1st November 1942

Woke at 5, out at 8, a glorious sunny morning.  Went home for breakfast, and read in the paper that there had been a bad raid on Canterbury yesterday afternoon, at the very time when I was watching the RAF bombers go out.  Apparently 50 planes were used, and 9 were shot down.  I feared that the Germans would begin daylight raids, in return for those made by the RAF on French towns.  

It seems that about 30 people were killed at Canterbury, and many houses damaged.  It was market day, and the streets were full of country people about to go home.  How amazing that a thing like this can happen when we continually boast of the impregnable defences of Britain.

Clouds came up during the morning, and I was glad to get away to Lawford as soon as I could.  Checked several ploughing orders at Dedham.  One was just behind the church, a field which belongs to the parish, so I went down the footpath by the old Grammar School to see it.  Thought I would walk on and have a look at Southfields, where I found one of the tenements is empty.  At once I began to wonder if I could get it.  If I did, Father and Mother could come, and live here, and we could all live together again for a time.  The place belongs to Sir Ralph Harwood.  I shall make enquiries.

Mr. and Mrs. Chittenden to tea at Sherbourne Mill.  He used to be at Kew, and is a great botanical expert.  Much talk on plants, trees, bird life etc., about which I knew nothing.

Nobody spoke about the raid on Canterbury, and nobody seems to want to know any details.  Perhaps this is because any day it may be our own town.  

Finished reading Hector Bolitho's “War in the Strand”.  Bolitho must be a curious type, fascinated by fear and carnage.  I do not admire him, and only fear he has a good deal in common with myself.

Tonight I wrote a long, grumbling letter to Meg in Scotland.  I would give anything to have a whole month up there, right away from bombs, alarms, and War Agricultural Committees.

Heavy rain tonight.

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