18th August 1942

Very busy all day, but not unduly tired.  Cycled out tonight by Langham aerodrome.  Great stacks of bricks and timber are dumped in Hadley’s field at Tile Kiln Farm.  It is heartbreaking to see the amount of damage that is being done.  Called at Blackbrook Farm, Dedham, where trial holes opened by the aerodrome contractors, searching for ballast, have now been abandoned.  It was really rather amusing, because it seems the contractor approached Young to enquire whether he was willing to sell this field, to which Young replied “Yes,” although of course having been dispossessed by the [War Agricultural] Committee he no longer has any rights over the land at all.  Poor Freeman, our tenant, there suddenly finds he has an enormous excavator in the field!  Saw Freeman in the other field he hires, cutting tares and oats.  Everywhere I could hear the click and clatter of the binders.  Barker at White House was using a pair horse binder.

Saw Bob at Dedham, looking well and very much cleaner, and called at the Sissons.  Back at Lawford at 8.30.  Just after supper Penelope called, on her way to the station, so I walked there with her through the Park and the churchyard.  

Hear that the dead from Severalls were buried yesterday, but do not know any details.

Also hear that planes that came over Birch very low yesterday afternoon were American Boeing machines, on their way to attack Rouen.  I wonder what are the feelings of the people of Rouen, having had their town attacked by Germans, English, and now Americans.

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