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.

28 August 2014

Dear Mother's Grave

Dear Readers,

This post is very different. Nora and Sean Galvin, who live in New Malden, saw the frequent references by Fred to 'Dear Mother's grave'. They set out to locate and photograph this. Nora also researched Fred's family history through census records; the resulting information now informs much of the detail entered under 'Family & homes' on the right-hand side of this blog.

At this stage, I'll show their photos with Nora and Sean's captions here. So this entry does't get lost in the daily journal, I'll create a separate web page - but that's for later.  

St Mary The Virgin,
Merton Park
Walk to the left of the cross,
 some way alongside the wall,

 to a gate...

'Dear Mother's grave'
- now sadly neglected
Through the gate, the grave is about
20ft to the left

The grave, opposite Merton Park Primary school,
separated by a footpath, outside the wall,
which goes through to Erridge Road 

The grave is shaded by the trees to the far left

27 August 2014

27th August 1944: lovely enjoyable day... not many bombs

Nonsuch Park. (Photo: Roger Miller via Wikipedia)
27 Sun. Rather warm, lovely sunny day: perfect, without being too hot. Painted cement fillets in shelter to make them rain-proof. Also painted the non-galvanised bay of shelter to save it from being rusted away. Enjoyable cycle ride in evening through Worcester Park, Old Maldon, Ewell, first time I have been along the by-pass to East Ewell, returning along Nonsuch Park Lane, through Cheam home. Warning at 6.40 a.m. one fairly near in W, three in SE, two fairly near in E, one in NE, all clear at 7.30 a.m.

26 August 2014

26th August 1944: sweet relief

26 Sat. Rather warm, lovely sunny day. To butchers in morning and got my week’s meat ration, 1/2d worth of stewing lamb. Ciss already had her meat ration and took it to Bedford with her. One or two small purchases locally. To Merton to buy fish. Mrs McSheely wants us to occupy her house for a fortnight while they are away on holiday and to look after their chickens and cats: I do not feel equal to it, quite apart from the fact I know nothing about fowls. There have been no flying bombs since 7.30 a.m. yesterday morning and this is now late Sat. night.