11th November 1941: Armistace Day

Armistace Day, cold and dull, with mist in the distance, just like a dozen other such days in past years. The Mayor deposited a wreath of poppies at the Memorial without any ceremony. A few other wreaths were put there, from the British Legion, the “Old Contemptibles”, etc., and during the day people could be seen slowly mounting the steps of the monument to read the labels on them. Poppy sellers in the streets, and most people wearing one. Heavy rain all the evening, everything soaking wet.

Amazing story in the evening papers about a madman who today drove a car round Chiswick and Ealing, stopping here and there to shoot people. He shot 6 or 7 in all, and killed one. One man was shot quite near Argyle Road. It gives one a great sense of horror to think that there may be other such persons at large. I remember that about three years ago a man went onto a tube station in London, and for no reason whatever pushed a girl under a train. Ever since then I have always stood against the walls when on Underground stations.


Anonymous said...

What a fascinating insight in to ordinary life during WWII.

The low key act of remembrance, compared to what it has become in recent years – almost a branch of show business.

The shooting incident is a surprise, the kind of event that we would tend to think of as a modern crime symbolic of our times.

Once again, for me, these diary entries given a different view of the wartime years. Quite different from the one that I gained from my late mother who lived in Dunmow for the duration of the war (a small rural town similar to Colchester.)

Mike Dennis

E J Rudsdale said...

Hi Mike, Many thanks for your comments - always a pleasure to hear from you. I think EJR's alternative perspective on wartime life must result from his efforts to keep a daily record of events, whereas when people recall events later on these little insights, such as the low key act of remembrance or the shooting incident are often forgotten. CP