21st January 1943

Glorious morning, brilliant moonlight at 7 o’clock.  

There was an alarm in Colchester at 1 p.m., but the weather was so very clear I could not believe any planes would come, nor did they.  The all-clear went as I reached the Avenue, [near Lexden] and shortly after a few RAF planes came over from the direction of the coast.

The War Agricultural Committee are now clearing about 4 acres of land between Fitzwalter Rd and St. Clare Rd, being part of the ancient park.  It is quite derelict, and will require a lot done to it.  I am hopeful we might find something there, being so near to the Tumulus.  

Went out at 4 this afternoon, and home to tea.  Then cycled out by way of Dedham, and called at the Sissons.  He was in London yesterday, during the raid.  He says some of the balloons were up, but not very many.  There was a good deal of firing, but he saw no planes as he was lunching in a pub near Holborn.  A man came in and said a shell case had fallen into a trolley bus in Gray’s Inn Road.  I cannot understand how a man as nervous as Sisson could remain eating his lunch under such conditions.  Sisson said that there was damage and people killed at St. John’s Wood on Sunday night.

Mrs. Sisson was talking about the balloons at Ipswich, and said they were fakes, not intended to fly.  Seems very unlikely to me.

Over to Lawford at 7.  Eversley Belfield came to supper.  He has only just got back from Canada, where he has been training as a pilot, only to be told finally that he was not suitable.  He had been to New York and Montreal, besides several towns in Ontario.  It seemed to me to be absolutely incredible that this quiet, good-looking young man was, less than 3 weeks ago, 3000 miles away, in safety and comfort, passing the days and nights in peace, never having the fear of bombs and machine gunning over him.  Yet he was anxious and willing to come back to England.  He talked a good deal about flying, and said that with modern machines it was really very easy.  He has flown solo both by day and night.  I believe he is genuinely disappointed at not being passed as a pilot.

Bed at 11p.m. Rain.

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