31 October 2014

31st October 1944: high & fast rockets, no defence possible

31 Tues. Cold, very dull, N. wind; showers. To the Cheam meat shop: also shopping locally. Saw Pacific loco 21C6. Finished the moulding above sitting room window and cleaned out the room. At 3.0. a.m. heard a very loud rocket fall. Warning from 6.50 to 7.0 a.m. one flying bomb distant S. At 7.45: a rocket. From 8.0 to 8.30 a.m. one flying bomb, NE. From 8.55 a.m. to 9.2 a.m. one near NE. During the day heard three rockets: they travel so high and fast no warning can be given and there are no possible counter measures: they carry about 3½ tons of explosive. Very loud rocket at 9.5 p.m. in N direction.

30 October 2014

30th October 1944: nails and candles

30 Mon. Cold, cloudy: strong wind. Bought nails and candles locally; returning along little rail path. Cycled to Wimbledon in afternoon to buy fish. Paid the slate club. Heard three rockets to-day, but none within some miles.

29 October 2014

29th October 1944: own piano & organ in storage

29 Sun. Rather cold after white frost. Dismal, some showers. Warning from 5.35 to 5.50 a.m. one fairly near in S. Went to tea at Mrs. Child’s and had an enjoyable time. Had a happy time playing her piano – an unusual thing for me since the bombing. Our damaged piano and organ are in storage for the time being. Little Jennifer Child always pleases me.

28 October 2014

28th October 1944: carpentry & rockets

28 Sat. Rather cold, cloudy, but a few intervals of autumnal sunshine. To N. Cheam to buy cat’s meat: saw where a flying bomb fell in Hamilton Av. To greengrocers in morning to buy brussels tops. Arthur Child called to invite me to tea tomorrow. Sawed and planed a plank & cut some mitred moulding to finish the woodwork of sitting room window. Loud rocket at 5.0 a.m.; at Kingston I believe; heard five others more distant during the day.

27 October 2014

27th October 1944: white balloon?

27 Fri. Rather cold, clear; a day of bright sunshine, but little warmth in it now. Got the week-end joint, also to the bakers etc. in morning. Put a polished oak plywood top on the hall cabinet which finishes it. Bought fish at Merton in afternoon; saw where a flying bomb fell in Christchurch Close, Collier’s Wood. While at Morden saw what I thought was a white balloon drifting over: everyone was gazing up at it.

26 October 2014

26th October 1944: dried peas

26 Thur. Rather cold, dismal. To butcher’s and other shops locally. To Merton meat shop in afternoon; returned via Haydon’s Rd. Durnsford Rd and Wimbledon Park. To Morden to buy dried peas and a paper.

25 October 2014

25th October 1944: rubbish

25 Wed. Very cool; dismal, misty. Got the groceries as usual locally, also sausages & bread. Cleared more of the pile of debris from Mrs. Veale’s garden; there is still a lot left. More work on hall cabinet. Warning from 7.36 to 8.0 p.m. one in E.

24 October 2014

24th October 1944: coming up roses

24 Tues. Rather cold, dull. From 1.5 a.m. to 1.11 a.m. one distant in S. Cycled to N. Cheam in morning to buy cats’ meat. More work repairing hall cabinet only needs a top now. Warning from 7.45 to 8.2 p.m. one very distant in E. The flying bomb that passed to SW last night came down in Ashtead Woods. Two lovely, deep, orange-pink roses on Climbing Mme Edouard Herriot rose and a beautiful white one on Marcia Stanhope.

23 October 2014

23rd October 1944: nice dolls & searchlight on bomb

23 Mon. Rather cold, dismal; rain nearly all day. Bought a few things locally also bought fish at Morden in afternoon. Mrs Akroyd brought some dolls for us to see. She designed and made them herself and very nice they were too. Warning from 7.40 p.m. one in NE, one passed across the S and could be seen: it was followed by searchlights, it exploded distant SW, also one E: all clear 7.57 p.m.

22 October 2014

69,988 + medals + lanes

Just one of those passing statistics... I just noticed that this blog has been viewed 69,988 times... so your's could be the 70,000th!

Also, recently, a reader queried Fred's exemption/or WWI service. I have a medal... and our reader traced exactly what it is... probably (on an unpaid for search) awarded to Fred's brother in WWI... for services rendered to 'King and Empire'. If anyone would like details or to explore, do please contact me.

One more thing. A friend noted that the road next door to the C of E (presumably) church in which Fred's 'Dear Mother's grave' lies is called CHAPEL Lane - and she wondered at that, given that a chapel is non-C of E....  Comments welcome!

Another thought. As a result of this blog, I wonder if the grave could be gently restored? Our readers' photo, having traced it, shows a cross lying flat... restoration may almost be indecent among the other untended graves. But, just a thought.

Tony French   

22nd October 1944: destruction in Melbury Gardens

22 Sun. Very cool, dismal, calm. Shirley is back and called here to-day. Walk to Melbury Gardens; had not seen damage here before: twelve houses are destroyed. Mrs. Akroyd came to tea.

