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31 January 2013

31st Jan 1943: 'wind of utmost violence'

31 Sun. Rather cold; a day of terrible rain and wind of the utmost violence, I should say that much damage has been done. Ciss who went to Tolworth saw many hoardings and fences down. Little Gwen called in spite of weather and went to Sunday School.

29 January 2013

30th Jan 1943: no coloured tissue

30 Sat. Rather cold, fitful day of sudden squalls of wind and rain, interspersed with bursts of  sunshine. Got the groceries and other goods locally. Covered 22 ins. fuselage with white tissue as I am unable to get coloured now, but I painted it with blue water colour and it does not look too bad. Interesting letter from Fred Fraine.

29th Jan 1943: quiet sunny day

29 Fri. Rather mild, perfect sunny day. Did shopping locally also bought cats' meat at Morden.

The map of Morden is the one-inch Ordnance Survey map of 1944. Chestnut Road, Fred's home, is at the top, to the left of the centre. Travel up and to the left along the (brown) B286 which is Martin Way, to the (red) A298 which is Bushey Way, then Chestnut Road is not quite opposite you but the first to the right.  (Map via Wikipedia Commons)

28 January 2013

28th Jan 1943: sausages & chopping

28 Thur. Mild, dull, cloudy, fine rain most of the day. To post a letter and buy some sausages. Chopped some wood.

27 January 2013

26 & 27th Jan 1943: liver - a great sensation

Ensign Beaded Edge tyre, available 70 years
after the diary entry 
26 Tues. Cold... a little weak sun. Cycled to Morden to buy fish for Dinky. Also cycled to take accumulator, returning along Grand Drive and Cannon Hill Lane. My outer covers are very worn, the back tyre showing signs of bursting, but beaded edge covers are not now made: mine are beaded edges so am in a quandary.
27 Wed. Very cool, cloudy, fresh wind. Shopping in morning, bought some liver at the butchers - great sensation; we had liver and bacon for dinner, first for a very long time. Along line in afternoon to see Pacific loco No 2168. Am on fire duty to-night. Wrote letter to Fred Fraine. Repaired 22ins. fuselage damaged last autumn. 

25 January 2013

25th Jan 1943: bright lights

25 Mon. Cold, dull, rain commencing in afternoon. Fitted polished aluminium reflector, with improverment, to Ciss's electric bedroom light. To the Church in evening to pay Slate Club contribution.

"I don't like the look of it, Jones
 - our slate club treasurer has joined the Air Force!"
Notes: Ciss's room, and others still, did have gas lights. And a slate club? A way to save money for distribution later, usually at Christmas.  See the cartoon in the original journal, London Opinion of Dec 1943

24 January 2013

24th Jan 1943: a cold Sunday

How 1943 began...
24 Sun. Very cold; white morning frost giving when the sun apeared midday. The children called as usual. Had no reason to go out so preferred to stay in.  

23 January 2013

23rd Jan 1943: armoured railway engine?

23 Sat. Very cool, getting colder; cloudy. Cycled to Wimbledon to buy liver & lights for Dinky at the Hartfield Road shop; have only been there twice. Cycle now runs beautifully. Got the groceries as usual. Along rail path at 5.45 p.m. to see the Q1 heavy loco come up. It seems it is armoured to withstand air-attack. Planted shallots in the garden.
Photo: Southern Railway wartime SR Q1 class locomotive. Photo via Wikipedia

22 January 2013

22nd Jan 1943: 3d for ball bearings

22 Fri. Mild 54 degrees; some nice sunshine in morning: as nice as a January day can be. Did the usual shopping in morning, thence along line to Wimbledon where I met Gladys; came back empty-handed - quite a common experience. Took down back of of cycle as water had got in and rusted a cone and balls; bought a new set of ball bearings at Hills' for 3d. Reassembled, shall test it tomorrow. 

21 January 2013

21st Jan 1943: British shell on Bushey Road

21 Thur. Mild, 52 degrees, lovely sunny day, but rain later. To Morden to buy cats' meat. My cycle makes a noise like a machine gun when I pedal; shall have to examine it: I think there is a broken ball bearing. Went to see where the British shell fell in Bushey Road early Monday morning. It was fired by a gun miles to the N.W.  I heard it whistle over but did not know where it fell at the time. It fell in the middle of the footway at the end of Aston Road, making a crater 6ft across spattering earth about and driving fragments into the grassy bank in the middle of Bushey Road; I hear some people were injured.

