4th March 1945

Asleep last night before midnight, without a care in the world, only to be awakened soon after by the sirens.  Cloudy sky, and an obscured moon, not at all the sort of weather when an attack might be expected.

Most of the street lights were on, and cars were moving about, men and girls laughing and screaming outside the Town Hall, where there had been a dance.  Dressed over pyjamas and went down to the street to see what was happening.  Walking along South Brink.  The clocks struck one, and there was a distant explosion.  Met a group of “specials” at the corner of Somers Road, stopped to talk. 

Turned back along the Brink, walked round the Crescent, (another heavy distant explosion) and went through the churchyard.  Some men on the far side of the Market were singing and shouting. 

Most of the street lights still on – apparently no means of extinguishing them.  Streets silent now, except for the sound of footsteps echoing across the river.  The moon shone faintly on Bank House.  Wondered if Miss Simpkin [the housekeeper] was awake – Miss Peckover [the owner of Bank House] of course sleeping the blessed sleep of the deaf.

Gentle rain began to drip down like dew.  More flashes, East and North.  A car drove into the yard of the box factory, a man got out, roused the Watchman, unlocked a building.  Went in, put all the lights on regardless of raid and “semi-blackout”, came out dragging a heavy chain, piled it into his car, jumped in, called “Goodnight” and drove rapidly away towards the town.  Leverington Church struck 2, a faint, distant fairy bell.  Wisbech clocks both followed.  A “jeep” came rushing along at terrific speed.  The street lights were now out, except for those on the bridge, no doubt left on to help the enemy find this important target.

Met the “Specials” again.  Told them who I was.  One elderly man, (Mr Stimpson the Grocer) very pleasant, said he’d read about me in the paper, and asked how old Curtis Edwards was.  Suddenly at 2.25am the sirens screamed ‘all clear’. 

Sunny this morning.  Conversation at breakfast all about the alarm.  Fair fat blonde saying she was terrified, and intended to go home to Cheshire.

Rain this afternoon, but went to see Warby at Elm.  He gave me several more pots in fragments, and some more T.S. sherds.  Called at “The Limes”.  Delighted to find Mrs. Coulter there, her husband having gone to a pedigree Jersey farm in the Cotswolds to get some semen for one of his cows.  There is no doubt that farming is now reaching the ultimate insanity.

Mrs. Coulter talked about the raid last night.  Said she was very frightened, and just could not bear it if they were going to start regular nightly raids again.  Did not say that I fear this is only too probable.  Stayed talking until 10.30, then back to an early bed hopefully.

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