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27 August 2010

Saturday 24th August: Dad's shelter door

Fred's Dad is on the left; this photo taken at 98 Largewood Avenue, Tolworth, (probably in 1943) where he'd moved to join Fred's sister-in-law Lily (standing) and Fred's brother, Albert (standing) for the rest of the war. The criss-cross on the French windows is thought to be tape to prevent shattering in bomb-blasts.
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Very mild, some nice modest sun. Air raid warning lasting an hour from 8.20 a.m.. polished the floors. Dad made and fitted a door to the air raid shelter. Another warning from 4 to 5 p.m., much air activity, and hear 30 or 40 bombs several miles away in W. or N.W, direction. Cycled round the houses in evening - did 6 miles anyway. Air raid warning before 11 p.m. and lasting till 1.20 p.m. on Sun 25th. German plane hovering overhead for what seemed an eternity. Heard two fighters go over but without seeming to make contact. Heard several bombs.
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On this day: Fred's record coincides with Vera Brittain's Diary of  air raid warnings she noted at 8.30am, 3.55pm and 11.45pm. Manston airfield in Kent was badly damaged and put out of action; Portsmouth suffered badly. German bombers missed Thameshaven oil storage depot east of the City of London and instead bombed the heart of the City, destroying many notable old buildings. The RAF lost 22 fighters and the Germans 38. Only two German bombers were lost.
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