28 August 2014

Dear Mother's Grave

Dear Readers,

This post is very different. Nora and Sean Galvin, who live in New Malden, saw the frequent references by Fred to 'Dear Mother's grave'. They set out to locate and photograph this. Nora also researched Fred's family history through census records; the resulting information now informs much of the detail entered under 'Fred facts' on the lower right-hand side of this blog.

At this stage, I'll show their photos with Nora and Sean's captions here. So this entry does't get lost in the daily journal, I'll create a separate web page - but that's for later.  

St Mary The Virgin,
Merton Park
Walk to the left of the cross,
 alongside the wall,  to a gate

'Dear Mother's grave'
- now sadly neglected
Through the gate, the grave is about
20ft to the left

'Theresa Mary French
Called home 2nd January 1920

Aged 56 years'

27 August 2014

27th August 1944: lovely enjoyable day... not many bombs

Nonsuch Park. (Photo: Roger Miller via Wikipedia)
27 Sun. Rather warm, lovely sunny day: perfect, without being too hot. Painted cement fillets in shelter to make them rain-proof. Also painted the non-galvanised bay of shelter to save it from being rusted away. Enjoyable cycle ride in evening through Worcester Park, Old Maldon, Ewell, first time I have been along the by-pass to East Ewell, returning along Nonsuch Park Lane, through Cheam home. Warning at 6.40 a.m. one fairly near in W, three in SE, two fairly near in E, one in NE, all clear at 7.30 a.m.

26 August 2014

26th August 1944: sweet relief

26 Sat. Rather warm, lovely sunny day. To butchers in morning and got my week’s meat ration, 1/2d worth of stewing lamb. Ciss already had her meat ration and took it to Bedford with her. One or two small purchases locally. To Merton to buy fish. Mrs McSheely wants us to occupy her house for a fortnight while they are away on holiday and to look after their chickens and cats: I do not feel equal to it, quite apart from the fact I know nothing about fowls. There have been no flying bombs since 7.30 a.m. yesterday morning and this is now late Sat. night.

25 August 2014

25th August 1944: most children have gone away

25 Fri. Very mild, much nicer to-day with some pleasant sunshine. From 7.10 to 7.30 a.m. one bomb in SE. Did the Friday morning shopping but will get my meat ration to-morrow. Gave a toffee each to Pamela Easterbrook and Nita Hart: dear little girls; it made them happy, they did not ought to be in this danger spot, most children have gone away. Went to Tolworth in afternoon. Saw some sticky-burrs growing by the roadside so gathered some for Anthony and he did so enjoy throwing them on people: he had not seen them before.

24 August 2014

24th August 1944: many bombs... again... saw smoke

24 Thur. Very mild, dismal, rain setting in midday, thunder in afternoon. From 2.45 to 6.0 a.m. one fairly near. From 6.15 to 6.45 a.m.: one through to E and very many distant in SE. From 7.35 to 7.50 a.m. one through to N. Did some shopping locally in afternoon. From 5.45 p.m. Two went to northward; I saw one dive probably on the Common, also one in E, one S, one near in S, saw the smoke; one very near in W, one NE, one distant SE, one S, all clear 8.33 p.m. From 9.3 to 9.55 p.m. no incident.

23 August 2014

23rd August 1944: Paris free... to Len's for wireless news

23 Wed. Mild, getting warmer; fine sunny afternoon. Did shopping locally in morning also to Morden. Warning at 4.35 a.m. Seven at various distances SE, one through to N; all clear 6.15 a.m. From 7.50 a.m. two went through to N, did not hear them go off: all clear at 8.40. From 9.12 to 9.35 a.m. no incident. Went for an enjoyable cycle ride in afternoon, through Malden: saw damage at the fountain, Norbiton, down Kingston Hill and home over the Common. To Len Garrod’s in evening to hear the wireless news bulletin. The people of Paris* have risen and freed their own city from the Germans. What grand news. Warning from 8.45 to 9.15 p.m. four flew over to northwards, heard three go off, not very far away.

*On this day: Resistance forces have largely freed Paris after very difficult fighting... then a cease-fire. (Fred's own radio presumably a victim of bombing of his home.) But US and French forces blocked at Versailles. US 5th Division take Fontainbleu.

At the English Channel coast, Deauville is taken, led by Belgium troops.  

Also on this day, Rumania surrenders to Soviet terms.