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.
Mrs. Cape’s came in before Ted had finished his lunch, full of distress. She had just heard that her young sister, and her sister’s husband, had been bombed yesterday, and were both in the hospital. Also she had received and express letter for Bob, telling him that his mother’s house had been hit, and she was hurt, and asking him to come at once. There were over two hundred casualties through a bomb, which hit Eastham last Friday, and now this was yesterdays. I have lost count now of the actual people known to me who have been bombed out, injured, or killed.
Friday February 2, 1945
We have had four close by rockets already this morning. We usually get more on Fridays than any other day of the week, last Friday we had seventeen, so I suppose this locality is on the German program for Fridays. Berlin is preparing for battle. The Red Army is within forty miles of it. It is estimated that four and one half million Germans are on the roads, fleeing from the Russians. Good, they ought to suffer what they caused others to suffer; but who will be sorry for the Germans? No one. No one in the whole wide world will be sorry.
Saturday February 10, 1945
This has been another bad week with any rockets falling. One at Hornchurch, near Emerson Park Station, very bad; two in Ilford, one falling just behind the Super Cinema, on a shirt factory, killing many, and the other on the Cranham Road. One fell on the bottling plant of the co-op milk depot, killing forty-seven men; the building had a complete glass roof, so the casualties were many. One fell on Bethnal Green Hospital, two hundred patients had to be removed under murderous conditions, and so it goes, night and day. We get about fifteen every twenty-four hours in this neighborhood alone, that is, counting only those I can hear; but they are falling all over London; probably a couple of hundred are launched against us every day, but only the officials know what happens in its immediate locality. No information is ever given on the wireless beyond the base statement that “enemy action over Southern England caused casualties and damage during the period ending at seven a.m. this morning.” The allies have launched a new offensive in this West this week; the Russians daily get closer to Berlin; yet still the Germans fight. How much longer can they go on? The big three- Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin is meeting in conference, “somewhere in the Black Sea area.” In the Pacific the Americans have re-taken Manila. The Burma Road has been re-opened. Possibly this year will see the end of the war, but guessing is futile.