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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: 5-13-41 A most extraordinary and astonishing event has occurred. Rudolf Hess has deserted to England.

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May 13, 1941
A most extraordinary and astonishing event has occurred. Rudolf Hess has deserted to England. In last night’s late news we were told that Berlin had broadcast the news that Hess, Hitler’s deputy, who had been forbidden for some time past to fly, because of a progressive disease from which he was suffering, had obtained an airplane at Augsburg on Saturday evening, and nothing had been seen of him since; and because of a “distracted” letter which he had left behind him, it must now be assumed by the National Socialist Party that Party member Hess had either jumped out of his plane, or “met with an accident.”
Well, the world knows what is meant by Nazi “accidents” and we went to sleep, wondering what has been the split in the Party, and why Hess, who was supposed to be the only man Hitler trusted, had been put out of the way. Then lo, this morning at seven a.m. we were told that Hess landed in Scotland on Saturday night, whilst Gerry was bombing London. The sentiment, issued from Downing Street, at eleven twenty last night reads:
“Rudolf Hess, the deputy Fuhrer of Germany and Party leader of the National-Socialist Party, has landed in Scotland in the following circumstances. On the night of Saturday, the tenth, a Messerschmitt One Hundred and Ten was reported by our patrols to have crossed the coast of Scotland and to be flying in the direction of Glasgow. Since an ME One Hundred Ten would not have the fuel to return to Germany, this report was at first disbelieved. However, later on an ME One Hundred and Ten crashed near Glasgow, with its guns unloaded. Shortly afterwards, a German officer who had bailed out was found with his parachute in the neighborhood, suffering from a broken ankle.
“He was taken to the hospital in Glasgow, where he at first gave his name as Horn, but later on declared that he was Rudolf Hess. He brought with him various photographs of himself at different ages, apparently in order to establish his identity.
“These photographs are deemed to be photographs of Hess by several people who knew him personally. Accordingly an officer of the Foreign office, who was closely acquainted with Hess before the war, has been sent up by airplane to see him in the hospital. At two o’clock this morning the Ministry of Information stated that the identity of the man who landed from a Messerschmitt in Scotland as Rudolf Hess has now been established beyond all possible doubt.”
Only on May fourth, Hess sat beside Hitler at the session of the Reichstag in Berlin, and on May first he had addressed workers at the Messerschmitt factory in Augsburg. Is the party cracking? Is he just plain crazy?
May 14, 1941
Surprised by the arrival of Artie midday today. He has seven days leave. He looks splendidly well.
May 28, 1941
I have been so busy I have had no time to write here. The air force boys have gone, and so has Artie. Artie left last Wednesday; he is now at camp at New Romney.
Joan has had news from the war office that George died in the hospital, May 20, 1940. Gladys has been bombed out of her house in Plymouth. She writes the estimate for repairing it is four hundred pounds. Plymouth is practically annihilated. We have been quiet in this part of the country for nearly two weeks, but trouble is stirring up again now. Since teatime tonight more than one hundred and fifty of our fighters have gone over; there is probably a battle in the Channel.
I expect we’ll have a bad night tonight. It was a new moon Monday; it will be first quarter June second. Last night, about midnight, the alert went; planes went over, but no gunfire in this neighborhood. What I noticed was that my nerves were much worse when this alert came after a spell of quiet nights. I trembled horribly and even after the all clear went, I could not fall asleep.
The war is getting worse and worse. Terrible fighting is going on in Crete. A naval battle has been fought off Greenland. On Sunday the Germans sank the Hood, our biggest battleship; but yesterday we sank their ship, the Bismarck, in quick vengeance. The loss of life is appalling. Where will it end? Last night President Roosevelt broadcast, declaring the United States to be in a state of great national emergency, and declaring America would fight to defend the Americas, even if the new Bunker Hill should be a thousand miles from Boston, Massachusetts. He declared that they will deliver the goods to Britain, and that America stands now, as always, for the freedom of the seas.