21 October 2014

21st October 1944: Tibbles and Rusty

21 Sat. Rather chilly, very dull, less wind. Heard a rocket fall at 1.20 a.m. I hear it fell at Norwood. Cycled to N. Cheam: bought cats meat; sold some to Mrs. Norris for her Tibbles and Rusty who I minded while she was away. From 11.12 to 11.26 p. m. one flying bomb distant in S

20 October 2014

20th October 1944: sweet ration & repair of bombed furniture

20 Fri. Rather chilly, very dull; rain all day. Got the meat and cakes and other provisions locally. Bought the weekly sweets ration. Cycled in a deluge to Merton to buy fish, thence to Morden; bought an oilstone and spade terminals at Woolworths. Also out again to grocers just before the shop shut. Nailed and glued together the front, sides and back of the hall cabinet, blown to pieces by the bomb. Warning from 5.5 to 5.30 a.m. no incident.

19 October 2014

19th October 1944: bombed loo repaired

19 Thur. Very cool, dull, cloudy. Took some knitting wool to Aunt Liza. Bought something for lunch round the corner. To Morden in afternoon to buy fish. The men repaired brickwork of lavatory* also the woodwork of roof and slated it. Warning from 8.26 to 8.40 p.m. no incident.

*The toilet was out the back, if memory serves your editor correctly.

18 October 2014

18th October 1944: "I am 56 to-day." Started repairing bombed cupboard.

18 Wed. Very cool, rain in afternoon. Got the groceries, some sausage meat and a loaf locally in morning. Started repairing the hall cupboard, knocked to bits in the bombing. Fitted new blocks to front brake of bicycle. A birthday card from little Anthony: I am 56 to-day. Warning from 11.25 to 11.45 p.m. one distant in SE.

17 October 2014

17th October 1944: Worcester Park suffered

17 Tues. Chilly, bright morning, strong wind. Heavy rain commencing midday, becoming very mild. Cycled to Cheam to buy meat. Thence to Worcester Park; saw where a flying bomb destroyed some houses in Grandison Rd. also saw where 14 houses were down in Caldbeck Av. Saw Doris & Ernie Pudney’s house with some damage. Letter, birthday card and a tie from Uncle Tom and Aunt Nellie. Warning from 10.15 to 10.23 p.m. no incident.

16 October 2014

16th October 1944: glass in front windows again

16 Mon. Very cool. Alternate bright sunshine and heavy showers. From 5.5 to 5.20 a.m. one very distant in E. The men fitted window sashes and glass to sitting room windows. Did shopping locally in morning. Bought fish in Wimbledon in afternoon and went for a short ride round Wimbledon Common. Warning from 8.25 to 8.45 p.m. no incident.

15 October 2014

15th October 1944: quiet day... a few distant bombs

15 Sun. Chilly morning, milder and calm later; not bright. Warning from 1.50 to 2.20 a.m. the sound of several flying bombs in flight very distant SE but did not hear any come down. Jean and Micky Knight took some more of their salvage away. Had an idle walk along rail-path in afternoon. From 10.40 to 10.55 p.m. no incident.

14 October 2014

14th October 1944: Veale and Norris... neighbours... noiser next door

14 Sat. Very cool, cloudy, strong wind. Cycled to N. Cheam to buy cats’ meat in morning. Got the dinner as usual. In afternoon to buy a birthday card for Edie Bennett. Potted the geraniums taken from Mother’s grave. Cleared more debris from Mrs. Veale’s garden stacking up the wood at end of garden. Mrs. Norris and the six children returned from Bristol where they have been staying since the height of the bombing: it is noisier next door now. Picked a generous cooking of good runner beans. Warning from 3.30 to 4.3 a.m. no incident.

13 October 2014

Friday 13th October 1944

'Dear Mother's grave' in 2014
(Photo; Sean & Norah Galvin)
13 Fri. Rather mild, becoming colder with rain in afternoon, but some lovely warm sun in morning. Got the usual provisions etc in morning. Also stood in a queue in the sunshine outside the Merton meat shop and got served after a long wait. Planted wallflowers on Dear Mother’s grave in afternoon. Men started making window sashes for the sitting room. Warning from 5.10 to 5.17 a.m. one very distant. From 5.37 to 5.45 a.m. no incident.

12 October 2014

12th October 1944: new clothes line

12 Thur. Rather mild, cloudy, rain all the afternoon. To buy a card for Laurie’s 4th birthday. Bought new clothes line and other shopping locally in morning. Cycled to Merton in the rain in afternoon to buy fish returning by way of Morden. Aunt Liza came out of hospital to-day: went to see her. Mrs. Collis called to-day she is back from Winchester where she has been staying since her injury and shock of the bombing. From 11.50 p.m. to midnight; no incident.

