. Siren was on when I got to Chelmsford this morning, A/C at 10 a.m. Went again while I was coming home. Heard a lot of planes, A/C at 9.50 p.m. No bombs. Ages 18 and 19 and 37 - 40 to be called up. Reserved occupations to be altered. Bought some peas as Cramphorns. 2/- per pint. (4.11 in 2010). Heard some machine-gunning.
28th Did my first spot of A.R.P. last night. Went to Rayner's to tea and turned up at the cellar at 9. Had a Horlicks at the milk bar and then turned in for the night. Did not sleep much but there was no raid. Went to Williamson's and had a good breakfast. Came home on 2.15 bus. 5 minute warning at Chelmsford at 8.20 a.m. Cold wet day.
27th Colder wind still in E. Had a warning in morning. Italians withdrawing in all fronts. Wet evening.
26th Cold with E. wind. Siren went during afternoon, while in Chapel. Heard 3 bombs.
25th Dull, raining and cold with E. wind. Have got to go Fire Watching on Monday night. Went to town this afternoon in pouring rain and tried to get a Fire-Watcher's blanket. Bought a mallet at Woolworths. Vera took her umbrella to be covered. No raids.

The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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