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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
July 1943
19th Dull and cool in morning but broke out nice and sunny this afternoon. Eighth Army 3 miles from Catania. Rome bombed for first time. Warning 2.30 - 2.40 p.m.
18th Not such a nice day. Dull all morning but fairly nice afternoon. Had tea out. 1/3rd of Sicily now ours and 30,000 prisoners.
17th Another lovely day. Sunny all day. Had a nice time in shelter. Bought a pair of tweezers for George. Heavy fighting going on for Catania. (Sicily).
16th Glorious day, sunny and still and warm. Sat out until 9.45 Had a rare old time last night. 3 sirens. 12.15 - 1.10 a.m., 1.45 - 2 a.m., 2.40 - 3.10 a.m. Heard some guns. Got up twice.
15th Windy day but warmer. Had shelter out but got badly blown about. Lovely sunset and rainbow. Received note of marriage from Sara. Not much news today from Sicily. Russians have launched offensive and advanced 30 miles.
14th Beautiful and sunny early but turned out dull and cool. Managed to have shelter out for a bit after tea. Had 2 raids in night 12.5 - 1.50 a.m. and 3.30 - 4.30 a.m. Saw some flares just after first warning and got up. Got up second time too. Guns fired once. Received exemption from fir-watching. Heavy raid last night on Aachen. (Gateway to the Ruhr Valley). 20 missing. Big attacks on France today by Fortresses. 8 missing. 50 fighters shot down.
13th Sunny day but very windy and rather cool. Mother not very well. Good progress still being made Sicily. Heavy raid on Tunis by Lancasters last night. Saw them starting. 13 lost. Warning last night 1.30 - 1.45 a.m., the 700th. Kept in bed.
12th Wet morning but broke out sunny and warm afternoon and evening. Had shelter out. Clarice came for day. Mother went to bed with an attack afterwards. News from Sicily is good. We have captured Syracuse and nine other towns. (Syracuse, on east coast of Sicily). 4000 prisoners are reported captured. Saw a hedgehog in garden.
11th Windy and dull but much milder 70 degrees. Had shelter up for an hour. Invasion of Sicily proceeding successfully. Landings made on 100 mile front in S.E. 3 Aerodromes captured. Casualties so far light.
10th We have invaded Sicily. First stage of invasion of Europe. Landings made at 3 a.m. today. No details yet. Another nasty day. Dull all morning and rained all afternoon and evening. Could not sit out at all. Heavy raid on Ruhr last night, only 10 missing.
9th Sunny early but soon came over dull. Dad and I had arranged to go fishing at Dedham. Had early dinner and caught 12.15 bus. Came on to rain almost as soon as we got there, but we stuck it out and had a good time. I caught 7 and dad 2 - one big'un 5 oz. Cleared up after tea and came out fine and sunny and warm. Wellington bomber carrier broke down at Stanway and went and had a look at it. 1000 ton raid on Cologne last night. 8 missing. 10 German planes tried to raid London this afternoon at 5 o'clock. 2 shot down.
8th Had another poor day. Was dull and cold all the morning, only 59 degrees but I managed to sit out in shelter in a coat and scarf. After dinner it broke out nice and sunny and warm and we sat out on lawn. Then we sat through a heavy shower and got the shelter very wet. After that a thunderstorm came up and we had to come in. After tea v. and I went for a ride round the big field. It was very cold. Germans have made further small advance in their offensive in Russia. Have lost 600 planes and 1500 tanks in 3 days.
7th Not a very nice day. Morning was cloudy and windy and cool. Only 60 degrees. Put shelter up and sat there a little while and nursed George. After dinner it came over thundery and had to take shelter in. Just after 6 it broke out lovely and sunny and warm and still and we put up shelter and sat there until 8.10 Then a thunderstorm came up and we had to pack up and come in. Germans have made slight advance in their offensive in Russia.
6th Nice morning. Sat out on lawn. Saw some planes towing gliders. Went to Dedham in afternoon and it came on to rain. Have been sitting out after tea but has now come over very dull and is thundering. Germans have launched an offensive on Russian front.

The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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