15 September 2014

15th Sept 1944: terrific explosion... secret factory?

15 Fri. Very mild, hazy; some sunshine in afternoon. A terrific explosion shook the place at 4.15 a.m. I thought it was a rocket but it is said to be an accident at a very secret munition works: I have not heard where; no one seems to know. Did the usual Fri. morning shopping locally, also to N. Cheam to buy fish. Wired the temporary crystal receiver and got fair results.

14 September 2014

14th Sept 1944: collars, tie & fish... & ballistic missiles

14 Thur. Very mild, calm, a little hazy sunshine: not unpleasant. To Wimbledon along rail path in morning; bought a shirt, two collars and a tie at Rego’s. Saw a Pacific loco. with the improved front end. Bought fish at Morden in afternoon and continued my journey along Abbotsbury Rd. to St. Helier. Saw where some shops and a garage were destroyed near the Angelbridge Sutton. Returned along Sutton Common Rd. where I saw severe damage to a great number of modern villas. Two more rockets* are reported to-day, one at Walthamstow and one at Seven Kings. They travel at such a great height and speed, no warning can be given, as at present instruments for their detection have not been devised.






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*Wikipedia excerpt on the V-2:  Vergeltungswaffe or "Vengeance Weapon 2",  the world's first long-range ballistic missile. The V-2 rocket was also the first man-made object to enter the fringes of space.
Beginning in September 1944, over 3,000 V-2s were launched against Allied targets, mostly London and later Antwerpand Liège. The attacks resulted in the deaths of an estimated 9,000 civilians and military personnel, while 12,000 forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners were killed producing the weapons.
As Germany collapsed, teams from all of the Allied forces raced to collect rockets, designs and the German engineers and scientists involved.  The knowledge gained led to rapid progress, especially in the United States and the Soviet Union, and by the mid-1950s, nuclear-armed descendants of V-2 missiles were common battlefield weapons. By the end of the decade these had reached intercontinental range. Link to Wikipedia V-2 entry.

13 September 2014

13th Sept 1944: we can shut the front door again!

13 Wed. Very mild, some hazy sunshine in afternoon; pleasant. Got the groceries and other things locally in morning. Cycle ride to Lower Morden, saw very severe damage in Kingsbridge Rd, about 12 houses completely destroyed, also where several houses were down in Sycamore Av. The workmen have put new doors throughout the house or other doors salvaged from other condemned houses and we can now shut the front door. Also the brickwork at back of house is repaired and half the roof is slated, so we are getting on. Aunt Liza called, she is just back from Preston. It seems fairly certain that the explosions occurring in the London area are the expected rockets fired probably from Germany: there are reports that they have fallen at Chiswick, Kew, Carshalton and Kennington.

On this day: a US destroyer Warrington and two Coast Guard cutters sunk in hurricane off east coast of USA.

12 September 2014

12 Sept 1944: mystery explosions... secret weapons... public in dark

12 Tues. Very chilly morning with raging E wind, but the sun shone with some power all the afternoon. To greengrocers in morning also to buy sausage meat. To N. Cheam catsmeat shop in morning to buy meat and liver of excellent quality. Saw where “doodle-bugs” had fallen in Hamilton Drive, Sutton Bye-Pass and Boscombe Av. To Tolworth in afternoon to take Anthony a jar of orange jelly. Saw where “doodle-bugs” had fallen in Tolworth Prk. Rd. – very bad, Alexandra Drive, and at the Lagoon. Alb and Lily called in evening also Harold and Aunt Hannah to collect firewood from the heaps in the road. At 6.20 a.m. a very loud explosion occurred followed by the sound of falling buildings which lasted for almost a minute. There was a mystery explosion at Westcroft Gardens Kew where 9 houses went down and 8 persons killed, this may have been what we heard but it sounded as if it came from another direction, if so there may have been another. There have already been several of these mystery explosions and the public have not been told what they are but it seems fairly certain they are some secret weapon of the enemy.

On this day: Frankfurt bombed with 400,000 incendiaries by British aircraft. Start of 2nd Quebec conference, with Roosevelt, Churchill and their military planners - invasion of Japan agreed. In Europe, British Second Army enters Netherlands, and US troops enter Germany near Trier. Bridgeheads are established across the Moselle. US 3rd Division reaches 1,000yd short of the Siegfried line. 

Britain, US and Russia sign armistice with Rumania, who will join war against Germany and Hungary. Russia promises to return Transylvania to Rumania.

11 September 2014

11th Sept 1944: workmen these days... hah!

11 Mon. Chilly day; the sun made a faint effort in afternoon but it did not amount to much: windy. Did shopping locally, also to Wimbledon in afternoon. Took custard powder to Mrs. Child’s in evening. Workmen repairing bay window but don’t think much of their work. Aunt Hannah called.

10 September 2014

10th Sept 1944: re-building of 66, Chestnut Road, Raynes Park

10 Sun. Rather cold but fine and some weak sunshine. To Mrs Childs to dinner and tea; played their piano: Auntie Dorothy called there. The workmen have erected a scaffolding at the front of the house from which to rebuild the bay windows.