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31 March 2015

31 March 1945: Easter Saturday

'Cycled to Cheam'. Routes on modern Google map.
Say about an hour's cycling and two hours in
a queue. Then Morden in the afternoon.
The day soon goes!
31 Sat. Very cool, dull and cloudy, terrible raging sou’wester, Cycled to Cheam in morning and queued up for two hours, but I got some good meat. My long wait was made delightful by a little girl named Brenda and a school-girl named Jean Kay (Hay?). God bless them and make them happy. Also to butchers. In afternoon did shopping in Morden, bought two cakes at Merton Park, also shopping locally. Took out all the tin tacks remaining in sitting-room floor in preparation for laying new floor covering.

30 March 2015

30 March 1945: three fish queues on Good Friday

30 Good Friday. Rather mild but a driving chilly wind; the sun was nice in sheltered places. Stood in two fish queues for nothing but got served at a third shop. Mrs. Veale, her mother and Dennis have gone away till Tuesday so I am looking after the cat and the dog and have the key of the house. Took a bottle of tablets to Mr. Akhurst in afternoon.

29 March 2015

29 March 1945: caught no fish... tanks across the Rhine

29 Thur. Rather mild, cloudy; showers. Further repairs to the fence. Spent the afternoon cycling to all the fish shops for miles around but caught nothing, but notices say they will be open tomorrow. Saw dear Annie Chapman in Worple Road pushing a pram. Met Mrs. Conrade who told me Eddie’s house at Clapham had been damaged by a rocket; they were out at the time. The news from the Western Battle Front gets better and better. British tanks are pushing ahead 80 miles east of the Rhine!

28 March 2015

28 March 1945: Maud arrives

28 Wed. Rather mild, dull all day; showers. Did all the usual Wed. shopping, also to Merton meat shop. Cousin Maud came; she will stay over the holiday. Warning from 7.53 to 7.58 a.m. no incident.

27 March 2015

27 March 1945: oranges and lemons...

27 Tues. Mild, dull morning, some gentle sun later. To post office, to take and get accumulators. To Merton to buy fish. To butchers. Got some grapefruit from Joe Wheeler: we have also had oranges and lemons from him recently. Put in another fence post. Maud will stay here over the holiday and Chas. brought a bedstead here and fitted it up. At 12.30 a.m. two loud rockets or one with a double explosion – about four seconds between the bangs. Warning from 2.45 to 2.52 a.m. no incident. Also from 5.20 to 5.30 a.m. two flying bombs in SSE. Loud rocket ENE at 7.19 a.m.

26 March 2015

26 March 1945: Mr Akhurst stands in for a 'man'

26 Mon. Cool, dull all day, rain all morning. To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy fish and a paper. To Slate Club in evening; had a talk to Mr. Akhurst, he is acting as church-keeper until they can get a man. Warning from 2.30 to 2.36 a.m. one flying bomb down very distant in S.

25 March 2015

25 Mar 1945: train full of American soldiers... buds & blooms

25 Sun. Mild, overcast all day; calm. Warning from 7.50 to 8.0 a.m. one flying bomb distant in SE. Short walk along rail path in afternoon; saw a Pacific loco. also a special train full of American soldiers. The white magnolia is out, the mauve nearly so. The chestnuts are showing the tiny spikes of bloom buds already: hawthorn hedges are open: even the buds on the beeches are breaking. Mrs Akroyd to tea. Rocket with single report at 10.33 p.m. in NE I think. This rocket fell in Theobalds Rd. Holborn.

Continued: Very distant rocket in NE at 11.0 p.m. Another in N with double explosion at 11.43 p.m.

24 March 2015

24 Mar 1945: lovely girl... and raspberry cake

24 Sat. Mild, much soft sunshine, rather freshening wind. Cycled to Cheam to buy cats’ meat; some for Tibby Veale. Stood in a long queue beside a dear girl: I felt so proud and happy: she was so nicely dressed and so lovely. In afternoon to Morden to buy several things including a raspberry cake. Disconnected gas fire in my bedroom. Laid oilcloth in scullery. Warning from 7.6 to 7.27 a.m. no incident. Also from 7.52 to 80 a.m. no incident.

