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25 February 2014

22nd February 1944: snow, bombs, in Wimbledon & Merton

Local guns fire hundreds of thousands of shells...
 the Germans went on with their little game

22 Tues. Very cold, very dull, bitter east wind, snow in evening. Warning at 2.55 a.m. Being a clear sky, night fighters and searchlights were used instead of the guns. A few machines approached from the south. Some yellow parachute flares were dropped, also two very distant bombs, which I have heard fell the other side of Wallington; a quiet raid. All clear at 3.35 a.m. Cycled to Wimbledon. Saw where a bomb fell on a railway siding beside Alexandra Road. There was a large crater and goods trucks scattered and overturned. Continued to Wandsworth and Tooting where damage was done. Blast effects were notable in Merton High Street off which is an unexploded bomb. Merton Road is closed the damage is so severe. I bought sprats at Tooting. The bombs I heard to northward last Sunday evening were on a block of flats o n Putney Hill. Also the great red glare in the sky to north-east was a Home Guard depot at Putney College. Their ammunition and petrol store was set on fire. Warning at 11.56 p.m. Many machines came and circled round, diving and climbing, twisting and turning in all directions for over 3/4 of an hour; a few bombs swished down but not near. All the while the guns, includingthe local were blazing away, firing hundreds of thousands of shells but still the Germans went on with their little game. The gunfire must be extremely inaccurate. Slight signs of a fire over London way. All clear at 1.23 a.m. on 23 Wed.

Home Guard petrol and ammunition store bombed and on fire at Putney College 

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