17th December 1943

Very dark and foggy morning.  Wakened at 7 by the noise of planes warming up at Langham.  Got in by 9.15.  Busy all day, and got a good deal done.  Bought a brass ship’s candlestick which Dodo Rose wanted, and, as Stuart Rose did not come to the office, went back that way and delivered it.  As I was leaving about quarter to 7, a jeep overtook me in the lane by Rivers Hall, travelling fast.  It was very dark and thick.  The car turned into the lane by Hill Farm, Langham, and almost at once there was a heavy burst of machine gun fire in the lane, about 200 yards from me.  Saw tracer going up.  I flung myself into the ditch, and peered over the hedge bank at a mass of tracer bullets flying through the air.  The firing kept on for about 10 seconds, and then I heard the noise of a lorry changing gear and being driven away quickly.  Presumably this means Americans on the run.  Thought I had better hurry on as fast as possible, and being so dark ran off the road near the lane to the waterworks.  Could hear people at cottage doors talking about the firing.  At Ipswich Road there were several army trucks and military police at the top of Gun Hill.  Went to Dedham, called on Mrs. Sisson regarding Christmas toys, and then to Higham.

The light on, brilliant, could see it from Stratford Church.  Felt very depressed.  Suddenly thought of going to Thorington Hall, if there is room.  Must see Sisson about it.

No comments: