30 November 2013

30th November 1943: model-maker

Chestnut Road, Raynes Park, early 1900s
30 Tues. Cold, dull, less wind. Made a second three-bladed propeller for Anthony's aero. Cousin Len called. Doris stayed the night.

29 November 2013

29th November 1943: '...cycled to Morden to buy sprats'

29 Mon. Very cold, bitter, driving N. wind but bright sunshine all day. Took accumulator. Cycled to Morden to buy sprats. Warning at 2.0 a.m. Only one of our own machines co-operating with the searchlights came this way; all clear at 2.20 a.m.

On this day: the Allied leaders at their Tehran meeting. Stalin, Roosevelt, Churchill. 

28 November 2013

28th November 1943: wretched weather

Golestan Palace, Tehran
28 Sun. Mild, 53 degrees; dismal, rain, humid. A lot of children called today. The weather was so wretched I stayed in.

On this day: UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Franklin D Roosevelt and Premier of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin met in Tehran. It was their first meeting, in a conference lasting from today until 1st Dec. They agreed upon the plans to invade and retake western European areas from the Germans (May 1944) and on plans to campaign in southern France (code-named Anvil). Stalin promised Soviet support against Japan, once Germany had been defeated.

27 November 2013

27th November 1943: blue suit good as new

Coombe Lane, early 1900s. With thanks
Harold Conrade-Marshall
Hong Kong, 1924

27 Sat. Very cold, dismal, rain all day with a rise to 49 degrees at night. Got the groceries as usual. Cycled to Morden cat's meat shop. Also collected my blue suit from Eastman's the cleaners in Coombe Lane.; cost 3/6 - looks like new. Wrote long-letter to Harold Conrade-Marshall.

26th November 1943: one aircraft; two hours fire duty

26 Fri.Thick white frost lasting till midday; some feeble sunshine. Did the usual Fri. morning shopping locally, also walked to Wimbledon along railway path. Warning at 9.0 p.m. A solitary machine came from the west & cruised about for 25 minutes, everything being quiet. It then made off in a south-east direction where a few shells from distant guns were fired at it; I suppose it was German; all clear at 9.37 p.m. On fire duty from midnight to 2.0 a.m. on 27 Sat.

25 November 2013

25th November 1943: Raynes Park...

25 Thur. Very cold, bitter N. wind but fairly bright. Cycled to Morden to buy something for Dinky. Warning from 7.3 to 8.8. p.m.: no incident.

Kingston Rd, Raynes Park, early 1900s
Note 'light refreshments' at 'The Pagoda', a name
surely taken from the towers at the end of the row.
Thanks to:

...same view, 21st Century (Google)

24 November 2013

24th November 1943

24 Wed. Rather cold, but brighter. Shopping in morning; met Mrs. Conrade. Took milliameter* back to Uncle Joe in evening.

*Note: no doubt linked to Fred's radio repairs. An ammeter measures electric current in amperes; instruments used to measure smaller currents, in the milliampere or microampere range, are called milliammeters or microammeters.

23 November 2013

23rd November 1943

23 Tues. Sharp morning frost; cold day but less dull. Sudden rise in temperature at night accompanied by drizzle. Walk to Merton to buy haricot beans and fish.

22 November 2013

22nd November 1943: a walk in the dark

22 Mon. Cold, but less so than of late; dismal, drizzle. To pay the club* in the black-out**. To see Mrs. Kingham's wireless set. L.T. now all right but only 15 volts H.T. instead of 120.

Notes: *a 'slate' club savings account, to withdraw especially at Christmas; ** Fred often puts a hyphen in a word (or uses two) where today we would use a single word - for instance, he writes: to-day.

21st November 1943: Sunday's children (+ see Comments)

21 Sun. Very cold, dismal, misty. A lot of children called, Connie Freeman came first and Shirley Bridges stayed last: they do like to come. Stayed in to-day; best place too. Doris stayed the night.