I have been busy writing letters. I wrote a long letter to Eddie last Sunday. I have also been writing to Artie about Edna Renacre. I sent him a fourth letter today, the fourth since last Friday. Edna came calling on Sunday morning, to borrow his camera. She told me she had gone to town with him on Wednesday and she took two days off from work whilst he was home. This made me very angry. This girl intends to marry Artie, by hook or by crook, and Artie will get dragged into marriage by his own good nature, I am afraid. He is not in love with the girl, and tells her so, but still she pursues him. A letter from him today, in reply to one I sent him on Sunday, in which I told him I thought he had acted deceitfully in not telling me Edna was accompanying him to town. He told me that he had not asked her to go to town with him, she insisted on going, and bought her own ticket! Nor had he asked her to take a leave of absence, but that he thought her pretending to have a cold and so staying away from her work was “a mean action.” He added, that he promised me that he would break with her completely. I’m glad, for the girl is most unsuited to him. She is a persistent chaser, and intends to net him if she possibly can. It won’t be her fault if she doesn’t land him. So I had to write to Artie again today, to tell him how glad I was to have his word that he hadn’t the slightest intention of marrying the girl, now, or in the future.
This morning, at last, I cut out a dress! It is a flowered silk crepe, on a black background. Originally I bought only three yards of this, intending to use it for a coat lining; but when I examined it, I thought I would make it into a dress instead, so I ordered another two and a half yards of it, which was delivered yesterday. So, there I go, extravagant and silly! I want new clothes, I’m in the mood for sewing, and I’ve enough stuff on hand now to keep me busy for months. I must have spent nearly twenty pounds this spring in buying goods, and all the fixings. I don’t care, I simply don’t care. I want new clothes, I need new clothes, and I intend to buy them whilst I can, and wear them, whilst I know I am still alive to wear them. Now I am going to do some preliminary basting, so Au-Revoir.
May 31, 1941
Ted has just gone out to church, to the Dabber’s, and to call on Bertie. Edna Renacre was here this afternoon, returning the camera she borrowed last Sunday. Last night Mary Bernadette was here, until eleven p.m.! All afternoon Mrs. Thomson was here. This slows up my sewing. Tomorrow I expect Mother, who may or may not stay over for Whit Monday. I have a nice Australian novel to read: Southern Saga by Roy Connolly. Australia still fascinates my imagination. I have wished to see Australia ever since I first heard of it, when I was a very young schoolgirl; and I still think I may make a trip there someday. All of the books about Australia please me. This one that Ted brought in today looks particularly pleasing.
I have sat down now to note a fact, which pleases me, in a very bad way, pleasing my spitefulness. It is this: Last night the Germans bombed Dublin; they dropped about six bombs, have destroyed many shops and houses, and casualties, not yet definitely known, are thought to be about three hundred. Two tenement houses were hit, and wardens are still digging out the bodies.
Well, I can’t be sorry. It is impossible to be sorry for the Irish. Only last weekend our government made De Valera a concession, by not instituting conscription in Nester, which has nothing to do with De Valera. From the very beginning of the war the Irish have refused in any way to cooperate with England. They refused us the use of their Southern ports, thus making difficulties for us in combating the German submarines, and by so much assisting the Germans. It has been reported that the Irish allowed the Germans to use the Irish ports! It is thought that the Germans will invade Ireland, and then use Ireland as their base to attack England. Quite likely!
If they do, who will ever be sorry for Ireland? Nobody. The damned cantankerous obstructionist Irish! So, when I heard that Dublin was bombed last night, I smiled! “Serve ‘em right!” was my most un-Christian reaction to that news. By the way, I notice that Ted more and more sticks up for the Irish and the Italians. The longer the war continues, the more special pleading he voices for the Irish and the Italians. They are Catholic, so they must be good at bottom; poor leaders only lead them astray. Oh yeah? Oh my! What a fanatic Ted is! He grows more and more fanatical.
June 1, 1941
Waiting for Mother. Whit Sunday. It is Dad’s birthday. Dad was born June 1, 1859.
Ted is out at his drilling. Here is something telepathic. It is a coincidence and rather remarkable. All night I seemed to be dreaming about Jersey City. I was there as I used to be there thirty-five years ago; shopping at Faust’s, and other stores on Washington Avenue and Central Avenue. I was at the ferry slip, at Pennsylvania Ferry, and on the trolley in the ferry shed, waiting for the car to Bayonne. It was summer time, and the open trolleys were running. Everything was exactly as it used to be when I first knew Jersey City, in 1905 to 1910 or 1912.
Then, when I awakened to this morning’s seven o’clock news the startling item was given out that a great act of sabotage had occurred in Jersey City. Great fires were burning, two-grain elevators had been destroyed, abattoirs, and food stores; the Erie stockyards and four entire blocks on the waterfront were burning. Strange I should have been dreaming so clearly of Jersey City! At breakfast, of course, we spoke of the Black Tour outrage, an enemy act of sabotage during the last war. That explosion shook our house on Avenue E and blew our windows out. It was a terrible act of devilish destruction. Now, for America, the game begins again. Men making war.
