12th March 1943

Glorious day, a clear, limpid dawn.  At half past 7, the Brantham siren came wailing out of the mist, but not a plane or a sound of one anywhere, Joy was up early, so I had breakfast before I left, and while I was eating it four Spitfires rushed over, going towards Harwich, then the all-clear came a few minutes before 8.

As I cycled by Ardleigh Heath, another alarm came drifting on the wind, although the sun was so high.  No planes to be seen or heard.  The alarm lasted only 10 minutes.  This is a new thing, or rather an old thing revived, for we have not had enemy planes in broad daylight since 1940.

The office made no reference to my behaviour last evening.  Very busy all day, but slipped home to tea, as it does seem to please the old couple so much.  Left the office at 6, and cycled along in a glorious, still, calm evening.  Three big bombers went over towards the S.W., quite low, the setting sun glinting on their wings.  People working in the gardens, and men and girls cycling home from factories.

Just as I thought we would have a clear evening, the sirens again sounded at 7 o’clock, and in the distance there were two dull explosions, but whether guns or bombs I don't know.  No planes appeared, and the sky was a deep, clear indigo, with the crescent moon riding high in it.  Alarm lasted only a few minutes.

The morning papers were full of Sir Archibald Sinclair’s speech on the RAF, a vile brutal harangue, which apparently aroused only one protest – from Stokes, M.P. for Ipswich, who said that the destruction of Nuremberg made him feel sick.  As if to support his view, an article appears in the “Evening News”, by one Cyril Birks, in which RAF raiding methods are described.  In this he states that the destruction of the ancient town of Lübeck last year was by nature of an experiment, in order to try out the new method of bombing.  Sir Archibald Sinclair was then Secretary of State for Air.  As Hansard records, Sinclair's speech aroused a protest from another MP, Mr Frederick Montague.  CP

Also saw in the evening paper that the early alarms today were caused by two attacks on the outskirts of London, mostly on the Essex side, although apparently no very serious damage was done, nor were many people killed.  From Sir A. Sinclair’s remarks it would seem that there is little hope of providing adequate defences against these daylight attacks, so I suppose we must expect them to get steadily worse.

A quiet evening, hardly a plane across the sky.  Parry went to Dorothy’s funeral this afternoon.

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