This blog posts extracts from E J Rudsdale's diaries of life on the home front in Britain during the Second World War.
Each extract was posted exactly 70 years after it was first written, marking the 70th anniversary of the Second World War between 2009-2015.
Short extracts will now be published on Twitter and will link to this blog to mark the 80th anniversary of the Second World War starting from 3 September 2019.
Observer Post at 1am.Cloudy, and no ‘planes about.Ate plums, drank tea, took things very
easy.No ‘diver’ on.Wilshire with me, talking about things that
happened earlier in the war.Told me
about old Harry Bullock (another of our watch) and the blowing up of the
“Beehive” at Little Horkesley in 1940. The Beehive pub was destroyed when a land mine hit Little Horkesley Church in September 1940.
“I was on at the old post along
o’ Harry on the Monday after the Saturday when the “Beehive” went, so I said
‘Hullo Harry,’ I said ‘Where was you o’Saturday night?’ ‘Cor boy,’ he say, ‘I
was in the Beehive’.
‘You was?’ I says ‘how’d you get
on?’ ‘Cor,’ he say, ‘I was right flabbergasted.’
‘What’d you do?’, I says.
‘Well,’ he say, ‘I got my bike
out and rode off home’.
Yes, that’s what he done only
they never knew up there, you see, and they was a-looking for him for nigh on 4
hours, then somebody say ‘Well, p’raps he ain't here after all?’ so they went
off to his, at 2 in the morning, and his wife say ‘No, he ain’t a-buried, he’s
been in bed along o’me since half past eleven.’But mind you, that made him feel right queer for the best part of a
About three times there were a
few spots of rain, then the clouds blew away, and the moon shone out clear and
still, till at last the eastern sky paled again, and the sheep stirred and bleated in the fields down by Green Lane.As the light grew we could see the standing
traves of corn, and rabbits like little grey shadows hopping about among them.
As I came away, it was light
enough to see the tower of Stoke Church against the pale yellow sky.Bed 5.15, up again 8.15, got in rather
late.Captain Folkard and Maidstone off to meet
the Executive Committee at Layer.Soon
after they had gone came a frantic ‘phone call to say the Executive’s motor
coach had broken down at Braxted.Had to
send messages to depots and so on, to try to reach Capt. Folkard.
Very busy all day, and for once
did not waste time writing private stuff.
Lovely evening.Went to see Father for an hour. Felt very
tired but much better.Wrote some
letters, then to post and on to Boxted.‘Forts’ circling to go out.