15th March 1943

Up at 6.15.  Thick fog and hoare frost.  Got away just before 7, and cycled as quickly as I could, though heart pains soon troubled me.  At Parsons Heath, near the railway bridge, saw four horses of Wyncolls going out to work, great dark shapes, their harness jingling.

Got into Colchester by 20 minutes to 8.  Opened post and then to breakfast.  Rose said she wished the war was over.  How little I know of what she really feels.

Very busy all day.  Took eggs to Mrs. Fletcher at the Grammar School, and was shown into the room where I waited with my Mother when I first went to school there in 1918.  Noticed two large bookcases, one full of German books and the other French.  Fletcher must be a considerable linguist.

Saw Hampshire.  He is off work this week, and offered to feed Bob and the donkey until Saturday.  Called at home.  Old people seem very well.

This evening saw a placard reading “Essex Coast Towns Bombed: 6 dead” and “Berlin Caught Napping.”  I was most depressed at the thought of another of these senseless raids on Berlin, with their inevitable consequences, but when I bought the paper I could find no reference to either of the items mentioned.  Apparently small but dangerous attacks are now being made in broad sunlight, with just as great success as they have formerly been made in rain or cloud.  Opposition is negligible.  In the “Evening News” tonight it states that a south-coast Mayor has sent a protest to the Air Ministry, and complains that people in coastal districts live in an atmosphere of alarm and uncertainty.

When I got back tonight Joy told me there was an alarm at Manningtree this morning, and that she heard planes and machine-gun fire.

Great field of plovers on the big field as I cycled past.  I shouted, and they all rose up, showing their white bellies.

Heard today that old Johnson, of Lion Walk, died on Friday.  He had a very narrow escape as a boy in the Earthquake, when the spire of Lion Walk Church fell at his feet.  He told me the story several times. 
The Colchester Earthquake of 1884 was the most destructive that Britain has known.  Further details about the events that day and the young Mr Johnson's miraculous escape are given in this article from the Colchester Archaeologist.

Lovely clear moonlight night, but not a plane about.  How strange that neither side moves in such fine weather.

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