23 March 2015

23 Mar 1945: pork... yum, yum

23 Fri. Very mild to rather warm; glorious sunshine all day: perfect. Very loud rocket with double explosion at 1.40 a.m. Very loud rocket at 4.30 a.m. Got nice piece of pork this week; also did other shopping locally. Put in another fence post and put up more palings; the majority of the fence is now repaired: only about 12 ft. near the house remains to be done. Addie brought in the washing.

22 March 2015

22 Mar 1945: midnight owl

22 Thur. Mild; a perfectly lovely sunny day. Bought sausage meat and cakes locally and to Merton to buy fish. To Post Office and to take accumulators. Put in a fence post and fitted twenty-two palings: beginning to look tidy. Rocket distant in SE at 11.23 p.m. Heard an owl hooting in the moonlight at the time just mentioned. The rocket at 9.36 a.m. on Wed. last was at Brentford.

21 March 2015

21 Mar 1945: bomb on munitions work

21 Wed. Rather mild day after a morning frost; lovely sunshine all day. Very loud rocket with double explosion at 9.36 a.m. it fell on a munitions works on western outskirts of London with great damage and loss of life. Saw the column of smoke in NNW. Loud rocket at 11.35 a.m. Loud rocket with double explosion at 2.44 p.m. the column of smoke rose in the same place as that from the one at 9.36 a.m. but further off. Repaired another section of the fence. Got the groceries and other articles locally. A pleasant talk with Addie in the garden: she brought me a cup of tea and some biscuits.



20 March 2015

20 Mar 1945: salvaged wood... no newspapers

20 Tues. Rather mild, lovely sunshine nearly all day. Did quite a lot of work on the fence between this house and No. 64. Had to use salvaged wood of course and there is not too much of that: but the fence is going up. Cycled about to get a paper but none to be had. Addie called to take the washing; she has done it since Ciss hand has been bad. Warning from 9.15 p.m. to 9.55 p.m. no incident.

19 March 2015

19 Mar 1945: Fred French's French-polishing

19 Mon. Rather cold, very cloudy, very rough. Cleaned the upstairs front room windows. Cycled to Merton and Wimbledon in afternoon; bought two pairs of socks at Rego, having bought cats meat and sprats – elsewhere, of course. Put finishing touches to french-polished top of Addie’s “tall-boy”, she had already put on foundation coats. Loud rocket with double report at 1.35 a.m. in SE I think. Warning from 8.15 to 8.21 a.m. no incident. Warning from 9.15 to 9.25 a.m. no incident.

18 March 2015

18 Mar 1945: plums are wonderfully floriferous

18 Sun. Very cool, very strong SW breeze but sunshine nearly all day. Always very busy preparing dinner on Sunday morning. A very leisurely cycle ride about the roads of Malden in afternoon; saw the house where dear Winifred Bishop used to live. The various forms of flowering plums are wonderfully floriferous this year.

17 March 2015

17th Mar 1945: first time I have seen British jet planes

17 Sat. Rather milder than yesterday, cloudy; not much wind. Made a wooden box, filled it with rich soil and sowed seeds of Russell lupins. Bought fish at shop in Martin Way. Bought a chocolate cake in Morden and other things locally. Starting repairs to fence on other side of garden to that which I started on previously. Heavy rocket with double explosion at 5.15 a.m. In morning saw two British jet-propelled planes. They make a very loud rushing noise, are very fast but seemed to be swaying a lot: saw another in afternoon: these are the first British jet-planes I have seen.

16 March 2015

16th Mar 1945: French polishers

16 Fri. Rather chilly, dull morning; some slight rain: alternate sunny and clouds in afternoon. Got all the usual Friday morning shopping locally. To Merton in afternoon to buy a few things also some nice heart and liver because Mrs Veale has fed her cat on fish till he will eat no more, so the meat will make a change – he enjoyed it. Addie brought in the two remaining drawers of her “tall boy”, she polished one under my instruction and I the other: good. Warning from 5.30 a.m. to 5.37 a.m. no incident. The rocket at 9.13 a.m. on Thursday this week fell in Richmond Park: no casualties.