Another item this morning was an announcement of the rationing of clothes and boots and shoes, as from today. We are to be issued with sixty-six coupons, which must provide us all wearing apparel for twelve months. Well, it was lucky I bought myself all the materials I did. Three to five coupons will be required for one yard of dress-goods, so I shall require from twenty to thirty coupons to get myself one dress or coat. Seven coupons will be required for one pair of shoes. So sixty-six coupons won’t go far. Everything grows scarcer and scarcer. For over a week now it has been impossible to buy any oatmeal, or any cereal of any kind. Lord Woolton announces that he hopes he won’t have to ration bread. Eggs are as rare as diamonds. Cheese is rationed to one ounce per week, per head. So Ted and I can get a whole half-pound of cheese for one month. Jam is more liberal; we can have two ounces per week, or one pound for two people for one month.
Yesterday I got one and a half stewing steak and a quarter beef kidney, which is our entire meat ration for a week. I am making it into a pudding for today’s dinner. Three of us will dine on it, and what is left must supply Ted’s meat for the rest of the week. Milk is reduced by one seventh of our usual supply. So, with all our protein foods out of sight, no meat, eggs, milk or cheese, to speak of, our potatoes and oatmeal practically finished, no fruit at all, what are we going to live on? Ersatz I suppose, like the Germans. That’s war. That’s how men run the world.
June 5, 1941
This is one of my bad days. From about midnight we had the raiders over, and there was steady gunfire until about three-thirty this morning; dawn, when the all clear came. After a period of quiet nights, the noisy nights are much harder to endure. I lay uncontrollably trembling all the while, though long before the all clear Ted was able to fall asleep. Apparently no bombs fell in this district. For once we overslept! When Ted switched on the early light we found it was already eight forty a.m.; of course, really only six forty, by sun-time.
Ted had been sick ever since Sunday evening. He thinks eating a piece of Sainsbury’s veal and ham pie poisoned him. I think he got a cold in his bowels, by working all afternoon in the garden barefooted. The ground was wet, the air cold. Anyway, he has been decidedly out of sorts ever since Sunday evening. I am miserable. The weather is bad, the food is bad, the war news is bad, and Ted is most trying. I am sick of England, sick of Ted, sick of the war, and sick of myself. Fine, just fine!
June 6, 1941
It is very dull, almost a Novemberish day, and a drizzling rain falling. Though we had a quiet night, we have already had one alarm and all clear this morning. This war gets messier and messier. One thing that is the matter with me is that I’m downright hungry! I’m longing for a big juicy beefsteak with a cover of fried onions and a long drink of brandy and soda. I want something with substance and taste to it. I’m just about nauseated with our war diet, and want some real honest to goodness food. I need meat, not pap and make believe.
Lord Woolton was on the air this morning, talking to the country housewives about jam. He said he could issue no sugar for jam making this summer, but asked the people with fruit to give all their surplus to the government, who would make it into jam to be added to the public supply next winter to increase the jam ration. Our present jam ration is two ounces per week!
Seven hundred people have been appointed to go the rounds of the women’s institutes, to teach the country women how to make jam! They will get paid a salary per teacher per week. This is an outrage. The bureaucrats are strangling England. The various ministers install fresh ministries, all carrying big pay rolls, so up go the taxes, up go prices, and every “controlled” article promptly disappears from the markets.
Men, damnable men. Why do we have Lord Woolton as Food Controller? Not only is he a man, he is a millionaire. Why not put a woman in control of the country’s food? Then we have to listen to men talking! Woolton has one of those unctuous oily voices, uttering arguments, which are much too plausible. Does anyone suppose he eats only shillings worth of meat per week? Or the King or Queen? Last week the Queen had the nerve to tell a group of workingwomen that, like them, she and the King used their meat ration for one good piece of meat for Sunday, and eked out the remains during the week! What rubbish! Who does she suppose believes her? The blah, blah on the radio makes me sick.
About an hour ago Artie telephoned from town. He had been at Euston all day, taking various exams for getting transferred to the R.A.F. We knew this was to happen today, and he had written that he might have time to make a dash home before returning to camp. However, this proved impossible. He says he passed every test easily, except the last one. This was a sight test. He was found to have defective vision, that is, for flying requirements, so he was rejected. The boy is disappointed, but Ted and I are not sorry. We are sorry he suffers a disappointment, but glad he doesn’t have to fly. After all, one lost boy is enough. Now, we hope, he will concentrate on his effort to get a commission. Anyhow, the question of whether to apply for the R.A.F. or not is definitely settled; he is permanently unacceptable. So he won’t have to bother his mind about that any more.
