18 September 2014

18th Sept 1944: first day at school

18 Mon. Cool, very dull; calm some slight showers. To Morden to buy fish and cats meat; bought bread locally. Gave Jennifer Child a ride on my bike: she went to school for the first time to-day. Heard a rocket go off at 7.5 p.m: saw the column of smoke in the Penge or Norwood direction. Saw Chas; he is going into hospital as he has fainting bouts. Aunt Liza and Mrs Akroyd came.

17 September 2014

17th Sept 1944: bikes and bugs

17 Sun. Very mild, lovely sunny day for time of year. Heard three distant rockets to-day. For an enjoyable cycle ride through Cheam, Barnstead, Belmont to Burgh Heath, returning via Ewell & Old Malden. There are some very fine views from the high ground at Belmont, and a long and rapid descent from the latter to Ewell; freewheeling almost all the way. Mrs. Knight and Jean called gave Jean some roses. Warning from 8.45 to 8.53 p.m: no incident – doodlebugs, I expect. Yes, they were. Of the three rockets, one fell at Ladywell, Lewisham and another at Sanderstead.

16 September 2014

16th Sept 1944: roast pork, sage & onions, potatoes, runner beans, marrow - boiled date pudding.

16 Sat. Very mild, small amount of weak sunshine. To Cheam meat shop but they were sold out; bought fish at shop there. Warning from 5.50 to 6.25 a.m. no incident. The raid was made by flying bombs, the first for some time but none came this way. Also loud explosions, probably due to the new rockets at 8.20, 8.35 and 10.30 a.m. These rockets appear to be twice as powerful as flying bombs, no warning can be given of their approach and their detonation is the first thing that can be heard of them: their blast area is said to be a square mile. Cooked the dinner as usual, it was roast pork, sage and onions, potatoes, runner beans and marrow; second course was boiled date pudding. The workmen finished repairing the damaged staircase and cupboard beneath. The temporary crystal set works very well.

15 September 2014

15th Sept 1944: terrific explosion... secret factory?

15 Fri. Very mild, hazy; some sunshine in afternoon. A terrific explosion shook the place at 4.15 a.m. I thought it was a rocket but it is said to be an accident at a very secret munition works: I have not heard where; no one seems to know. Did the usual Fri. morning shopping locally, also to N. Cheam to buy fish. Wired the temporary crystal receiver and got fair results.

14 September 2014

14th Sept 1944: collars, tie & fish... & ballistic missiles

14 Thur. Very mild, calm, a little hazy sunshine: not unpleasant. To Wimbledon along rail path in morning; bought a shirt, two collars and a tie at Rego’s. Saw a Pacific loco. with the improved front end. Bought fish at Morden in afternoon and continued my journey along Abbotsbury Rd. to St. Helier. Saw where some shops and a garage were destroyed near the Angelbridge Sutton. Returned along Sutton Common Rd. where I saw severe damage to a great number of modern villas. Two more rockets* are reported to-day, one at Walthamstow and one at Seven Kings. They travel at such a great height and speed, no warning can be given, as at present instruments for their detection have not been devised.


*Wikipedia excerpt on the V-2:  Vergeltungswaffe or "Vengeance Weapon 2",  the world's first long-range ballistic missile. The V-2 rocket was also the first man-made object to enter the fringes of space.
Beginning in September 1944, over 3,000 V-2s were launched against Allied targets, mostly London and later Antwerpand Liège. The attacks resulted in the deaths of an estimated 9,000 civilians and military personnel, while 12,000 forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners were killed producing the weapons.
As Germany collapsed, teams from all of the Allied forces raced to collect rockets, designs and the German engineers and scientists involved.  The knowledge gained led to rapid progress, especially in the United States and the Soviet Union, and by the mid-1950s, nuclear-armed descendants of V-2 missiles were common battlefield weapons. By the end of the decade these had reached intercontinental range. Link to Wikipedia V-2 entry.

13 September 2014

13th Sept 1944: we can shut the front door again!

13 Wed. Very mild, some hazy sunshine in afternoon; pleasant. Got the groceries and other things locally in morning. Cycle ride to Lower Morden, saw very severe damage in Kingsbridge Rd, about 12 houses completely destroyed, also where several houses were down in Sycamore Av. The workmen have put new doors throughout the house or other doors salvaged from other condemned houses and we can now shut the front door. Also the brickwork at back of house is repaired and half the roof is slated, so we are getting on. Aunt Liza called, she is just back from Preston. It seems fairly certain that the explosions occurring in the London area are the expected rockets fired probably from Germany: there are reports that they have fallen at Chiswick, Kew, Carshalton and Kennington.

On this day: a US destroyer Warrington and two Coast Guard cutters sunk in hurricane off east coast of USA.