EJ Rudsdale on Twitter from 3 September 2019

22nd December 1944

Fog so thick that it was dark at 10 o’clock this morning.  Miss Bentley had it from Mrs. Smith that the big explosion yesterday morning was a rocket dropped by “a plane” on Witham Station, blocking the line.  Don’t suppose there is a word of truth in it.

Went to Bank for Father and paid in his pension, £60 for the quarter.  Can't understand how he manages on so little.  Tried to get “British Diarists” for Daphne, but unobtainable.  Nor could I get any O.S. sheets for the Isle of Ely.

Fog cleared and the sun came out.  A few ‘planes were over, mostly Thunderbolts from Boxted, stunting aimlessly.  

Went home and gave Miss Payne a water-proof shopping bag which I got Harry Day to make for me, and gave dear Mary Ralling some Wisbech apples.  Dear old Father seemed very well, happy and cheerful.

To tea at Winnie’s with Daphne, who looked as lively and charming as I have ever seen her.  When we came out the moon was shining through a thin mist.

Went to Holly Trees, and saw Poulter.  The Liberal Club now takes the blackest view of the war, and think it must last 2 years more. 

To Boxted at 9.30.  Listened to some Gilbert and Sullivan music, reminding me of the happy nights in Edinburgh so few weeks ago.  At eleven o’clock the fog very thick again, so some hope for a quiet night.  Sat reading until nearly 1.00am.

Don't expect I shall see Hull again.  How extraordinary to go like this, after nearly 17 years.  How he must dislike me.  Poulter says he was frightfully drunk this afternoon.  It is possible that his feelings were deeply hurt when I got the Wisbech job without asking him for a reference.  I did not mean to hurt his self-respect, but it would obviously be absurd for me to apply to him for a testimonial.

Heard that a rocket fell just clear of the Hoffmann works in Chelmsford, and brought down most of the remaining houses in Henry Rd, where so much damage was done in the raid in 1942 and killed 39 people.  So a chance shot, fired 200 miles away, does more execution than a carefully planned air-raid.  This ought to be written up over the desk of every RAF officer.  

Saw Diana today, walking past the Albert Hall, with her brother, a very handsome young sailor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


ER paid in for his father the equivalent today of £2,384.05, enough for £183.38 a week. A generous pension by current standards.

His comment on the Liberal Club's view that there was two more years of the war to go was, as we now know, not so pessimistic - with VJ Day not until August 1945 and most troops in the Far East not getting home until 1946 they had it about right.

Mike Dennis