Ted is out to his Home Guarding, and I have a special book to read, and one which I must finish tonight. It is the very recently published Introduction to Proust, his life, his circle, and his work by Derrick Leon. Miss Coppen brought it in to me, as she was sure I should like it, but it belongs to Dagenham Library, so I must read it at a gallop. So Au-Revoir, I’m just going to read and read.
June 7, 1941
Exasperated, irritated, and bored to the nth degree. Ted is too silly for words. I think him both childish and rude. He is kind of having a spell of running downhill this week. All his polish is off and he is as rude as Herbert. He looks like Herbert, too. The physical likeness between them is becoming very much more apparent; the Cockney boys, the East Enders, and don’t I know it!
Perhaps Ted is worried about something but if so he gives me no clue. Indeed, he is acting more absurdly secretive than ever. When he took out his wallet last night to give me some money, he most carefully arranged the loaf of bread before him and opened his wallet behind that. Ridiculous.
I am in constant disgrace anyhow. I have been able to say nothing to please him all this week. However I phrase my replies to his remarks I have phrased them wrongly; either the ordering of my words is wrong, or I should have said something else entirely, or I haven’t said what I meant—so he says! If I don’t answer at all then that is wrong. To the most trivial statement I must make an audible acknowledgement. No remark is allowed to fall into the void, as something finished. He cross-questions everything I say. It is as though he tries continually to make me look a fool or a liar. He is rude beyond all limits. He is scathing, and he thinks he is sarcastic, but it is a very cheap sarcasm. It is merely on a par with the playground spitefulness of the ten-year olds. It is so silly. So wearing. I think him a fool, and a boor into the bargain. I think him conceited, intolerably conceited. For who the hell is he to indulge in all this criticizing and belittling? To belittle another; that is Ted’s chief delight. My Saint! How to endure him and yet keep sweet myself, that is the problem. Not to lose patience, not to lose serenity.
Here is a typical instance of Ted’s rudeness: He came home from the office this afternoon to find Miss Owlett from next door on the premises. She had called in to borrow a book for her father, who is an old man of eighty-two. I was trying to think of what I might offer to such an old man, and an untraveled Englishman at that, and whose tastes (or brains) I didn’t know, and explaining mine were mostly American books, very few of them novels, when Ted barged in with his usual spiel about how I only read books by women about women, and what they had for breakfast, etc. and how we had too many books, etc. Then enlarging on the fact that he couldn’t read what I read, because what I read was rubbish, when he threw in this remark, to me: “Why don’t you give her something sexy?”
There was a dead pause. I looked at him straight in the eye, and he repeated the question. I simply kept on looking at him until he thought of something else to say, asking Miss Owlet what sort of book her father preferred. Now, Miss Owlett is an ugly old maid. Her hair is grey, her face lined, her mouth full of cavities, her figure scrawny, her clothes appalling; worse, she gets giggly when a man speaks to her. She is the typical Victorian genteel spinster. She probably thought Ted’s remark was directed at her, as much an old maid might, and in which case the best excuse that could be made for it was that it was a faux pas. It wasn’t directed at her, it was directed at me; it was simply Ted’s lifelong habit of disparaging my tastes, and giving me a knock. It was also his usual show-off of his own superiority.
“Sexy” with him is a word of condemnation, and he applies it indiscriminately to any work where sex is ever mentioned. For him sex must never be mentioned, nor even alluded to, no matter how indirectly. His favorite author is Dickens, who wrote of “the pure” and the Sunday schools, and who never created a human being. Dickens indulged his own sex to the extent of begetting a dozen or so of children on his wife, and then leaving his wife for a younger and more attractive woman.
Like with Ted, sex must never be mentioned, but he will indulge his own sexual needs whenever they cry out for satisfaction: his satisfaction. As for his criticism of my literary tastes, that has long ceased to make the slightest impression upon me; for I know him to be an only superficially educated person, with no knowledge of real literature or real art, and therefore with no true judgments. That was an outrageously rude remark to make, and not even clever, for it did not hurt the person it was intended to hurt, but the unsuspecting stranger in our house.
Ted’s tongue again. Ted, who can’t refrain from saying nasty things. Ted, who thinks he’s clever, whilst all the time he is only showing how ill-bred he is. Ted, who delights to hurt me. Oh God, I am tired of him!

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