History is never quite as real as when it is told by those who lived it. Ruby Thompson, living during the World War ll London Blitz bombing blasts history out of the realm of dry, dusty names and dates and places the reader in the midst of the terrifying events as they unfold. This is very important documentation and will have tremendous appeal to those who have an avid interest in the effect of the war on ordinary citizens.
So now we’re in 1945. Shall we see peace before the year is out?
No peace in this house. Just now at dinnertime I had words with Ted. Suddenly he was so exasperating I flared out at him. It is a bad beginning for the New Year. He is so autocratic and over bearing, well, patience gives out. The match to the tinder today was his taking up the subject of the Capes’s. Both Mr. and Mrs. Cape came calling yesterday evening, and they had done the same on Christmas Eve. Ted began: “Don’t encourage the Cape’s around here evenings. I don’t want to see them all the time. They are vey nice people, but I don’t want them around here, see? Don’t encourage them to talk. When they come to an end of a topic, say nothing, don’t encourage them to start off on another.”
Wednesday January 3, 1945
We had nine rockets yesterday, four today, and this evening two doodle-bug raids; the first alert came at seven-ten, and the bombs flying over almost immediately; one went immediately over this housetop and traveled in the direction of Collier Row. The second alert sounded at eight-ten, just one hour later; we counted four passing, but heard none of them fall, so probably they went all the way to London. Ted went outside to look at them, but I stayed within to be sick. I get angrier and angrier about this war. What is it all for? The stupidity of man, the malicious stupidity of man.
Friday January 5, 1945
We had ten rockets yesterday and two already this morning. In this week “Listener” there is a photograph showing Mr. Churchill with Archbishop Damaskinos and Greek representatives in Athens. Except for the Archbishop the Greeks are in ordinary civilian morning business clothes: Churchill and his aides are in soldier uniforms. The Archbishop is an anachronism. He is swathed in black draperies from his neck to his toes, and on his head is a tall pillow-box black hat from which hang black veils down his back. Around his neck is a chain from which a large pendant hangs just about his navel, and in his hand is a long black staff, and his face is covered with a large square white beard. In that group of modern men he looks preposterous. He is preposterous. He is the complete symbol of the dead and the vanished past yet he is the man now made Regent of Greece. Probably inside his head he has a modern mans brains. Who knows? The picture shouts his futility. He is not even impressive to look at; he is merely a silly antique. What can he do for Greece? It is not his ideas, or the ideas of any priest, which will have validity, for our world of today.