17th February 1943

Lovely morning, with the sun rising gold among thin clouds.  As I cycled down the Long Road I heard the sirens at Manningtree and Brantham, wailing in the still morning air.  Children were coming out of their cottages to go to school, taking no notice of it whatever.  I heard a woman in a garden calling out to somebody in the house “There’s a warning.”  I went along slowly, watching the sky and listening carefully, but nothing came.  I thought how curious that on a lovely calm morning like this somebody was being killed, perhaps not very far away.  There was no sound of bombs or guns.  The all-clear came as I went up Johnny Bois Hill.  I could hear both Manningtree and Colchester. 

Boutflower came in from Wivenhoe this afternoon, and said twelve planes had attacked Clacton, but he did not think much harm was done.  I went out for an evening paper, which said 4 planes, and that a little boy was killed in bed, and several people hurt.  It gives one a feeling of impotence, frustration, to think that after 3 and a half years of war, and at least a year's preparation for it, German planes can come over in broad daylight, not even waiting for the cover of clouds, shoot up a town, and fly away without loss, no doubt ready to come back next day.
Joy and Parry both have very bad colds, probably influenza.

Clouds rolling up tonight.

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