6th November 1943

Wakened by Father at 5, and heard it raining hard, which made me selfishly glad.  Father was trying to say something but could not, and he struggled so hard to get it out that I was frightened he would make himself ill.  [Rudsdale's father had suffered a slight stroke in 1936 which affected his speech]  Later he said “Where are we?”  I said “In the middle bedroom you old silly”.  He must have been dreaming.

Got up at 7.30, pouring rain, dark and cold.  Mother sleeping, breathing easily.  Is she really sleeping or is she getting weaker?  Called in at 12, just as District Nurse arrived.  Mother lay, quiet, breathing gently, with her eyes not quite shut.  I believe she is unconscious, not asleep.

Called again at 2.30, and found her being fed, and apparently no worse.  This afternoon called on Sissons, and told Mrs Sisson all my troubles.  She was most sympathetic and will try to help.  Her cat has been poisoned, it is thought through picking up War Agricultural Committee rat poison.  Thousands of cats have been killed in this way, by sheer wicked carelessness.

Went on to Higham, in bright moonlight.  Very cold.  Did not stay long.  On the way back there was an alarm as I reached Mile End Hall chase.  I panicked.  I cut through the path to St John’s Road, and went down to Parson’s Heath.  One or two planes came in from the east, one showing lights, but in spite of this guns from Wivenhoe fired at it. 

Went to the phone box by the Royal Oak, and tried to phone the Rallings, but their number was engaged.  I was at once filled with the fear that they were phoning the doctor because Mother was worse.  More planes came in, and there was a lot more firing, but no bombs dropped.  My teeth were chattering.  Then I went back along to Severalls Lane, and so right down to North Station.   The All Clear went as I went along Turner Road.  At the station I again tried to phone Rallings, but the number was still engaged.  This put me in such a state that I cared for nothing but to get home, and even another alarm as I went down Botolph’s Street – no further tremors.  As the sirens died down a plane dived down low across the town.  I didn’t dare go home, so I went to Rallings.  The reason why I could not reach them on the phone was that a neighbour had been using it for half an hour.  I said “How is she?”  Both the Miss Rallings looked sad, and Mary said “The Doctor says there’s no hope.  He says 3 or 4 days.”  I felt horribly depressed.  Poor darling little Mother.

She was asleep when I went in, and had taken no notice of the alarms.  We all sat up until the all clear, which was not until half past one.  Father looked very tired.

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