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19 April 2014

19th April 1944: many planes bomb London & plants galore

'shrapnel was whizzing about like a battlefield'

19 Wed. Slight morning frost, becoming milder; brilliant sunny day but spoilt by a stiff chilly wind. Warning at 12.55 a.m. A great many planes bombed London and the North Middlesex Hospital* in Edmonton was badly hit. There was no local damage. Gunfire was not very severe although some rockets were fired. Only three planes came directly over here the local guns firing at one of them. Mobile guns were about and at times shrapnel was whizzing about like a battlefield. Fourteen enemy planes were destroyed; all clear at 1.50 a.m. Got the groceries and other things in morning. Finished the second border of ferns. Planted out some fancy grass and asparagus fern. Peter Child, sent by his mother asked if I had anything for her garden; she has more room now that their shelter has been taken away. I gave him several clumps of fern and other plants, telling him to call again which he did. Gave him Michaelmas daisy, montbretia, fancy grass, companula, polyanthus and aqualegias. Mrs Collins called for some pea sticks I promised her. She liked the garden and called it "old world". Maud stayed the night. Warning at 10.25 pm. Only three planes came at a very great height in the rain. Only very slight, distant gunfire; they were practically left alone; all clear at 10.55 p.m.

* The 'North Mid' hospital began life as a workhouse, in 1840, and from 1915-20 became the Edmonton Military Hospital. During WWII six high explosive bomb fell on the hospital site. See THIS LINK, a Wikipedia page, for a history. 16 people died at the hospital on 19th April; some bodies were unidentified. (Those last facts from a brief discussion at http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?114658-London-bombing-raid-dates-WWII.)

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