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World War ll London Blitz:  Buy On Smashwords
I am the great-granddaughter of Ruby Side Thompson. 
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: 2-26-41 to 3-16-41

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February 26, 1941 – Ash Wednesday
Ted was not back from church until eight thirty this morning, and then nicely marked with the holy ashes. He began his lent by eating only half of his bowl of bread-and-milk, and then today nothing further for breakfast. Actually he does not have to fast at all. For one thing he is over age, and for another, the church has abrogated all fasting for the duration of the war for everybody. A Catholic can now eat meat three times a day on Friday, if he can get it! Ted, of course, is going to fast just the same.
He did do a wonderful thing, for him, tonight. He went to the cinema to see Charlie Chaplin’s latest film The Dictator, on Ash Wednesday, too, of all days in the year! He did. He telephoned from the office in the late afternoon to say he would be in late for tea, because he was going to see Charlie” at the four thirty showing.
Well I’m blessed!
Artie is spending the evening with Mary Bernadette, and I’ve a good book to read: The Butlers by Kylie Tennant, who wrote Foveaux a couple of years ago. These are stories of modern Australia, and I enjoy them.
February 27, 1941
I am alone. Ted has gone off to his Home Guard stint, and Artie is at the movies. I have had Mary Bernadette here nearly all day. She arrived soon after eleven this morning to telephone her office that she wouldn’t be in town. She had slept until nine ten this morning! Artie did not leave her until after twelve last night. Artie and Mary went out shopping, and then Mary returned here to lunch, and stayed on to tea, when she left for home, as Artie had a date to meet Edna at six o’clock.
Tomorrow Mary is coming to tea, and in the evening Artie is going to take her to a dance. Artie is to go up to her house again on Saturday! I think this is all a campaign to defeat Edna Renacre. Nobody wants to see Artie get officially engaged to Edna, and Artie doesn’t want to get engaged to the girl either. Edna is the determined pursuing female, and if Artie slips through her fingers it won’t be her fault.
Edna is a nice girl, all right, but not nice enough. If she nags Artie tonight, I’m afraid he’ll drop her with a bump. It is her fault. She courts him assiduously, but now he’s got bored with her devotion.
Mary, of course, doesn’t want Artie otherwise than as a friend. Mary became officially engaged to Hugh Storr-Best in January last. She and Artie have always been friends, and this companionship this week of leave is nothing but friendship. I’m glad. I don’t want Artie to get tied up with Edna. He isn’t in love with her, not in the slightest, but she is in love with him. Girls love! She’ll get over it.
We had bad raids last night and a very heavy raid this morning about twelve thirty. All quiet since early afternoon, and still quiet. There is much rain today, and now a strong wind howling.
March 2, 1941
I am so tired and so bored, I don’t know what to do with myself. I feel my age this week all right. Artie being at home is just that one more to cook for, etc., and I’m tired out. It is shocking, really. Artie is very busy with the girls, trying to shake Edna, and rushing Mary Bernadette. It is all really very amusing, but Ted talks and talks to me about the boy, his manners, his ignorances, his stupidities, etc., until I could scream. He cross-questions me about the boy until I could swear. It’s all so petty. Talk about a gossip! Ted is the equal of any old village woman.
Artie spent yesterday afternoon with Mary. Last night he visited the Pullans, without Edna. This morning Artie and Mary went up to communion together (Ted tells me) and afterward Artie went home to Mary’s for breakfast not showing up here until dinnertime. All very amusing, really, though Ted is scolding to me about it. This afternoon Artie had gone to see Edna; his third visit only for this leave. He visited her Tuesday night, and took her to the movies on Thursday. I told him not to bring her back here for tea today. For one thing, I’m too tired for company; and for another, since they are quarreling, it might be embarrassing to Edna to visit here today.
Ted has just gone out for benediction. He was out all last night fire spotting, and went direct to church this morning. Church! I’m tired of that too. All last week there were talks on the radio: “Three Men and a Parson,” a sort of radio mission. The Parson was Canon Cockin of St. Paul’s, and he is giving two sermons today, one of which we have already heard. What struck me in the “talks” was that they would never convince anybody to join the church; in fact, they were hardly “Christian” at all. However, I can’t stop to write about them now. It’s time to listen to the news. Yesterday Bulgaria signed up with the Axis.
March 7, 1941
I have bought yet another copy of The Brides Cookery Book put out by the Oxford University Press. The first copy I bought I sent to Eddie’s wife, the second copy I gave to Lillian Young a year ago last New Year’s when she got married. Now this third one I intend to keep for myself. I intend to start as though I was a bride, and work from their small quantity recipes. All my old familiar recipes are family sized and large family at that; moreover, they are mostly American and none of them work in well to this Darby and Joan English establishment. This bride’s book is a very satisfactory one, on all counts. I shall stick to it, just as though I was a greenhorn, and forget all my other compilations.
