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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
April 1943
25th Very windy but sunny and a little warmer 64 degrees. Put shelter up for about an hour in afternoon but it was very blowy. Vera sang in morning and we sang duet in evening. Advances being made in Tunisia but heavy losses being suffered.
24th Cold and windy but some long sunny intervals. Turned a little warmer in afternoon and mother came out for hour. Had all day holiday. Went to Chapel to practice in evening. All tulips out. Considerable advance by 1st Army. General offensive launched.
23rd Good Friday but had to go to work. Rainy day but broke out sunny after tea and mother came down garden. 1st Army has launched attack in Tunisia.
22nd Nice rain in night. Cool and dull to-day. Had dinner with Clarice at Cannons. Church bells to ring again. No longer needed as invasion warning says Churchill. Germany warned not to use gas against Russia. Warning 7 - 7.10 p.m.
21st Rather chilly. Sunny morning but came over dull and has started to rain. Bonemealed roses. 8th Army attacks in Tunisia. Stettin (Poland), Rostock and Berlin (Germany) raided. 31 lost.
20th Sunny but cool 58 degrees. Mother sat out in shelter. Had a bad time to-day. Tried to give George a dose of med. this morning and poured it all over his fur. He has kicked a lot of it out and has made bare patches under his chin. Went to see Dr. but no surgery, he is ill. Siren this morning 11.45 a.m. - 12. Watched Jerry circle round being chased by two fighters. He was shot down off Clacton.
19th Turned much cooler. Rained a little in afternoon but not enough. Went up to Chapel in evening to practice solos.
18th Another glorious day. Clear blue sky and brilliant sunshine. 72 degrees. Had shelter out on law all afternoon and had to turn it back to sun because it was too hot. Had tea in shirt-sleeves. Mother sat out until to 7. Lovely evening. Very dry. 12 marrows up. Tulips out. Siren 1.45 - 2 p.m.
17th Hot and sunny again 74 degrees. Rather windy, had shelter out all afternoon and evening. All had tea out on lawn. Had siren while out there 2.50 - 3.30 p.m. Several planes about. Mother got scared and came in. Last night we were woke up by a big bomb and rushed downstairs at 12.30. Siren went 12.40 - 1.35 a.m. Several planes around but no guns. We sent out 600 bombers last night. Biggest force this year and lost 55.
16th Hot and sunny 73 degrees. Mother went out morning, afternoon and evening. Had shelter out and all sat out till 8. Had tea out in shirt sleeves. Too hot to sit facing sun. Huge force of bombers going out. Warning this afternoon 4.45 - 5 p.m. German plane circled over Chelmsford making trail.
15th Glorious day. Warm and sunny. 72 degrees when I got home. Had shelter out for 1st time. Mother sat out for hour in afternoon and from 5.30 - 8. We sat until 8.15. Had my tea in shelter for first time this year. Got 5 marrows up under cloches. Had a rare time last night. Siren went 12.5 - 1.30 a.m. Planes began to come and guns to fire as soon as warning had gone and we had to scramble up. Lots of planes and guns for an hour. Heard some heavy bombs. Shrapnel pick up about roads. Raid on Chelmsford. Prison burnt also Suet Factory, Hotel, houses, etc. Nearly all glass out in shop windows - rare mess. 4 shot down. We lost 23.
14th Warm and close but rather dull. Over 60 now at 9.30. Mother went out for about an hour. Vera went to Vets and got some med. for George. Went to Chapel to hear W. Fox. Heavy raid on Spezia. (Italy). 3 missing. Great force of bombers going out to-night. Can see them in moonlight.
13th Lovely sunny warm day 67 degrees. Lovely evening. Mother went out twice. and hour. Final battle in Tunisia will soon begin. Set second lot of peas.
12th Dull and close. Budget Day. Increase tax on Beer and Tobacco. Siren 12.15 - 12.55 a.m. One or two planes about so we came down. Sousse captured. (Tunisia). Total prisoners now 20,000.



The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road
Lexden
Colchester


brought to us by
Heather Johnson



www.WW2inColchester.com


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