11 October 2014

11th October 1944: loves the kids

11 Wed. Rather mild, cloudy, rain in afternoon; windy. Got the groceries in morning. Had a crowd of children in and about the house to-day: quite a number have got to know me: I do love them. Warning from 8.10 to 8.20 p.m.

10 October 2014

10th October 1944: house repairs continue, so does bombing

10 Tues. Rather cool, thick morning mist, a little brighter in afternoon. Cycled to N. Cheam in a thick, wet mist to buy cats’ meat. Started picking out the wood from debris in Mrs. Veale’s garden and stacking it for firewood at end of garden. To butchers in afternoon thence to Wimbledon to buy a few things. The workmen are stripping the lath & plaster walls of sitting room and filling the house with white dust: the front upstairs room has had its grate put back again, it was blown out. Warning from 12.20 a.m. one distant SE, one SE, all clear 12.50 a.m. Also at 4.45 a.m. two very distant SE, all clear 5.10 a.m.

9 October 2014

9th October 1944: ...these little piggies went to market

9 Mon. Very cool, dismal, occasional drizzle. Warning at 12.50 a.m. Heard one flying in an easterly direction going further SE exploding in the distance: all clear 1.0 a.m. Two plasterers are at work upstairs to-day they are Poles, father and son, both spent four years in a concentration camp in Germany. Labourers are also knocking down plaster walls and ceiling in sitting room. Bought fish at Merton this morning. Visited Mrs. Child. Winsley’s pigs went away in a lorry to-day and darling little Nita asked me to lift her up to see the piggies in the van: she is a sunshine girl.

8 October 2014

8th October 1944: old photographs

8 Sun. Very cool, dismal, misty, calm. A gentle cycle ride round the new roads of Morden. Saw where 8 houses were destroyed in Shaldon Drive. Lily, Mrs Jones and Arthur paid a short visit in afternoon. They brought some more boxes of old photographs for us to look at: very interesting too. Mrs Akroyd called in evening.

7 October 2014

7th Oct 1944: a young widow

7 Sat. Very cool, dismal, misty. To N. Cheam meat shop; was served – well. Mr. Hockney called on his way to Maidstone: he told me Mrs. Veale had had a communication from the Admiralty telling her positively that her husband was lost: poor girl she is a young widow. To greengrocers in morning also shopping locally in afternoon. Edie Hopkins came to tea; pleasant to see her again. Warning from 8.6 t0 8.53 p.m. one very distant SE. Alb and Lily called in afternoon, they said a flying bomb had fallen on Derby Road, Tolworth, not very far from them.

6 October 2014

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6th Oct 1944: One shilling and threepence grater - and bombs

6 Fri. Very cool, very raw E. wind, but the sun had some warmth in sheltered places. To the butchers, bakers, newsagents, cold meat shop in morning. Bought fish in Wimbledon, thence to Morden where I bought a grater for bread, nutmeg etc: it cost 1/3: this in afternoon. Warning at 8.5 p.m. two flying bombs in S and one in SE, all clear 8.15 p.m. Also from 8.30 to 8.50 p.m. one flew from NE right overhead making a dreadful noise and continued to SW: it kept going on out of hearing.

5 October 2014

5th Oct 1944: gliding, whistling bomb

5 Thur. Rather cold, quite a lot of hazy sunshine but its power was very slight. To Morden in morning to buy fish. To Wimbledon along railpath in afternoon; saw Pacific loco “Blue Star”. Warning at 7.57 p.m. one very distant; one came gliding very near making a swishing whistling noise but it glided miles in a SW direction: it was almost out of hearing when it went off. Another flew with engine running in the same direction but further S to explode very distantly: one of them dropped two red parachute flares: all clear at 8.20 p.m.

4 October 2014

4th Oct 1944: greengroceries etc

4 Wed. Rather cold; fitful skies, rain with thunder midday, including one very sharp flash: a little sunshine in between whiles. Did a lot of shopping locally, getting the groceries, the greengroceries among other things. To Wimbledon to buy a paper in afternoon.

3 October 2014

3rd Oct 1944: repairs

3 Tues. Very chilly, but fine bright sunny day. Cycled to N. Cheam to buy some very nice cats’ meat. Exerted a lot of energy digging a deep hole to re-step the clothes post at end of garden. It has been very sagging for a long time but it is firm now and any reasonable weight can be carried on the line without uprooting the post. Workmen re-tiled the damaged portico over the front door.

2 October 2014

2nd Oct 1944: a shilling for a present

2 Mon. Morning frost: fine bright sunny day but distinctly chilly. Uncle Tom called in morning to see how we are faring: brought a pair of phones for repair. Bought a 5 year-old birthday card and took it to Jennifer Child along with a shilling for a present. Bought fish in Wimbledon in afternoon. Paid Slate Club in evening.

1 October 2014

1st Oct 1944: old photos

1 Oct. Sun. Mild, cloudy; light showers. For a walk in morning, just round the houses and to see Mrs. Child – and Jennifer of course. Short ride in afternoon. Ciss went to Tolworth and Alb sent some interesting old photographs for us to see.