March 10, 1941
It was another awful night. The moon is coming up to the full, and the cold has moderated, so the air bombardment has begun again in grim earnest. It’s simply devilish. How much longer will it go on? Hitler is winning. Last week he swallowed Bulgaria. This week he is cajoling and threatening Greece, Yugoslavia, and Turkey; by next week he probably will have swallowed down all three. There is constant talk of the coming invasion of Britain. My God! It’s awful! This is how men run the world! War, bloody war.
There are planes streaming over, going toward the West. Last Tuesday we raided the Lofotan Islands, and destroyed all the Fish Oil Works there. We also brought back over three hundred young Norwegians to join the fight from here. America has passed the Lease and Loan Bill. Ex-King Alphonso of Spain died in Rome. Well, that’s one bad egg out of the way.
March 12, 1941
I have just been enjoying a lovely hour, sitting in the rocker by the fire, smoking cigarettes, and listening to a program of pleasing gramophone records on the radio. I’m awfully tired today because yesterday I worked too hard. These past two weeks, Lily, my charlady, has not shown up, and on this Monday I got a letter from her saying she had rheumatism so she was giving up her work. That suits me all right. She usually brought her baby with her, a little boy of sixteen months, and he was becoming somewhat of a nuisance. Anyhow, my first response to her letter was, good! I don’t like women about. I like the house to myself. As Kay once said of Sheila, I guess I am anti-social.
Anyhow I am feeling fine. I suppose the spring sap is rising.
Well, yesterday, after fixing up the laundry, I set to work and cleaned the kitchen properly, and I actually washed the floor, a job I haven’t done for forty years. Of course I couldn’t kneel to do it, but I was able to do it by standing and stooping down. Luckily it is only a small kitchen. I enjoyed doing it, and was pleased with myself and with the job when I was finished. It made me very tired, and in the night, and throughout today, my legs have been aching in new places, behind the knees, the backs of the thighs. I still feel fine. I had intended to do the bathroom today, but it has turned out to be an extraordinarily cold day, too cold to be upstairs. So I am spending a lazy day. I put on new plasters this morning and that’s an hour’s job anyhow.
I’ve been writing letters. When Artie was here, that put me out of my scribbling scribe, but today I felt the writers itch returning, so I may begin scribbling again soon. Last night I was dreaming of the time when all the children were small, but it was a nightmare. I was fleeing with them from something, along hot summer roads, and I couldn’t keep them together, nor travel fast enough. It was probably some fright to my old subconscious, induced by the raiding going on overhead. It was another bad night, though not so bad as Sunday and Monday.
Today has been quiet all day, probably because of unfavorable weather. It is very cold and looks like snow. Perhaps it is snowing across the Channel and the Gerry’s won’t take off. If so, I hope it continues unfavorable tonight, so that we can all get a proper night’s sleep. When the war is over and we can once more sleep peacefully in our beds, those of us who are left alive, what Heaven that will be!
March 13, 1941
It was another dreadful night. The first alarm did not sound until about ten o’clock, but from then on there was no quiet until morning. However, the B.B.C. reported that the worst attack of the night had been on Merseyside, and we had brought down nine bombers in that district. Well, if we could bring down nine during the night, the attack must have been colossal. Hell, hell, hell!
Last Sunday a high explosive fell here in Wolsey Road. It demolished twelve houses, and in one bungalow alone seven people were killed, amongst them a baby only two months old. This is the sort of incident that makes me faint with nausea. To think of that young mother who endured her pregnancy and her labor, only to be destroyed, with her child, after only two months, Oh God, there are no words for this sort of crime and lunacy.
This world is hell, and Hitler is Satan himself. The last war convinced me of the reality of the Devil; this war reinforces that conviction. I say, men create war; yes, but the evil in men’s hearts, which creates this sort of war, is the Devil’s evil itself.
Yesterday there was assassination in Istanbul. Mr. Rendell, the late British minister in Sofia, had arrived with his daughter and the staffs of the Legation and Consulate. Ten minutes after they arrived at their hotel an explosion of extreme violence occurred. It completely wrecked the ground floor of the hotel, killed three people outright, and seriously injured many more. Two of our English lady typists have since died this morning from their injuries. This is senseless murder and destruction. A time bomb had been hidden in a suitcase. I suppose some devil thought that a clever idea. Oh God, deliver us from evil, from Satan and his evildoers who prowl through the world seeking the destruction of souls, of souls and of bodies! Last night the R.A.F. bombed Hamburg, Bremen, and Berlin. So it goes. Battledore and Shuttlecock. Aerial warfare. What a curse!
