1 September 2014

1st Sept 1944: lilac springs to life after bombing

1 Sept. Fri. Very mild, some nice sunny periods. Cycled to North Cheam but the meat shop was closed. Met Uncle Dick there and had a chat. Got some things locally. To Morden in afternoon to buy fish. Ciss came back from Bedford to-day after having had an enjoyable fortnight's holiday free from flying bombs. But to-day so far has been quite free of enemy activity. Cut some nice roses to-day also a head of lilac blossom: several sprays of which have appeared on Mrs Veale's lilac bushes which were blasted into leafless sticks by the bomb but one now coming into bloom again as if it were springtime.

31 August 2014

2014. The places Fred visited.

We recently saw 'Dear Mother's grave', so often referred to and visited by visited by Fred. Here are more photos taken in the immediate area. Photos and captions by two readers of this blog, Sean & Nora Galvin.

1. The 12th century gateway to the Merton Priory guesthouse, in the church grounds. 
2. The grave of John Innes, local property developer, philanthropist, anti-slavery campaigner, driving force behind creation of Merton Park, funded renowned horticultural institute, hence the potting compost - quite a few mentions in Fred's diary.  
3. The old school building, opposite the churchyard (now converted into apartments).
4. Dedication plaque.







31st August 1944: a very superior shop...

31 Thur. Mild, cool wind, some sun but many showers. From 8.30 to 8.40 a.m. no incident. From 8.50 to 9.5 a.m. no incident. From 9.25 to 9.40 a.m. no incident. From 10.0 to 10.15 a.m. no incident. From 10.43 to 11.2 a.m. no incident. From 11.35 to 12.5 p.m. no incident. From 5.5 p.m. to 5.15 p.m. no incident. To North Cheam in morning to buy cats meat at a very superior shop: also to the grocers. To butchers in afternoon. The workmen are making progress with the roof and pulled down the broken parts of a chimney stack and started re-building it.

Note: Fred wouldn't have known quite yet... but the Allies were beginning to approach/capture flying-bomb launching areas... I don't say 'sites', because I believe there was some mobility in launchers? - Tony

30 August 2014

30th August 1944: bombed and bewildered

"She was standing outside her damaged house looking bewildered, her furniture piled up in the road waiting for the lorry to take it away."

30 Wed. Very mild, mostly cloudy.  From 7.45 to 8.4 a.m. no incident. Got the groceries locally, of course; also bought cats meat in Morden and fish in Martin Way. From 12.0 noon to 12.20 p.m. no incident. The workmen made good headway re-building the timberwork of the roof: it seems our house is the last to be repaired on this side of the road, the rest are condemned. The bomb which fell at 9.15 last evening fell nearly opposite Holy Cross Church in Adela Av. I went there this morning and found the bomb fell only a few doors from Lydia Godrey’s. She was standing outside her damaged house looking bewildered, her furniture piled up in the road waiting for the lorry to take it away.

29 August 2014

29th August 1944: doctor's dispenser and his housekeeper killed

29 Tues. Very mild, cloudy & dull; showers. Warning from 11.24 to 11.42 a.m.one distant SE, one in SE. From 12.10 to 1.23 p.m. one through to NE did not hear it go off and one in E. From 1.52 to 2.19 p.m. one through to N, no explosion. Started to cycle to Cheam cats’ meat shop when warning went at 2.45 p.m: saw two bombs flying at prodigious speed NW: they flew right out of hearing: all clear at 3.5 p.m. From 5.35 to 5.47 p.m. one NE, one SE. From 6.45 to 6.55 p.m. no incident. From 7.12 to 7.27 p.m. no incident. Posted letter to Ciss. Dr Pritchard was injured, his lady dispenser and his housekeeper killed in the Lambton Rd bombing yesterday. From 8.45 to 9.0 p.m. one fell in S after short glide. From 9.15 one came very near, its engine stopped; a short loudly screaming glide ensued followed by the explosion: it fell very near in SW, all clear 9.35 p.m. Fire engines raced along Bushey Road. From 10.17 to 10.40 p.m. one to northward out of hearing, one distant in SE. Warning at 11.0 p.m. one through to N out of hearing: all clear at 6.20 a.m. on 30 Wed.

28th August 1944: damaged house collapsed in the wind

28 Mon. Very mild, some nice sunny periods. Got some things at the grocers and post-office in morning. Bought fish at Cheam in afternoon. Warning at 2.40 p.m. A gliding bomb fell in Lambton Road on Dr Pritchards house and destroyed it with several others. Went to see if Len and Emily Garrods house was safe: it was damaged but not seriously, also one more bomb in W, all clear at 3.53 p.m. From 1.20 to 3.16 p.m. no incident. Cleared the small bedroom of slates, plaster and glass debris and swept the floor. A squad of workmen started demolishing damaged houses in this road with a view to repairing them: one damaged house collapsed in the wind this morning.