20 November 2013

20th November 1943: ONE shot from Raynes Park' guns

20 Sat. Very cold, dismal; thick fog all day. Got the groceries as usual., thence to Morden on foot, bought dried green peas, and fish and some lights for Dinky. Re-fitted slow-motion dial on Mrs. Child's wireless. Warning at 8.17 p.m. Four machines approached from S.E. circled overhead and returned the same way. Only very slight distant gunfire; the third machine had ONE shot at it from the Raynes Park guns; all clear at 9.10 p.m. This said was in a blanket fog. Doris stayed the night.

19 November 2013

19th November 1943: another sick wireless

Fred's favourite rail path in 2010
Photo credit: CycaLogical
19 Fri. Bitterly cold, dull; not much wind fortunately. Did usual shopping; got the meat etc. Walked along rail path* to Wimbledon. Harry Morris called to see if I would look at Mrs Kingham's wireless set. Could not do anything on the spot but indicated what they could do and promised to call again.

*Note. See Cycalogical for more recent notes on Fred's much loved footpath

18 November 2013

18th November 1943: red & yellow parachute flares

18 Thur. Very cold; some wintry sunshine in afternoon, otherwise dull. On foot to Morden; bought cats meat. Warning at 7.15 p.m. Two groups of red & yellow parachute flares some miles to S.E. and some distant firing. Some of our own fighters went over that way. All clear at 7.43 p.m. Len called; he had been to Tolworth to see Dad.

17 November 2013

17th November 1943: no apples in Raynes Park

Link to gallery of Fred's photos: 'Relative Values'
17 Wed. Very cold, morning frost, dull day. Did shopping locally. Tried all over Raynes Park to buy apples but failed. Adjustment to dial of Mrs. Child's wireless. Looked through old photograph's* in evening which gave me great pleasure. On fire duty; no incident.

* Note: some of the photographs would have been those featured in this blogger's website 'Poems Please Me' in the gallery 'Relative Values' (click this link).  There are several other photos yet to be scanned. A selection of Fred's and Ciss's postcards and greetings cards are also show, in the gallery headed 'Past Cards'.

16 November 2013

16th November 1943: 3 years since bomb on Chestnut Road

16 Tues. Very cold, dull, biting N. wind. Three years ago today** since Chestnut Rd was bombed. Took suit to Eastman's, Coombe Lane, to be pressed; also other shopping. Cycled to Morden to buy cats' meat.

On this day. Winston Churchill says (in 'The Blast of War - referring to the Chiefs of Staff system): 'You may take the most gallant sailor, the most intrepid airman, or the most audacious soldier, put them at a table together - what do you get? The sum of their fears.'

**Note: here is Fred's diary entry for that day three years ago. Mr Child died a few days before Christmas. (As usual, it's Fred's entry and the current blogger's headline.) 

Saturday 16th November 1940: Chestnut Road bombed, houses wrecked, people killed

Cold, rain. Warnings from 9.55 p.m. At 7.0 p.m. a bomber dropped 5 explosive bombs & an oil bomb. 3 explosive bombs and the latter on Chestnut Road; Mrs Lundy's house and also Child's & Spooner's wrecked, but all escaped, but Mr Child is seriously injured. A man opposite was killed & man killed in Botsford Road.Our house has suffered badly from blast and all windows broken. I was in the waterlogged shelter when the bombs fell. Also from 9.55 to 12.50 a.m. on Sunday 17. From 4.35 to 7.40 a.m.

15 November 2013

15th November 1943: wireless guru

1940s' GEC bakelite mains wireless
15 Mon. Cold, dull, north wind. To see Mrs. Child's wireless - new H.T. needed. Bought torch bulbs at Whitbourne's.

14 November 2013

14th November 1943: Anthony is two

14 Sun. Cold, dismal, rain, windy. A number of children called. Ciss went to Tolworth. Anthony is two and had a party to-day and yesterday.

