- AFTER THE WAR
- Bringing back My Grandfather: John H. Thompson; Son Of Ruby Alice Side Thompson
- For Genealogy Lovers: THE THOMPSON FAMILY (A Search into History) Compiled by Edward Thompson (1879-1970)
- Mentions and Great Links
- Collection of World War ll Letters (All names changed for privacy)
- CopyRight Statement
- Honoring my grandmother (Frances Wood) artwork and stories : Frances lived in France 1931-1937 Exhibited in Paris and other parts of France.
- Recently I started re-reading the World War ll journals and felt that they were such an important part of a history that will soon be forgotten if not published and shared with the world. These diary excerpts are not the entirety of what is published in print and kindle.Ruby grew up during a time when education was just beginning to be encouraged for both upper and middle class women. During the late 1890's Ruby explored many radical political ideas of London, England. She met many famous people including the writers George Bernard Shaw and William Butler Yeats.5.0 out of 5 stars A choice pick, not to be overlooked, November 6, 2011 By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)
World War ll London Blitz Diary: 1-30-41 I think it’s an outrage that I should be left here alone nights. It’s terrifying. Day raids are frightening enough, but to be alone in a night raid nearly kills you with fright.
I want to record a dream before it fades. Last night we suffered very bad raids again. They began before dark and continued the whole evening, though the all clear came just before midnight. January 30, is supposed to be an auspicious day for Hitler, according to his own reckonings. So possibly he will intensify his raids today.
We are exhorted to eat plenty of carrots and potatoes and oatmeal. What a diet! Joan also told us something about shelter life and the effect it was having on people. She spent every night sitting up in a shelter for three months and finally got such excruciating pains in her back she had to go to the hospital to get cured. Shelter strain. Son has had to go to the hospital with neuritis in his right arm. Shelter life.
World War ll London Blitz Diary: 1-24-41 Good insight into blitz, Interesting read. Gives you a good idea of what it was like living in London during the blitz. And this lady's personal struggles.
We had news this morning, via the Netherlands, reported that the German Parachute troops waiting there to invade us, are in a state of growing panic. Can German mothers think parachuting a glorious career for their boys? My God! Will the world ever be sane again?
The Home Guard is made up of the old soldiers, the men who fought in the last war, and know something about soldiering. I shall be left alone in this house nights, while the bombs fall or the house burns, whilst he will be guarding the Town Hall. When we wakened on Wednesday, we heard of the fall of Tobruk, and most grisly accounts were given of the bombarding and fighting, It seems to me that nine-tenths of the suffering in the world is not only useless, it is unnecessary, and could be avoided. Take the war, men killing each other, don’t they bring it on themselves? Burning, killing, destruction, none of it need be.
There are frequent alerts today. The German’s have been very quiet over London for a week. We have had seven consecutive nights without a raid, and five days without one. Today is rainy and cloudy, good for tip and run raids.
World War ll London Blitz Diary: 1-6-41 This was a very interesting look into the lives of those not on the line, but still very active players in World War 2 (the innocent people who have to live through the atrocities due to location and circumstance). I can't imagine what it would be like to live day-to-day not knowing who/what would be around when you woke up the next day. And with a husband who is not more attentive, I cannot image what that would be like. Besides the day-to-day events, she discusses her thoughts on politics, religion and marriage. She was definitely a woman before her time.
It was another quiet night due to bad weather. This afternoon the weather is clearing, so I expect we shall have the raiders again tonight.
Today is colder. The pail of water that is kept by the front door, and ready to douse an incendiary bomb, is a solid block of ice: also the rain water tank at the back of the house. Luckily the indoor pipes are not frozen. Ted is very cranky. I expect it’s the cold.
Bardia has fallen. The news was received in London late last night. Prisoners captured exceed twenty five thousand including six generals. To the Australians go the first honors, for they led the attack. The Italians are crumbling fast, making Hitler’s first broken prop. The axis is now wobbly. Hitler gave London another bombardment last night. The alert was given about six o’clock, and the all clear came just before midnight. We have not been told yet what damage they did last night.
We spent a very terrifying evening here in Romford. Edna Renacre was here to tea, and did not leave until ten-fifteen, afraid to start out. However, we think she must have got home in a fair lull, because the next big explosion did not come until eleven p.m. This house was shaken several times last night, so if it was caused by the bombs dropping in London, they must have been even worse than usual. Most of the week anyhow dynamiting has been going on in the city. The damaged buildings left standing after the fire raid of last Sunday were judged dangerous, and the Royal Engineers have been dynamiting the shells. What can be left in the city to destroy I don’t know. Hitler has vowed that he will raze London to the ground, and certainly he seems to be getting on with the job considerably. He doesn’t cow the Londoner. What he doesn’t understand is that the more he bombs and bullies and burns us the more we will resist him. Supposing he could bomb every city in Britain to rubble heaps, he still wouldn’t have beaten the British. The French surrendered Paris rather than have Paris destroyed. Maybe that’s French economy and carefulness. The English won’t surrender London. What if London is destroyed? Hitler can only destroy the bricks and stones. Like Rome and Athens, London is immortal: an immortal idea, which can never be destroyed. Once Hitler is destroyed, the form of our city can be built up again, and even fairer.
