After dinner we started out to walk to Playford Road. On the way we passed through Rushmere and saw the bomb damage - mostly windows, though two houses were badly knocked about. Another bomb fell in a field and hasn't exploded yet. Tues 7th Jan - There was so much aerial activity this morning that I was not surprised when the siren went just after two. By the time I was ready to go out the all-clear had not gone and I had done my shopping and had reached Electric House when it went.
The main siren is just there, so there was a terrific din and Gillian was scared stiff. I went to the library and had a chat with Billy and when I came out could hear machine-gunning.
Everyone was looking at the sky but there was nothing to be seen. Shortly afterwards the siren went again and Percy was very late home. When he did arrive he said they had spent the whole afternoon in the trench with the exception of some 15 minutes between the two warnings and during this interval a Heinkel came over and dropped a time bomb behind Cliff Lane School, which shows how much good the siren is.
Wed 8th Jan - About ten o'clock this morning I heard the sound of a German plane being hotly pursued by two Hurricanes. Presently it wheeled round and started out to sea, machine-gunning as it went and dropping several bombs. I got out the map and tried to persuade myself that it wasn't in Percy's direction, but of course it was. They heard the bombs coming down and got under their desks, the siren, needless to say, not having sounded.
The bombs fell in Fletcher and Romney Road which is a very short distance away.
By the time I was ready to go out the all-clear had not gone and I had done my shopping and had reached Electric House when it went. Also the shop was out of jam and marmalade so I couldn't get my ration for this month. Fri 31st Jan - The news keeps talking about gas which the Germans will use when they invade so tonight we introduced Gillian to her gas mask.
Bits of bombs and bullets fell in the school playground. An old lady and a baby were killed and four houses demolished. Sat 11 th Jan - We lay in bed rather too long this morning and then about eleven John walked in. He looks very fit and uniform suits him. He has a stripe and is now Acting Lance Corporal. Wed 15th Jan - Mr Worsnop came in for most of the evening as Percy is to be a firewatcher and Mr Worsnop is doing the organising.
The Germans are dropping so many firebombs that every house is asked to provide a watcher to deal with any that fall in their district. Thurs 23rd Jan - After another quiet night we had a warning this morning from 9. Percy was fed up when he came home to dinner. It must be a strain to try and teach with a gale blowing through the trench and no light but a hurricane lamp. Fri 24th Jan - The grocer let me have a 2 pound tin of treacle - or rather golden syrup - the first we have seen for months!
The shops in the town are half empty - no sweets at all except chocolates at 8. Thurs 30th Jan - There was a lot of confusion this morning as to what time school was to start for people's clocks varied a good deal. The morning was quite quiet till just before twelve when the house began to shake with gunfire.
Soon after a Jerry came over, nearly touching our chimney-pots. I thought our last hour had come. Parts of the town were machine-gunned and bombs fell in Foxhall Road. A few minutes after the plane had gone the siren went and the warning went on for six hours - a record for daytime, I should think. Percy didn't go to school this afternoon, of course.
He says the men from Ransomes were very fed up as they had twelve crash warnings today i. Fri 31st Jan - The news keeps talking about gas which the Germans will use when they invade so tonight we introduced Gillian to her gas mask. She accepted it as a sort of game of "peep-boo" and was not even alarmed when I put on mine, thank goodness. Sun 2nd Feb - Mr Winsnes, who is a warden, says yesterday's affair was at Claydon Cement Works and that the manager was killed.
Mon 3rd Feb - It was snowing again this morning but the siren went round about eleven. Some time later I heard a plane making a lot of noise so went to look but it was flying so low and so slowly that I thought it must be one of ours.
But the next minute I heard machine-gunning and two Hurricanes roared into view. Then the coastal ack-ack let fly and for a few minutes there was hell let loose. I don't think they got him though. Tues 4th Feb - Tonight the old familiar sound came about seven and there was quite a lot of activity. Mr Worsnop came in and while he was here we heard strange sounds and went out and saw a plane sending down what looked like green bullets into the town.