13th November 1943: Doris still staying

13 Sat. Rather cold, fitful sky, showers. Got the groceries as usual also shopping locally and in Wimbledon. Doris stayed the night.

12th November 1943: brief entry...

12. Rather cold, dull, windy. Did the routine Friday shopping. Len called in the afternoon.

11 November 2013

11th November 1943: "incredibly ugly" engine

11 Thur. Cold, dull. To Wimbledon along rail path to buy a few things. Saw new "2" type goods loco. Incredibly ugly; it is as much as can be carried on six wheels. Len called to say Doris will stay the night.

10 November 2013

10 Nov 1943: Malden's unexploded bombs. Smack-up dinner

10 Wed. Rather mild,dull. Did shopping locally in morning. Cycled through the bombed roads of Malden in the Afternoon; there are still some unexploded bombs in Dukes Avenue and the little footbridge over the railway is closed. Cooked a real smack-up dinner with fried onions - good!

9 November 2013

9th November 1943: bought cycle pump for 3/6p.

9 Tues. Rather mild, dull, misty. Cycled to Morden in afternoon; bought fish. Bought nice Bluemel's celluloid cycle pump at Whitbourn's for 3/6. Climbed up Coombe Hill to find where Sunday night's bomb dropped but did not see damage, but it did fall there.

Link to historic photo of Whitbourn's cycle shop

7 November 2013

8th Nov 1943: Raynes Park fires 6 shots; 81 killed by bomb

8 Mon. Very cool, dull. Aunt Nellie called, bringing two boxes of watercolours and set of draughtsmen & board; gave her some preserves. The enemy plane that dive-bombed to northwards last night, hit a crowded dance hall* with a great loss of life ensuing. The second bomb dropped, some say, fell at Cannon Hill and others Coombe Hill; expect we shall hear later. Cycled to Morden in afternoon; bought fish. Picked the last of the runner beans and had them for dinner. Warning at 10.35 p.m. One machine from S. to N. Only very slight gunfire. Raynes Park guns fired six shots, Wimbledon guns two. Then no more firing. Machine did not return this way. All clear at 11.10 p.m.

Please see the Comments below. Was this the sailor who saved a girl's life?
*Notes: 81 people were killed and 248 injured. This excerpt from - with acknowledgements to the Wandsworth Historical Society: At 9.02 p.m. a lone aircraft released a single 500 kg Stabo high explosive bomb that hit No. 35 Putney High Street, which is opposite the end of Felsham Road, causing great damage on the east side of the high street including Rego the tailors on the corner of Putney Bridge Road.  It also started a serious fire in Perrings bedding shop opposite, on the corner of Felsham Road.  The Black and White Milk Bar was on the ground floor of No. 35, and upstairs over two shops, including Rego’s, was the ‘Cinderella Dance Club’, at the time a very popular venue in Putney for young people.  In addition to the many casualties in the dance hall and milk bar, there were a number of people killed and injured in the High Street, who had been walking or standing at bus stops.  A total of 81 were killed, 46 females and 35 males, with 248 injured, many of them seriously.  Among the casualties were 18 service personnel killed and 26 injured.  The youngest killed was Edward Henry Smith, aged 14, of 196B Fulham Palace Road.  This air raid brought great grief to many families and to Putney, since nearly two-thirds of the casualties were young people under 23 years of age.
See this link to photo of a grave, of a sailor killed in the Cinderella Dance Club that evening:

7th November 1943: gunfire becomes 'hopelessly inaccurate'

Sun 7. Rather cold, sunny day, misty later. Fire duty from 4 to 6 a.m. A great number of children called. Short walk in early evening. Warning at 8.40 p.m. Only one fighter-bomber from the south-east, then to northwards over London. It came under very heavy fire, concentrated at first but then becoming hopelessly inaccurate later. The Wimbledon Common & Raynes Park guns fired. All firing then ceased and it wandered about for 20 minutes at will. It dived and dropped a bomb to northwards passed overhead and dropped a heavy bomb with a swish & a bump to south-east, I think. All clear at 9.25 p.m.

6 November 2013

6th November 1943: 3rd bombing at Uncle Ben's, Malden

6 Sat. Cool, chilly N. wind, dull. Did shopping locally on foot also to Morden by cycle. Having heard that bombs fell on Malden last night went to see how Uncle Ben was. Found that a bomb had fallen only 20ft away and had damaged his house, this being the third time it has been blasted. All his windows were broken, the side wall knocked about by bomb splinters. Eight bombs fell, including delayed bomb in Duke's Av. but no one was hurt. Another bomb fell at Addiscombe. Len's Doris stayed the night here. Warning at 11.45 p.m. gunfire & a few machines over London. All clear at 12.25 a.m. on Sun 7....

5 November 2013

5th November 1943: Jerry's latest idea - flares and tracer

5 Fri. Cool, dull, calm. Did the usual Friday morning shopping, also to Morden on foot in afternoon. Warning at 9.25 p.m. A plane came from the south and came overhead; was under heavy fire, the shrapnel falling about. It dropped a bomb a little way to the south also a number of red & green parachute flares. There were two other groups of similar flares dropped by other planes. When these flares died down they each fired a red tracer bullet; Jerry's latest idea for our benefit I presume. All clear at 10.10 p.m.

4 November 2013

4th November 1943: Len's sweetheart delayed - she slept here

4 Thur. Cool, chilly east wind, but some sun but little warmth in it. Did shopping locally on foot. Made a small, three bladed propeller in a conical hub for Anthony's aero. Warning from 9.15 to 9.45 p.m. no incident. Maud has been sleeping here while she is home from Preston to see Len, and Len's sweetheart Doris was delayed tonight by the said warning, so that she could not get home. There being no accommodation at Aunt Liza's she slept here with Maud. Len came here to say good-night to her.

3 November 2013

3rd November 1943: Raynes Park provides! Sutton bombed.

3 Wed. Rather cool, a little fairer. Did shopping without going out of Raynes Park. Met Cousin Len and his young lady; he is going to her home to-day. Took four geraniums off dear Mother's grave and potted them up. Warning from 7.30 to 7.45 no incident. Letter from Aunt Nellie. There was a bomb dropped at Sutton on Sunday night, so I was right after all.

2 November 2013

2nd November 1943: our night fighters were too late

2 Tues. Mild, slight showers; hazy clouds. Cycled to Morden for Dinky's meat. Fitted pair of engine nacelles to Anthony's aeroplane. Posted two letters. Warning at 7.10 p.m. Not more than six raiders came from S.E. Some went towards London others to westward, returning later. Only slight gunfire; local guns fired only one shot. Two of our own night fighters came later - too late. All clear at 8.40 p.m.

1st November 1943: new German plane - Me 410 - blown up

Me 410 fighter-bomber. Operated from 1943-45.
1,200 were built. Twin-engined, 388 mph max speed.
Photo: RAF Museum, Cosford, via Wikipedia.
1 Nov. (Monday) Mild, dull, humid. Cycled to Morden to buy fish. Called to see Cousin Alf who is at home with a bad foot; he is having treatment at Nelson Hospital. As I thought, the German planes last night were new and extremely fast, the Messerschmit 410. However, one was blown up mid-air by an A.A. shell; this was the noise I took to be a bomb.

1 November 2013

31st October 1943: the PoW returns; new German planes

31 Sun. Mild, dull, slight showers. Cousin Len came home this afternoon after having been a Prisoner of War in Germany. I went to see him in evening and to have a chat; his sweetheart Doris was there. Gwennie, Laurance came to tea also Mrs. Akroyd. Warning at 10.20 p.m. The Germans appeared to be using machines of a new type, terrifically fast - about 1/2 doz. of them hurtling about. Very little gunfire. One machine coming from the south, straight for us, dropped a bomb a little way to the south: local guns were silent. All clear at 11.5 p.m.