31st May 1943

Had a bad night.  Slept 11-12.30, then awakened by planes, and lay in fear of hearing an alarm.  The hours crept by, but nothing happened.  I was wide awake, reading most of the time. 

Went out early into a lovely dawn, the valley full of mist, the cuckoos calling everywhere.  No wind, everything beautifully calm.  Near John de Bois Hill saw a poor little dead kitten, run over, and its mother hurrying anxiously along the road, looking for it, mewing piteously.  Had to put it on top of a high hedge where she would not find it.

To Colchester at 6.45, nobody about but engineers on their way to factories, and Home Guards coming back from a night’s duty on the battery.  Went through Priory St. Queen St, and Culver St, not seeing a soul and went across to Holly Trees.  

Saw Poulter’s “Mail”.  Two bad raids yesterday, one at Torquay in the morning, at least 50 dead, and at “two East Coast towns” in the evening, when I heard sirens.  Perhaps Walton and Clacton.  The opposition to all these raids was almost nothing.

Today engaged a thatcher to work for the Committee, a man named Herbert.  Should be useful.
Committee at Birch.  Much talk about the Peldon business.  All the local papers are full of violent criticisms of War Agricultural Committee methods.  Oswald Lewis [Colchester's MP] is now being asked to take an interest.

When I got back at 6 the evening placards said “Raids on two East Anglian towns.  Many dead.”

Lawford at 7.30.  Went across the fields to see the new bull, who was blaring away at some heifers.

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