17 September 2010

Tuesday 17th September 1940: my windows blasted

"it looks as if Uncle Alf's has barely escaped"
A further raid began at 3.50 a.m. but was not on a large scale: went to bed so do not know when it ended. Two short warnings followed from 8.0 to 9.0 a.m. and another - time or duration not observed. The bomb on the Rec. proved to be a British one captured by the Germans in France. Warning from 2.55 to 4.25 p.m. Nothing developed. Maud called ion evening. Warning from 6.30 to 7.0 p.m. The night raid began at 8.7 and a bomber flew overhead circling round and dropped a bomb which sent a powerful blast through the house, and blew out two windows and cracked another. Aunt Liza has several windows out. The road is strew with glass. Fruins (??) shop window is out, and it was an aerial torpedo in Kingston road. I shall have to see how Uncle Alf and Aunt Hannah have fared. All clear at 6.0 a.m. on 18 Wed. Went out immediately and saw what has happened. A bomb in Kingston Road opposite Sidney Road, and several in Dupont Road, demolishing several houses. The police would not let me down, but it looks as if Uncle Alf's has barely escaped. (It was badly damaged.)
On this day:

  • 10,000 Britons killed or wounded in today's raids, the fiercest yet. So far this month, 2,000 have died.
  • Germans postpone invasion plans - Operation Sealion - indefinitely. RAF bombers attack German vessels which had been gathered for invasion.
  •  In the Med, aircraft from the carrier Illustrious sink four Italian ships in the harbour at Benghazi. 


1 comment:

  1. My father (17 years old) told me he got home late that day and when the sirens went off he couldn't be bothered to return to Raynes Park Station, where the air raid shelter was. He lived at 22 Dorien Road. As no-one else was in, he sat in his dad's (my grandad's) wingbacked chair and was glad he did as the next moment the glass french door door behind blew in and turned him and the chair over. The wall opposite had shards of glass stuck in it. It was the event that spurred him and his mate to join up - they knew a recruitment office in Soho that didn't ask for birth certificates. And so began his career as a Royal Air Force pilot. 'Safer than Raynes Park' he later told me and you could shoot back too!