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.
The all clear sounded about five minutes ago. We had a quiet morning, but the bombs began coming in about two o’clock; and as usual the worst of all at three twenty p.m. It went directly over this roof, and exploded about three minutes later. I don’t know where, Collier Row or Rainham Road, most likely. As these things travel on a direct-catapulted line they frequently fall repeatedly on practically the same spots. We have had several others since the three-twenty one, but no other quite so near. They make me feel very ill.
Sunday July 16, 1944
The weather is better today, with the sun actually shining. They flying bombs come over steadily all day long. This morning I heard on the wireless a “Church Parade” service broadcast from a field in Normandy. General Montgomery read the lesson, which was the story of the good Samaritan in Luke: the men sang the hymns, recited the General Confession, The Creed, and the Our Father. An English Canon gave an address. It was most moving, and it was beautiful. I say and wept, but not from grief. All the while in the background could be heard distant guns, planes overhead, a church bell tolling, and birds singing. It was impressively beautiful.