3rd June 1940

News today that all the BEF are out of France it is believed with very little loss. This is the most staggering defeat that the British Army has ever had.

Defence works are in progress all round this district, and I hear that excellent sections can be seen where deep pits have been dug in order to mine the Strood [Causeway], many different road levels being visible. I don't know if any remains have been found in any of them.

Excavations for a large Air Raid Shelter at the back of 4 and 5 North Hill, which is immediately west of the Telephone Exchange in West Stockwell Street, show clear traces of Roman Road metal. Whether it is the one running north from the New Library site or that running west from the Telephone Exchange offices, (found in 1930), I do not know, but I fancy it to be the former.

Eric Rudsdale pointing out the intersection of two Roman Roads during excavations for Colchester's New Public Library in 1938 (Courtesy of Essex Record Office)

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