16th March 1944

Very fine, slightly warmer.  Cloudy and hazy all day, and had hopes of a fog, but it cleared.  Went out to Woodside, Boxted, at 6 [to meet a Miss Bentley, who would become Rudsdale's landlady], and was amazed to hear an alarm at 6.15, for half an hour.  The siren on Mile End Hill sounded as I was walking up. A man ran out of a house nearby in Civil Defence uniform, but children playing took no notice.  I was only too glad to be going out of the town, but I passed Daphne coming back from her music lesson at Cant’s, quite cheerfully cycling into Colchester.  I would have waited for all-clear.

Went over to Lt. Rivers, and found Phoebe Pickard there with her son, who is just back from America.  Curious that she should bring him back at this time.  He is now about to start at Colchester Royal Grammar School.

When I left the night was intensely black.  Few ‘planes about, above clouds.  Felt most alarmed.  At the Talbooth found an American jeep in the garage.  Dodged the dogs and went to bed at once.

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