20 January 2013

20th Jan 1943: 40 children killed; salmon for cat

20 Wed. Mild, 52 degrees, fair morning, dull and rain later. Warning at 12.35 p.m. 25 fighter bombers crossed the S.E. coast with 100 fighters as escort. 6 of them reached London but only saw evidence of two. Only very light gunfire; the planes flew about 30,000ft up an the engines were scarcely audible. Some damage was done and one bomb fell on an L.C.C. school and killed 30 children. Eleven of the enemy were destroyed; all clear at 1.15 p.m. Cycled to find something for Dinky but had eventually to buy a small tin of salmon. Warning at 8.37 p.m. nothing to report. All clear at 9.0 p.m. Warning from 10.50 to 11.7 p.m. Nothing approached.

Note: a single 500kg bomb killed  40 children and six staff. This was Sandhurst Road School on Minard Road in Catford.

The names of those who died
The school, past and present
Eyewitness reports and photos
Wikipedia account of the tragedy

The school later the same year. Before the bombing the school was twice this size, the left-hand side has disappeared.

19th Jan 1943: Leningrad relieved

19 Tues. Mild, dull, calm. Cycled to Morden but could not buy any food for Dinky. Continued to Wimbledon and managed to buy a little fish. Leningrad is relieved after being besieged for 16 months.

19 January 2013

18th Jan 1943: German bomber shelled

18 Mon. Mild for season, calm, overhead haze.  Warning from 4.35 a.m. to 5.40 a.m. The enemy returned to the attack and a few machines penetrated to outer London. The barrage was very heavy and the Raynes Park guns were used to good effect. A bomb fell at Wharfdale Gardens, Thornton Heath, a few people being killed. Also a long line of incendiaries fell along the middle of Brighton Road, Croydon. At 5.20 a.m. I stood watching a group of searchlights to southwards when I saw a glow high up in the sky. At first I thought it was a parachute flare, but it travelled too quickly and began to fall rapidly, getting brighter and larger, finally plunging headlong. I realised it was a German plane crashing to earth, leaving a trail of orange and red fire, cracking as it fell; then it sank below the horizon and after a few seconds I heard a terrific rumble as it as it crashed and blew itself up. Have since heard it fell harmlessly on Upper Green Caterham. Four of crew were burned to death, a fifth bailed out & was captured. The Raynes Park anti-aircraft camp claim to have shot down two enemy aircraft: a total of 10 were shot down out of a total of 60 that were sent. Jack Bradley called in evening  in uniform: he is in the Army Pay Corps. He now has a baby girl as well as a boy. Alert from 7.45 to 8.20 p.m. nothing to report.

17 January 2013

16th & 17th Jan 1943:

16 Sat. Rather cold. Cloudy but not bad for time of year. Got the groceries as usual & thence to Wimbledon along rail path. Bought cereals at Falkner's. Also bought some lights for Dinky at a pet shop in Hartfield Road, first time I have dealt there; have only recently discovered the shop.

17 Sun. Very cool, overhead haze, calm; not unpleasant for time of year. The children called as usual. Walked to Wimbledon Common in afternoon but did not venture very far as the ground is very wet and muddy.  Met Chas & Uncle Joe who told me Aunt Liza is a little better. Warning at 8.15 p.m. the infrequent arrivals of enemy aircraft, but a few more over London, where the barrage was at times very intense; some new shells, probably multiple being used. The local guns fired several rounds, the first since the A.T.S. women have been at the camp. All clear at 9.58 p.m. This raid was apparently a reprisal for our heavy raid on Berlin last night. I heard a dud shell whistle over but did not hear any bombs or see any signs of fires having been started.


16 January 2013

13th to 15th Jan 1943: Liza into hospital

13 Wed. Same temperature as yesterday but fine and sunny, but little warmth in the sun of course. Took order to grocers and bought sausages in morning. Alan Spooner called in afternoon and gave me a fretwork calendar. He also brought an energised moving coil speaker he has had given him: tested it but without polarising current was quite weak in response, of course.

14 Thur. Rather cold, a little fairer after a terrible night of torrential rain and thunderous wind. Did local shopping and went a little way along rail-path just in time to see the Pacific. Met Mrs. Child and Jennefer. The Conley children brought a parcel that the postman had left there for us as I was out at the time.

15 Fri. Rather cold, dull morning, sunny afternoon, moonlight night. Bought the meat and other things in morning. Went along the rail-path as far as Merton Hall Road bridge; saw the Pacific 21C8. Went in to see Aunt Liza who is ill in bed and later went into Cheam and Sutton Hospital. Am on fire-duty tonight but do not go out unless there is a warning; up to the time of writing only aircraft and searchlight practice by our own men has eventuated.

12 January 2013

12th Jan 1943: feeling humdrum

12 Tues. Mild for season 49 degrees; dull, drizzle all day, very humid. Cycled to Morden to buy sprats. Life seems very humdrum just now.

11 January 2013

11th Jan 1943: duty calls...

11 Mon. Mild by comparison - 48 degs: fairer with some pale sunshine. Walked along line in afternoon. Aunt Liza brought some meat for Dinky. I see by the displayed Fire Watching Rota I am on duty on Friday.

10 January 2013

10th Jan 1943: wet and misty

10 Sun. Torrents of rain during the night indicated that the frosty spell is broken. Temperature up to 43 degrees. Very dull, damp and misty. Ciss went to Tolworth. 

9 January 2013

9th Jan 1943: sweet & pure air... got turnips

9 Sat. Severe hoar frost holding all day. Fairer, the air being sweet & pure. Got turnips in morning. Got groceries in afternoon, then bought cats' meat at Morden. An uninteresting day, do not seem to have time for the more important things.

8 January 2013

8th Jan 1943: sun a deep red ball

8 Fri. Freezing hard all day, dirty brown mist with the sun a deep red ball in the sky all day. Did the usual shopping locally including buying the week-end joint. Thence walked to Morden to buy cats' meat also bought some for Miss Dickson's cat. To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy a few things: saw a Pacific & Atlantic loco.

7 January 2013

6th & 7th Jan 1943: no cats' food found

6 Wed. Less cold; not now freezing. Very dull, rain all day. Went out in morning to do shopping locally. Spent more time beating out aluminium reflector.

7 Thur. Very cold, half-dark, dirty brown mist. Cycled all over Morden, Raynes Park & Wimbledon to find food for Dinky but failed; must have covered a fruitless 8 miles.

5 January 2013

5th Jan 1943: final bomb repairs

5 Tues. Hard frost, slight fall of snow... Out only to buy sausages locally.  Mr Ward the builder called in afternoon to make a list of repairs to be done which will complete the bomb damage renewals when the house will be as good as before.

4th Jan 1943: fire - and water divining

4 Mon. Thick white frost lasting all day; some feeble sunshine in afternoon. Coldest day this winter so far. Cycled to Morden to buy meat for Dinky. To the Church to pay the Club. Met Mr Akhurst there who demonstrated his powers of water divining. He found a length of cane and made a loop which he held in his hands. Immediately the cane was forced upwards with such power that he could not hold it down. The spot indicated was just inside the choir door. I tried with the same rod over the same spot but got no reaction whatsoever. Light outbreak of fire at night at end of Bronson Road. Went to have a look but could not see anything save that two engines were there with hoses leading through the entrance of the Spur Garage.

3rd Jan 1943: recycling tin

3 Sun. Hard frost... the children called as usual. Shorty walk in afternoon and to put used tin-foil tubes in the collecting bin in Grand Drive. Mrs Akroyd came to tea and stayed in evening.

1 January 2013

2nd Jan 1943: pussies meat shop

2 Sat. Very cold, very cloudy, showers, windy and a rainbow in afternoon. Got the goceries at Eyle's as usual in afternoon also to Boots both locally and at Morden where I also bought meat for Dinky at the pussies meat shop. Played pin board with Ciss as usual in evening.

1st Jan 1943: lady gas collector calls...

Fred notes planting, pinboard scores and cyclometer mileage
1 New Year's Day, Fri. Rather cold becoming milder; dismal, rain all day, very boisterous. Did shopping locally in morning and did not have to go further for which I was glad, the weather being what it is. Started making an experimental aluminium reflector. The only callers were Miss Dickson to do the usual cleaning and the lady gas collector.