23rd July 1944

Had three hours sleep in bed, then up at 8 to be on the post at 9.  Cloudy and cool.  Lots of Forts circling which kept us busy.  Saw in the log that there were 9 ‘divers’ yesterday, which seemed to come in over Bradwell. 

Forts formed up and went off S.E. then we could hear the sound of church bells faintly all along the valley, - Stoke, Higham, and nearer at hand Boxted and Gt. Horkesley.  Many larks singing.  Field of oats traved near the Post.  Everything is very dry now.

To Dedham this afternoon, where everybody seemed very optimistic about ‘divers’ – considered the damage was not so severe, and that the launching sites would soon be out of use.  Personally cannot help thinking that there must be many more launching sites much further east.

Left at 11.30 to go to the Post again – second watch in 24 hours.  Very dark night, and clouds rolling up from the South.  Had no cycle lamps, but trusted to luck not to meet a policeman.  Searchlights lying low along the valley made a sort of green moonlight against the clouds.

As I went down the hill by Lt Rivers the alarms sounded.  There were many ‘planes about, and masses of searchlights further west, and distant gunfire.  Then heard the chugging of a ‘diver’, some distance to the S., but it went on.  An aircraft carrying headlamps like a car came in and landed at Langham.  Got to the Post before one, and heard that two ‘divers’ had gone over, a little S. of the town.  They had not exploded anywhere on our board.  A few minutes later a huge mass of bombers came in, back from a raid, each batch lit by a bunch of searchlights.  As the warning was still on, thought how terrified people in the town must be, to hear such a roar of aircraft.  Was glad when “all-clear” sounded in about 10 minutes.

Very dark morning for July, and heavy clouds. 

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