The whole invention of the flying machine has been a curse. There was no need for men to fly the skies. I should think the invention of the flying machine has wrought more destruction to the world than any other of the inventions of man. Well, time passes. Peace will have to return to the world someday and then what? If only we can live through the war!
March 14, 1941
A heavy gun going off nearby ever since nine o’clock, but no alert has been sounded so far. We have had another very bad night.
These last two days I have been reading a book strangely entitled If I Laugh, but its motto is: “And if I laugh at any mortal thing, Tis that I may not weep.” (Byron. Don Juan.) Subtitle: The chronicle of my strange adventures in the great Paris Exodus – June 1940. By Rupert Downing.
Downing is a British journalist who had been a liaison of the French Ministry of Information. He left Paris on the night of June 12th, with an Englishwoman, Mrs. Hawksley, and the two of them cycled south, six hundred miles, into Spain, in fourteen days. This book is an account of the trip, an eyewitness account of France as she collapsed. It is terrible. One gets a glimpse of the rottenness of France, and why she collapsed. If Hitler thought the English was as rotten and as spineless as the French, no wonder he declared he would dictate peace to the world from Buckingham Palace on August 15th.
No wonder our soldiers say of this war, as they said of the last, that they don’t like the French. Of course they don’t. The English and the French are not natural friends, they never have been, and they never will be. In reading this book I have thought of Eddie’s comment last summer. “I’m not a bit sorry for the French,” he wrote. “They got what was coming to them, and they deserved it.”
Another thing that occurs to me, though there isn’t a hint of it in this book of Downing’s, is the rottenness of Catholic countries. Consider Spain, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, and France: quarrelsome, unreliable, treacherous, un-co-operating, dirty, even amongst themselves, let alone towards their neighbors. How one loathes the politicians, our own included!
March 15, 1941
A quiet empty morning: Ted at the office, and no cooking to do because I have some leftover stew to warm in the oven, and some leftover ginger pudding to re-heat to follow. Sainsbury’s have just brought me a chicken. It is only a stewing bird, but it will make a dinner for tomorrow. This morning is very cold; frost again last night, and though it was sunny first thing, it is now clouding over.
We had another shocking night, but the B.B.C. says the worst of the attack was on Clydeside, where one hundred bombers attacked for hours. The spring offensive is definitely on, and all this week, of course, there is full moonlight. Moon rises at ten to one tonight, and Ted is on duty on top of Lyon’s all tonight. I don’t know who will be the more frightened, he or I.
When Artie was home he gave me some money, and I put in an order for some second hand books from Boot’s sale. I asked for twenty-six, I got sixteen, which were delivered yesterday; price one pound eleven pence and six pennies. Yes, I keep on buying books, my opium; probably only the undertaker will ever stop me.
March 16, 1941
The night was not too bad. In the evening we had a heavy raid with incendiaries following everywhere, but the all clear was given soon after midnight and the rest of the night was quiet. This afternoon we found a stick of an incendiary bomb leaning against our garden fence at the bottom of the garden, Owelett’s side, so it came pretty near to setting us alight, but didn’t. Ted went off to his Home Guard drill at ten thirty, and this afternoon he had a Knights meeting. No visitors today, so that’s lucky, for he is just about all in.
Our chicken was damned tough. I’ve been cooking it again all afternoon, in hopes to make it ultimately eatable. Tea also was a failure. We tried a tin of corned mutton we are being urged to eat. It’s awful muck, and has given both of us indigestion. As a matter of fact it has made Ted downright bilious, but this may be because of his tiredness, and besides he has caught a cold, up on Lyon’s roof all night, with the weather damp and cold. He’s too old for such doings.
Three times today we have been given instructions over the air, what to do in case of invasion. This is becoming a constant cry of “Wolf” and pretty soon we shan’t pay any attention to it.
Also we heard a recording of a speech President Roosevelt made last night from Washington. It was picked up here in its entirety at three thirty a.m. this morning, and given over the air in full at one thirty this afternoon. It’s a wonderful speech. He declares that America is united behind the democracies, that she will have no compromise with the dictators, and is all out for aid for Britain and aid right up to total victory. He warns America to be ready for sacrifices. He pledges the fullest and ever increasing aid in the fight for liberty, until total victory is won, for Britain, Greece, China, and all governments in exile whose homelands are temporarily occupied by aggressors. He said that Britain and her Grecian Allies needed ships, planes, food, tanks, guns, and ammunition and supplies of all kinds, and they would get them. He called on Americans to make sacrifices to speed production.
He said: “I hope that the watchword, ‘Speed, and speed now,’ will find its way into every home in the nation.” So, America is definitely and practically in the war. Once again, America will help the British win a great war. God Bless Franklin Roosevelt.

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