It is four-thirty p.m. and I am back from the doctor. I have lost another two pounds. This brings me down now to fourteen point nine stone. Dr Keighley told me of the damage in Romford last night, two houses down in Coms Street, a bomb behind the Westminster Bank, one in the Havana Car Park, one behind the Plaza, one in London Street; and this morning they got Brentwood Station. When I got back to the house I found Ted sitting here. He had not returned for lunch when I left, about two-fifteen. He told me there was an unexploded bomb in the office. I thought he was joking, but it’s true. I burst out laughing. So did Ted. Neither of us are the least bit sorry for old Herbert. I think we both feel that whatever misfortunes befall him he deserves them. Ted remarked, "And he hasn’t even finished with the havoc from the other bomb yet!" Yes, we had a real good laugh at old Bert’s expense. Nobody, of course can get into the office. The bomb behind the Westminster bank has been safely taken away. Another alert has just sounded. They have been sounding all day today. Goodmazes has received two land mines.
I wonder what sort of a night we shall have tonight! There’s a moon, and it’s perishing cold. I suppose Hitler is furious because of the fall of Bardia, so he’s relieving his temper by giving us an extra peppering. My God! When will this hellish war end?
It is ten thirty-seven a.m. and the first alert of the day is sounding. The Germans are now promising to commence their final knock out assault on us by February First.
Last night at six o’clock we listened to the broadcast from America of the inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt for his third presidential term. The reception was perfect. The voices were wonderfully clear. I wept. There was something indescribably moving in hearing him taking the oath. His address was good, too. The prayers were deeply impressive: the invocation, the benediction, I couldn’t help weeping, but they were happy tears.
(Guns, guns, this is an attack on Romford.)
World War ll London Blitz Diary: 12-31-40 If you read someone’s diary, you get to know him or her better than you ever would any other way. Read this book and get to know Ruby Thompson. Ruby's diary from the start of World War II is an amazing look at her inner thoughts. The sheer terror and exhaustion she felt as the bombs started falling for seemingly hours on end, day after day is hard for us to imagine. In these days of Internet and mobile phones it is difficult to grasp her isolation with most of her sons in America, her youngest two in the British armed forces and her husband preoccupied with his own concerns. In between the lines there is a glimpse of how life must go even in Britain-at-war as she deals with health issues, in-laws, censors, rationing and fashion. An excellent look at one woman's view of World War II from before the war to England's darkest hour.
When is all this deviltry going to end? The rest of the world for the remainder of time, I think, will hate Germans. President Roosevelt made a great speech last night. Ted actually woke me up at three-thirty this morning to tell me Roosevelt was on the air! Roosevelt was calling to the Americans to give all aid to Britain
Further reports on Sunday nights raids on London. It was evidently an attempt to destroy the entire city by fire. Uncountable thousands of incendiary bombs were dropped, and practically old historic London was burnt down. The Guildhall is gone, Trinity House and eight Wren churches. What vandalism!
World War ll London Blitz Diary: 12-27-40 Ruby 1939/40 Absolutely loved reading this diary, felt as though I was really getting to know Ruby and what life was like for her. Had to even drive past the house she bought to have a look at it. She is so honest, and says what she thinks, can't wait to read more.
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There was actually a lull in the war. We had no raids Tuesday, nor Christmas Day, nor yesterday, which was Boxing Day; nor during the nights either. The war began again this morning. Gerry was overhead during dinnertime, and the one o’clock news reported a heavy duel this morning with the long-range guns across the channel.
The German night raids began again last night. There was a very big attack on London. The barrage was terrific. It was bad here in Romford too. Bombs kept on falling, one terrific one seemed to fall right in our back garden. Ted heard there was a land mine had fallen in Gidea Park again. Perhaps that was the most awful one we heard. As usual, attack seemed to be concentrated further over toward the station, so I suppose poor old Victoria Road got it again. What a life. The worst damage last night was in Balgores Lane, which is completely wrecked. They also got the gun crew at Marks Gate. At the top of Carlton Road is an unexploded land mine, all the people evacuated. Another mine happily fell in the tennis courts. Barking and Barkingside got the very worst of last nights packets.