15 March 2015

15 Mar 1945: bomb jolted house

15 Thur. Cold, dull morning, sunny afternoon but not so warm as yesterday afternoon. Very heavy rocket with an earsplitting double-crack at 9.13 a.m. it jolted the house. Have heard it fell on Putney Heath but no confirmation as yet. Put a new wheel and a gun on Laurie’s toy tank he had found. Put in a heavy post in end fence and filled in the gap completely with palings. Gwennie and Laurie called morning and afternoon. Rocket with double explosion at 11.0 p.m.

14 March 2015

14th Mar 1945: heart for cat; shine for Addie

14 Wed. Less cold; bright sunny day; the sunshine being quite powerful in afternoon. Got the groceries in morning, also to the butchers, thence to Morden meat shop where I bought some good heart for Dinky. In afternoon I put up some more fence at end of garden and the sun made my face to glow while I was doing it. Bought Russell lupin seeds and gave Addie a packet. Addie brought two drawers of her walnut “tall boy” in for me to show her how to do french polishing - got a lovely shine on them: I love her. Rocket at 12.45 a.m. Warning at 9.15 a.m. one flying bomb flew from E to distant SW where it came down all clear at 9.25 a.m. Rocket distant at 11.40 p.m.

13 March 2015

13th Mar 1945: no more repairs of landlord's house by council

13 Tues. Sharp white morning frost, soon dispelled by the sun which shone all day, gaining some comforting warmth in afternoon. Took accumulator. Bought french nails and muriate of potash which I applied to bed where I intend to grow beetroots. Two workmen called saying they had come to clear up the mess. It appears that the local council are not providing them with any more materials so they are leaving the road after having been here since the end of August. The foreman says we may not get any more repairs done for two years. Repaired part of end fence with Gwennie’s help in afternoon.

12 March 2015

12th Mar 1945: onions and bombs

12 Mon. White morning frost, chilly day save during sunny periods in afternoon. To Morden in afternoon to buy fish and a cycle pump connection. Took accumulator. Sowed two rows of James’ Keeping onions. Rocket at 12.10 a.m. also at 7.0 a.m. Rocket in distance at 9.23 p.m. Rocket at 11.50 p.m.

11 March 2015

11th |Mar 1945: glider fun on the Common

11 Sun. Rather cold, dismal, calm. To Wimbledon Common in afternoon. Saw a young fellow there with a nice glider; helped him launch it with good results.

10 March 2015

10th Mar 1945: many hands... and blossoms out

10 Sat. Rather cold, very dull, calm. Ten workmen came to tape the joins in the plaster-board and to skim the brick inner walls that have had an undercoat of mortar. Only a very small job but every little helps. To Merton to buy cats’ meat. Small amount of gardening. The rocket at 8.38 last Wed. fell beside an S.R. engineering works at Woolwich. Loud rocket at 12.15 a.m. The almond blossom is out lovely also the plums, forsythias; daphne has been out for weeks.

9 March 2015

9th Mar 1945: routine shopping, repairs & bombs

9 Fri. Very sharp, white, morning frost: cold misty day: some sunshine in afternoon. Did all the usual Fri morning shopping without going out of Raynes Park. Workman did some pointing to brickwork round the windows. Aunt Hannah called. Rocket at 12.45 a.m. Heavy rocket at 4.30 a.m. Another at 12.53 p.m. between S and SE. Rocket in E at 11.0 p.m.

8 March 2015

8th Mar 1945: a bob for Peter Child - and aeroplanes

8 Thur. Rather cold, very dull all day. Laurie called in morning. To Morden in afternoon to buy fish. Called at Mrs. Child’s on way back to give Peter a shilling as it is his birthday. Mrs. Child’s mother was there; she brought him a box of small model aeroplanes. Mrs. Veale called in evening|: gave her a cup of tea. Put a new spring in lock of back door: a good job. Rocket at 5.0 a.m. Rocket at 11.0 a.m: it fell in Farringdon Road, near Smithfield market. Rocket SE 6.45 p.m. One distant in SE 7.58 p.m. another very distant SE at 8.23 p.m.

7 March 2015

7 Mar 1945: shop - garden - bake - more flying-bombs

7 Wed. Very cool, very dull all day. Got the groceries including pineapple jam and chocolate biscuits: also to butcher’s. Dug up and divided another rhubarb root. Made sausage rolls and lemon curd tarts in evening. Rocket in E at 8.38 a.m. Heavy rocket in E at 10.35 a.m. Another in E at 12.48 p.m. also 5.0 p.m. and 10.0 p.m. Rocket at 11.35 p.m.

