16th October 1943

Up early, after a disturbed night.  Only slept an hour or two.  About 3 could hear Jones’ dog barking very persistently.  Looked out but could see nothing.  The moon was then clear of clouds.  Then suddenly as I was dozing off, I distinctly heard the noise of water running down the kitchen sink pipe.  I lay palpitating, wondering if there was somebody in the house - when it is impossible to lock up it makes it difficult.

This morning interviewing more men for the foreman’s job at Abbot’s Wick.  One man came from Wethersfield.  He was very worried about bombing, and wanted to know if any had fallen near Abbot's Wick.  He said that last night they fell at Gosfield and Halstead, where a house was hit, and Snowball says the bombs I heard falling were at Bentley, Suffolk, 5 miles from Higham.  The “Tankard” and the Stationmaster’s house were both damaged, but Snowball does not know of anyone killed.  It is strange to think I would move to Halstead say to feel safer, yet the Halstead people must be just as scared as we are.

This afternoon noticed a crowd for the 2.30 performance of the Repertory Theatre beginning to form at 1 o’clock, and huge crowds for every cinema.  There were a lot of Canadian nurses in the town today, many showing obvious Scotch ancestry.

Much in the papers today trying to slur over the disaster to the American Air Force at Sweinfurt – we admit 73 were lost, and the Germans claim 120.  The Americans are very upset.  We heard the planes going and returning over Colchester but they were above the clouds.

Got my rations.  Went to see Watts about hay, and gave him 2 trusses.  Saw Hampshire who seemed quite unperturbed and then away.  Got to Higham at 7.  Fine evening, but only a few planes about, and no alarm.

I ought to be on duty, but as the Holly Trees man has been moved to the Castle at Poulter’s request, Poulter tells me I need not go any more.  This is a great relief.  Poulter also tells me that this man is known to go out into the town when he is on duty, and play a concertina in public houses.  The Fire Guard people know this, but take no action, yet I am continually spied upon.  Hull put this man on, and is prepared to stand by him.  I hope I never have to take duty at the Castle again.  Poulter was sending in his resignation next Tuesday if the man had not been moved, as he suspected he might steal Poulter’s private belongings.

I am really rather worried about my memory.  When I went home, I read J. Agate’s review in the “Express”, and particularly noted a novel which I thought interesting.  By the time I had got up town I had forgotten both name and author.  Went into the Library to see the Express there.  Read the title and author again, but by the time I had got outside I had again forgotten.  Went to Smiths’ to see if I could see the book.  Found 2 others – bought them.  By the time I had go home again, I knew I had bought 2 books, but their titles were quite gone.

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