We had a most awful explosion at exactly noon today, and a blinding flash of light accompanied it.
At six o’clock last night the raids began again. The all clear did not sound until just before midnight. Nothing fell here in Romford, though the zooming was incessant. This morning however we are told the main attack was on London, the heart of the city, and that hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of incendiary bombs were literally rained down.Among the buildings damaged were the Guildhall, another Wren church, two hospitals, a museum, and several schools. The report says it was a wholesale attempt to destroy London completely by fire. Eighty horses were killed when a high explosive fell on a brewery.Several shelters were hit, and railway stations, no proper military objectives were attacked and the enemy appeared to be concentrating on setting fire to as many buildings as possible.
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Purchase Diary Here:
World War ll London Blitz Diary: 11-4-40 Compelling Reading Having read the first volume, I am now a quarter into the second volume and I find the diaries compulsive reading. That doesn't mean to say I particularly like the author, like a previous reviewer, Ruby seems at times very self centred. However, in saying that there is so much I can agree with her about, ie her views on politicians and warmakers. The more I share my bedtime reading with her, the more I enter her world whether I agree with her or not. I'll certainly read as much as is published and even then I'll be sorry when her story ends.
We have had notice to keep all our windows wide open. There was another bomb in Eastern Road, and I don’t know where the rest are, but there are fourteen in there, three or four blocks. If a blast tumbled the bookcase on top of him, the books would almost surely kill him. Anyhow, it’s getting too cold to sleep on the floor.
Roosevelt is in. Good.
Forty-three bombs were dropped on Romford on Monday night. One lodged in the Gasometer.
When my new young charwoman arrived this morning, she had seen last night’s destruction on her way here. She passes the water-works, and she tells me four more houses are completely demolished there, and others, more than she could count, on Clydesdale Road and Melrose Avenue. Specific news is never given out; on the BBC everything is minimized. We, the public, only know what happens in our own localities.
Commodities are becoming scarce. The shops seem only to have what they have on hand;
It is a very stormy day. News of further earthquake shocks in Romania. The oil fields are reported destroyed. Good! This will save our R.A.F. the job. Good air report today also. Yesterday we were raided all day long. In all we had eight alarms. Yesterday the enemy came over in groups of one hundred and fifty. With them was one lot of Italian bombers, eighteen in all. The Italians don’t want to fight. In the Mediterranean they won’t bring their navy out. Then why don’t they overthrow Mussolini? Today Molotov has arrived in Berlin, bringing a suite of sixty-five specialists with him. Russia also doesn’t want to fight. She only wants to stand by and pick the bones.
We had a very bad night indeed. Barrage was very heavy; we heard bombs falling, but whereabouts in this neighborhood I have not heard. Tommy Skilton had been hit again on Wednesday night, this making the third time he has had it. The bomb took the roof completely off his house, and fell through into his kitchen, blew out everything and blew to bits even his bicycle, which was in his shed. There was much gunfire at dinnertime, and what sounded to be hundreds of planes flying over, but we could not see them.
World War ll London Blitz Diary: 10-23-40 Brilliant A book I really enjoyed and could not put down. Well written and I will re read this book over again.
Yesterday, Laval saw Hitler in Paris. The rumor now is that France is going to declare war on England.
Twice already I’ve had to go into my corner and grab a cushion for my head at the threatening whistles very near and overhead. It’s the young ones, the ignorant, innocent, inexperienced boys, who are sent out to die. At one o’clock news we heard that Petain had seen Hitler, last night. Hitler also saw Franco yesterday. Mussolini makes the Italians behave disgracefully, but the Pope never utters even one little admonition. No. The Pope is an Italian, and a politician, and he plays for safety. The Italians marched into Albania on a Good Friday, and the Pope even said nothing to that.
The Italians have declared war on Greece. An ultimatum was handed to the Greeks at three a.m. The Greeks refused to accede to the Italian demands, so at six o’clock the Italians began their attack on Greece. At seven o’clock the first air raid warning was sounded over Athens. Last night Hitler and Mussolini met in Florence.
Eleven a.m. for the first time in fifty-six nights we had no “alert” last night.
It is presumed that the heavy rain made the enemy’s bases on the other side of the channel unsuitable for safe landing. Last night was a very bad night again, the Germans making up for all they didn’t give us on Sunday night. Fourteen bombs have been dropped in this immediate vicinity. South Street is a mess. There are big craters in front of the Havana and in The Plaza Car Park. Also in front of Boots and the police station. There are unexploded bombs in Ives Nursery Gardens, in Errol Road (Bertie’s Road), in Gilbert Road, and one nearly opposite this house, between here and the main road.