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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
December 1944
19th Foggy day. Rocket fell at Chelmsford in night on Hoffmans. Lot of casualties, don't know how many yet. Germans have advanced 20 miles into Belgium. Position still confused, looks bad. (A V2 rocket fell on Henry Road, Chelmsford near/on Hoffman's ball bearing factory. It was the 367th V2 to hit England and the target may have been the Marconi factory in nearby New Street. It was the worst single loss of life to take place - (?) 39 people were killed and 138 injured,47 seriously. Several houses in Henry Road were destroyed and many in neighbouring streets badly damaged).
18th Glorious fine sunny day. Mild. Germans are making a full scale counter offensive against American 1st Army. They have broken into the U.S. positions at 3 points and have made substantial progress into Belgium. 1300 R.A.F. planes out last night. 17 missing. Had 3 raids early this morning. 3.45 - 4.55, 5.35 - 6.20 and 6.35 - 6.50 a.m. The last one was our 1000th one. Heard several doodle go over. Saw one go along in last raid. Heard 2 big bangs. George getting better.
17th Dull and very mild. Germans counter attacking on Western Front. ('Battle of the Bulge' 16 December 1944 - 25 January 1945).
16th Wet day. Not much news. Heavy raid on Germany, 2 missing.
15th Dull and still cold. Big debate on Poland. Churchill says in hope of agreement. Heard some loud rockets in night.
14th Dull and cold. Feeling better. Have just heard really loud rocket bang and roll sound. Heavy fighting still going on in Greece.
13th Cold day very foggy. Came home on 4.15 bus, took 1 hour. Moores bus had run into hedge. Still got my pain. Rebels in Athens have launched general attack.
12th Cold. Feeling better. Warning 7 - 8 p.m. Heard 2 doodles in distance. No improvement in Greek situation. Cut lovely lettuce for tea.
11th Cold day. Roads very slippery this morning. Bus kept skidding about. Saw an overturned car at Witham. Ill all day with pain. Biggest U.S. raid today, 1600 heavies sent out. Raid 11 - 11.40 p.m. Got up. George a lot better.
10th Sharp frost early, heavy rain in evening. Went out in morning but stayed in for rest of day with bad pain. Warning 6.45 - 7.30 p.m. George improving.
9th Fine but cold. Vera's cold bad but we are not separating. At 12 last night we heard a terrific rocket. Loudest we have heard. The rumble afterwards was awful. Mother screamed and cried. Don't know where it was. It was at Layer.
8th Dull cold day. Big debate in Parliament on Greece. Heavy fighting in Athens. The doodle bug we heard stop last night glided on to Chelmsford and dropped near the Bishops. The Bishop is injured.
7th Fairly nice day. Heard huge rocket in night. 1350 R.A.F. planes bombed Germany last night. 20 lost. Raid just as I was sitting down to twat 6.30 - 7.10 p.m. Heard one doodle go along and one blow up. Lights nearly put out. George missing since 2 o'clock yesterday. Turned up at 9.30 ravenous and tore off again. Vera got a cold.
6th Sharp frost and fog. Civil war in Greece. British tanks in action in Athens. Heard big rockets in night. Dropped at Cold Norton and Woodham Ferrers.
The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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