12th April 1944

Another brilliant day, fine and warm, all sign of rain gone.  Wind backing towards S.E.  In the early morning there was quite a thick fog, but it soon cleared away.

Wrote to the Adjutant of the Royal Observer Corps tonight, asking for an interview [to work on one of the outposts].

Still thinking about going [to Shrewsbury].  Nothing from Mary Hulbert yet, but of course there has hardly been time.  Went into my finances again, and although I am afraid I owe between £40 and £50 (including income tax, £33) my balance is pretty good, and absolves me from money worries for at least a year.  Went to the library tonight, and worked out a route to Shrewsbury, in case I had to cycle there.  Roughly 200 miles, so could do it in 4-5 days.

Lovely still evening, very quiet until ‘planes began night flying about 9.30.  All the landing lights were on at Boxted, looking like the lights of a town as we used to see them.  Planes cruising about very low, red and green lights glowing like coloured stars.

Nice little paragraph in the ‘Evening News’ tonight, stating that paper bombs have been dropped on Baghdad by Iraqi planes during some sort of ‘war weapons week!’  General  Nuri al-Said is recorded as saying “These bombs are a reminder of the air-raids suffered by the people of Britain, and of the hardship and suffering caused”.  One would have thought that the Iraqi needed no such reminders, considering the sufferings caused to them by the RAF in the 1920s.  Many of the senior officers of the service, who now organise the bombing of German and neutral cities, went through their early training out there when they had the exquisite satisfaction of dropping high-explosive bombs onto Arab villages and tents, knowing that retaliation was impossible.

William Scawen Blunt, in his diaries, shows how our Prime Minister has been able not only to achieve his early ambitions but to go far beyond them in this direction, when he records that Churchill told him (21/10/1912) that the Government “would be obliged to take some action against the Mullah, (in Somaliland) not an expedition, which was too expensive an affair, but they would send aeroplanes to drop bombs into the Arab camps.”  He then went on to describe how his regiment had speared the wounded Dervishes at Omdurman.  Blunt says “How like his father!”

Miss Bentley’s sister is up from Hove on a visit.  Strictly speaking she has no business to come into this Defence Area at all, but no attempt is being made to stop people yet, either at Liverpool St or at Colchester Station.  Told Miss Bentley that is was improbable that she would be troubled unless she attempted to get her ration book changed, and this is unnecessary as she has brought her rations with her.

Felt nervous tonight and expected an attack.  Sat up until the moon rose at 1a.m., but nothing happened.  Few planes about, and signal searchlights.


Anonymous said...


ER owes £1500 - £1875 - is there any indication in the journals who to and what for?
His income tax is £1238, I assume this is for the year 1943-1944 which has just ended, this was when you paid your tax annually, the PAYE system was introduced in 1944 as explained here

Mike Dennis

E J Rudsdale said...

Thanks for the information, Mike. I didn't realise the PAYE system was introduced in 1944. There is no indication in the Journals as to who or what EJR owes money for but I assume it may be rent to Miss Bentley for the room he is renting in Boxted, possibly rent for the stables at Bourne Mill and Port Lane in Colchester, and perhaps recent expenses on his new bicycle and his holiday in North Wales. Thanks again and best wishes, CP