20 February 2014

20th Feb 1944: bombed Wimbledon; Germans ignore gunfire

20 Sun. Very cold, very dull, bitter wind. The children called, they are amused by the organ, I let them play it in their manner. Took a walk up The Downs. Downs Lodge is a heap of debris and there are still bodies under it. The Lodge fire station beside it and Wimbledon Close, a large block of flats are badly blasted. Oakholme facing the common is down and buildings are badly blasted for some distance around; I saw the blasted "Priory" and the damaged lodge by the gates. Ridgelands College is badly damaged. . . .
    Warning at 9.30 p.m. Several machines came from the east and hung leisurely about for a long time, selecting their targets; I heard more H.E. bombs than for a long time, but I don't think any nearer than a mile. The gunfire was not quite so continuous but was sufficient to shoot a thousand planes down if it was accurate, but the Germans seem to ignore it. Several red flags floated down to southward. There was a great red glow in the N.E. sky as if a serious conflagration had been started. All clear at 10.35 p.m. It is announced that three enemy planes were destroyed.

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