There was an absolute reek of gunpowder; in fact Mr Worsnop went to get his gas mask. We do see life - and we also catch some unpleasant glimpses of death. Tues 11th Feb - Percy came home this dinner-time with the news that the Sidegate Lane district was bombed last night - two people killed - that Mr Stowe at Waldringfield had been bombed on Sunday evening and that his wife is in hospital, and that all the fuss in the town yesterday was because the police were looking for parachute troops who were supposed to have landed.
After all this I hadn't much appetite left. As a rule you are only allowed a quarter when - and that is seldom - they have any. Wed 19th Feb - Percy arrived home at dinner time with the news that Ipswich and Norwich were bombed yesterday and that Colchester High St. Apparently the plane I heard about 4. Tues 25th Feb - The baker was the first to inform me that bombs fell in Bloomfield St. Young Olsen across the road, who joined the Air Force in September, has been killed in a crash.
Percy went to condole with his father this evening. Wed 26th Feb - I heard the all-clear go at Percy says bombs were dropped in the Chantry - canister bombs, some say, but all reports are very indefinite.
The troops are on the move and we have an anti-aircraft gun on the Valley Road to protect the convoys of lorries. Thurs 27th Feb - What a day! We didn't hear the all-clear but woke to hear another warning at 7. Since then the warning has been on till 4. During this break Percy went to school but they didn't open of course. When it became clear that there would be no school this afternoon either, we went for a walk along Henley Road, the rain having ceased though it was still very cloudy.
I was getting tea ready when we heard a plane and Percy had just opened the front door to investigate when there were three of the loudest explosions I have ever heard, accompanied by violent machine-gunning. Apparently they also dropped some in Foxhall Rd. Fri 28th Feb - A lovely quiet night and day. Yesterday's bombs killed a child and injured seventeen people.
They machine-gunned Derby Rd.
I went down town this afternoon and just managed to secure some fresh herring. They only had a few and there was a queue after them. Sat 1st Mar - We have had another quiet day. Percy has started to get really busy in the garden.
We shall need to grow all we can this year, for food is getting very short. I took Gillian through the Park and Arboretum this afternoon. It is lovely in there, so peaceful, and yet people keep writing to the paper urging that vegetables should be grown there. I hope they never will. There is plenty of other land in Ipswich. Tues 4th Mar - It has been a lovely spring-like day.
I went down to the library and then felt moved to go to Christchurch Park where the 12 ft. But as it was enclosed and you have to pay to go in, I decided to go another time. Sat 8th Mar - There have been a good many planes about tonight, including one which dropped a load of flares out Wattisham way.
For quite a time there was a rose-colored cloud dripping red stars - quite pretty to watch, though sinister. Sat 15th Mar - At dinner time the sun got through so I took Gillian out as usual. They got under the table when they heard the bomb coming and were quite unhurt though the house was completely demolished. Wed 19th Mar - I have never known such a lot of German activity as we had last night.
In an effort to get to sleep I counted up to 34 planes going over between 12 and 2am.
Apparently they were on their way home from Hull, which had a thorough pasting. Thurs 20th Mar - Percy arrived home full of evacuation talk and this afternoon the notices went up once more. I went out to get some waterglass for egg-preserving this afternoon. Mon 24th Mar - I went down to register for preserves and cheese which are now to be rationed.
Getting a pound of treacle is like a nightmare. Wed 26th Mar - Mr James arrived to say they could go to the Fire Station and fetch their tin hats any time now. Sat 29th Mar - Percy went to the Fire Station only to be greeted with the news that the Home Office have just issued an order that the tin hats are not to be given out.
Mon 31st Mar - Percy has been questing for artificial manure in his odd moments. You can't get the real thing or its artificial counterpart, yet everyone is digging for victory like mad. Thurs 10th Apr - Well, we've been blitzed - and Percy slept through most of it. Lots of other commercial buildings were damaged and Fore St. I went shopping but was rather unlucky as the fish shop wouldn't let me have any paper so I couldn't bring any herrings home.
He is going to be a warden rather than fire-watch at school.
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