6 March 2015

6th Mar 1945: 2 hours queuing; schoolgirls cut in bombing

6 Tues. Rather cold, very dull; rain in morning. To Cheam in morning: stood in a queue for two hours but got some cats’ meat eventually. Small amount of work in garden. Did shopping locally including buying onion and beetroot seed. Very loud rocket at 12.58 p.m. Tooting district, I think. Rockets at 5.0 and 5.47 p.m. Rocket in E at 7.45 p.m. which jolted the house; could not have been far away. The rocket at 12.58 p.m. fell in Mellison St. Tooting, near where Shirley was in school; the windows fell in and many girls received cuts, but Shirley was all right save shock. The one at 7.45 p.m. fell near Wandsworth prison, between Earlsfield and Clapham Junction. Rockets at 11.25 and 11.30 both p.m.

5 March 2015

5 April 1945: raging April

5 Thur. Rather chilly; the raging wind still rages: a few sunny periods but very trying weather. Letters from Uncle Tom and Chas. Staden: Chas is coming to London on Monday and will call here. Sent card to him saying I will be here to receive him. Did some shopping locally also a fruitless ride to Morden, but got some fish at Merton in afternoon. Finished pruning the roses: also did Addie’s roses – not many of them. Had to trim edges of new oil-cloth as it is stretching.

5 Mar 1945: stepped in after cycling accident

5 Mon. Sharp, white morning frost; very dull chilly day. Moved back into the living room; had much difficulty in getting the table through the door. Cycled to Morden, thence to Merton to buy fish. Saw a boy knocked off his cycle by a lorry in Merton High St. I don’t think he was seriously hurt, but I made the driver take him to the Nelson Hospital as he was in pain. I got the boy’s address and told his father the news: hope he will be all right. Finished weeding a side path of garden. Warning at 11.0 a.m. one flying bomb E, then another not quite so loud, same direction: all clear 11.10 a.m. From 12.28 p.m. one NE, one distant NE, all clear 12.40 p.m. Rocket at 8.15 p.m. Addie called for an accumulator.

4 March 2015

4 Mar 1945: Sunday flying bombs

4 Sun. Cold, very dull all day; rain later. Rocket at 1.40 a.m. in SE. Warning from12.55 a.m. to 1.45 a.m.: no incident. Very loud rocket at 5.50 a.m. Warning 10.45 a.m. one flying bomb went right over from E to W making a terrible din: it exploded very distantly westward, also another not very far to E: all clear 11.0 a.m. Gwennie and Laurie called in afternoon.

3 March 2015

3 Mar 1945: no meat despite queue - more bombs

3 Sat. Very severe white frost, very cold clear day in spite of the sunshine; bitter E wind. Warning at 3.0 a.m. one flying bomb down in SE: all clear at 3.22 a.m. Cycled to Cheam but queue was so long and the meat had not then arrived so I bought sprats there and came back to the Morden meat shop but no meat: thence to Merton but no meat there. Cycled to Merton in afternoon to buy sprats for Addie. While there had an all clear: did not know there was a warning on. Started clearing a side path in garden. Loud rocket at 3.50 a.m. Warning from 4.5 to 4.16 p.m. one flying bomb down in E. Finished mending Addie’s key and took it in to her.

2 March 2015

2 Mar 1945: bathfuls of house debris from garden; 3 rockets

2 Fri. White morning frost, cold, bright sunny day. Did all the usual Fri. morning shopping locally. Laurie came for a little while; gave Pauline a sweet. Cleared several bathfuls of debris – broken glass, slate, cement and brick rubble etc from the house end of the garden: looks much tidier. Rockets at 4.50, 5.0 and 11.45 all a.m.

1 March 2015

1 Mar 1945: shopped & scrubbed; one rocket

1 March. Thur. Rather cold, dull morning, brighter afternoon, but stiff N. breeze. Cycled to Morden thence to Merton to buy fish. Re-laid the lino. in living room: scrubbed it, washed it again then polished it. It looks quite well after all the muck and debris it has had on it. Addie brought the washing back. Bought floor polish and a paper locally in the afternoon. Gwennie and Laurie called. Rocket at 11.15 p.m. in ENE.