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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
October 1943
15th Lovely day, sunny and mild. 5th Army pouring over the Volturus. Americans lost 60 Flying Fortresses over Germany yesterday. Had 3 raid warnings this evening, 7.35 - 8.35, 9.30 - 10 and 10.55 - 11.45 p.m. Just managed to get a bath in between last two. Heard a little gunfire in distance. 3 shot down out of 12. Vera making first lot of tomato pickle.
14th Mild and still again. Better and went back to office. 5 Army has forced the Volturus River and established bridgeheads. (Southern Italy). Dad set out a lot of lettuce plants.
13th Had the day at home today. Woke up dizzy at 6 and had to call for Vera to go down and get me some soda. Was sick and had to keep in bed all morning. Got up and went in garden in afternoon. Quite mild 62 degrees. Sun shone weakly. Mother went out and sat 3/4 hour in shelter. Italy declared war on Germany today. Siren has just gone 8.35 p.m.- 9.5 p.m. Heard one small lot of gunfire. Slight activity over East Anglia.
12th Another misty day. Sun shone weakly in afternoon, mild/ Not good enough for Mother to go out. Had form come to full up re Home Guard. We have occupied bases in the Azores. Raid 9 - 9.30 p.m. One plane over East Anglia dropped bombs and was shot down.
11th Foggy morning but broke out in afternoon. Not so nice as yesterday. Mother sat out 1 hours. Submarines have made an attack on the Terpitz in Norway harbour. (Great German battleship Tirpitz, launched in 1941). Americans shot down over 100 fighters yesterday in big raid on Munster. 31 lost. Got watch back.
10th Had a lovely day. Dull and foggy in morning but broke out glorious at 12. Went in shelter at 1.30 and stayed there until 5.35. Sat in shirt sleeves all afternoon and got right hot. 62 degrees. All had tea in shelter at 4.30. Expect it will be last time this year. Americans shot down 91 Germans yesterday and lost 29. Have been over Germany today.
9th Nice day. Still and mild. 60 degrees but not much sun. Put shelter up on lawn. Mother sat out for hour. Had cups of tea out. Americans made heavy raid on Bremen yesterday and shot down 142 fighters. 30 bombers lost. They have raided Poland and East Prussia today. R.A.F. made heavy raids on Hanover and Bremen last night and lost 30. Russians have captured Kuban bridgehead. (In Crimea, on Eastern Front). Vera has had form to fill up re National Service.
8th Nice sunny day. Nearly 60 degrees. Mother sat out on lawn in shelter for an hour. Last nights raid was on heaviest scale for some time. 60 planes came over and dropped 30 tons. 14 got to London. Only 3 shot down. Had another raid this evening 8.20 - 8.55 p.m. No Jerries over here but heavy gunfire in distance, could see shells bursting. Saw 7 flares dropped over Chelmsford direction. Mother came to front door to look at them under heavy fire. Heavy R.A.F. raid on Stuttgart last night, only 7 missing.
7th Nice sunny day. Mother a little better but not well enough to go out. Got up in evening. Siren went 9 - 10.55 p.m. Had rather a bad time. Several planes and some loud guns. Had to put ends in shelter. (Anderson Air Raid Shelter?). Russians have launched big new offensive and have captured Nevel (Russia)and crossed Dnieper.
6th Dull and windy, has come on to rain this evening. London was off the Air when I put on the wireless, then warning went 8.20 - 8.45 p.m. Windows banged once and there was a little distant gunfire. Mother had bad head all day. Edgar 80 to-day. (Paternal Uncle Edgar James Garling, Lexden Grocer and Baker). Not much war news.
5th Mild cloudy day 60 degrees. Heavy raid on Frankfurt last night, 12 missing. Raid in night 11.40 p.m. - 12.40 a.m. Only Vera heard it go and did not wake us up. Heard the all clear. Flying Fortress crashed at Earls Colne yesterday. Air raids started on Greece. General Smuts arrived in England today. (General Jan Smuts, Prime Minister of South Africa). Mother ill in bed most of day.
4th Cloudy day. Vera went to Braintree. Mother went down garden. Raid in night 11.25 p.m. - 12.40 a.m. I did not get up. Heavy raid on Karsel last night, 1500 tons dropped in hour. 24 missing. (Karsel = Kassel in Germany). Fortresses raided Frankfurt this morning. Good progress in Italy. R.A.F. dropped 14,000 tons on Germany in Sept. Occupation of Corsica completed.
3rd Another lovely day. Sunny all morning but rather cloudy in afternoon. Had dinner on big lawn in shelter and sat there until 3. Sang duet at Community (Hall). Sat out again when we got home but could (not) have tea out. Raid in night 1.45 - 2.45 a.m. Heard two lots of guns but not very near. Got up. Heavy raid last night on Munich. 250 4,000 lb bombs dropped in 25 mins. 9 missing. Germans attacking Cos. (Island of Kos).
2nd Lovely sunny day 62 degrees. Put shelter up on lawn directly after dinner and sat there until 5.30 Had tea out on lawn at 5 o'clock. Was lovely and warm. Cut lawns and made them look lovely. Fortresses from Africa raided Munich today. 5th Army pushing on from Naples.

The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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