31st December 1942 - New Year's Eve

A lot more snow during the night.  The fleecy grey clouds were blowing away as I walked up to the bus, and the sky was blue, the last thin crescent of the moon still strong enough to throw shadows on the snow.  The sun came up pink and gold, and during the whole day there was hardly a cloud in the sky.

Had to draw a full week’s money this afternoon, over £600, as the banks will shut tomorrow.  Stored it in the Muniment Room tonight.

Missed the 5.15 bus, and had to wait at the Bus-Park for the 6.10.  There was a big crowd waiting, and we waited and waited in the queue, but no bus came.  At last, not before 25 minutes to 7, a Beeston and an Eastern National Bus appeared one behind the other. 

Too tired to do any work tonight.  Spent an hour reading Laver’s “Perlustration of the Banlieu of Colchester” – a brilliant piece of work.  I believe that this, together with the Doctor’s Colchester and Essex Indeces, are the most valuable work ever done by the Lavers.

Poulter told me today that Philip Corder was here recently.  I wish I had seen him.  After the war he is going to give up St. Alban’s Museum, and be Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries.  I wonder if I should ever have a chance to get St. Alban’s?  I believe Corder would help me.

So we end another year of disasters and misery.  As a rule I never attempt to foretell the future, but I do not see how the war can end before 1955.  Assuming that the Russians do not collapse, it is quite possible that the Anglo-American forces will invade Greece or Italy this year.  If successful, attempts will be made on Norway, Denmark and Holland.  If these efforts too are successful, the Anglo-American forces will be in a position to attack Germany, but I do not see this at all likely before 1947 or 1948.  Even if Germany is rendered helpless as a fighting unit, the war is not over.  The Japanese will still be active, and Germany beaten can still help by refusing to release prisoners, just as has been done in the case of the French soldiers.  Meanwhile, we shall never be safe from the German bombers.  All constructive effort is absurd until this menace is removed.

A war of extinction against the Japanese will of course be carried out at no matter what cost on the instruction of the big oil and rubber companies, who must recoup their losses.

And so we face 1943, without hope of peace, in fact many of us too bored and apathetic to care what is the outcome of this terrible, disastrous war.


Anonymous said...


What a fascinating insight in to WW2 with which to end the year on.

In a number of other entries Rudsdale has shown that the public were able to glean some information about the progress of the war, but on occasion’s only total nonsense (with the benefit of hindsight of course!)

His comments show that it was known there was the possibility of what we now know as D-Day could happen, but no knowledge of how and when.

Then of course the war in the Far East, yes it would be a long drawn out conflict but that it would be settled with the use of atomic weapons was beyond most people's knowledge or imagination. Though it is curious he refers to “A war of extinction against the Japanese...” which would have happened if further atomic weapons had been used.

What I find most surprising, is his final paragraph - so very different from the public's view of the war that we are given in popular histories and TV documentaries. This alone indicates the importance of such material.

Mike Dennis

E J Rudsdale said...

Hello Mike,
Many thanks for your comments. I find it fascinating that Rudsdale always ends each year with a summing up of events in his own inimitable style and individual views! It certainly gives an insight into the extent to which the general public were aware of what course the allies would have to take to win the war and that this would be a prolonged battle. Best wishes, CP