This blog posts extracts from E J Rudsdale's diaries of life on the home front in Britain during the Second World War. Each extract is posted exactly 70 years after it was first written, so follow events through the eyes of a witness to the war.
16th March 1943
Woke at 6.30, and watched the light creep over the earth.The sun was coming up in a pink and yellow haze when I heard the Colchester sirens at half past 7, then Mistley and Brantham a few minutes later.Could not feel alarmed, with the sun rising, and the sky clear and blue.Had breakfast, and heard all-clear at 5 to 8.Lovely riding in, people working in the fields, children running to school, some playing marbles in the road.
This afternoon went down to Sheepen Farm with Mr. Craig to meet a representative of the Fairhazel Estates Ltd., who bought the farm about 8 years ago to build on it.Had it not been for the war, the whole of the Potter’s Field would now be covered with houses.
The firm’s representative was desperately anxious that the Committee should not take possession, as his firm wish to be free to begin building as soon as the war is ended.Mr. Craig warned him that there might be legislation which would prevent them from doing so, and I said that I thought it a scandal to consider building houses on such a spot.The principals in this firm own building estates all over the country.
Back through Dedham in a lovely cool evening, the birds singing, lambs frisking in the fields.Surprising how many sheep there are about.
Glorious moonlight night, yet no planes about.This is very curious.Perhaps the great British “Air Offensive” has already petered out.
This afternoon Poulter told me that there had been a flutter at the Museum Committee Meeting.Hull came back in a fearful state.