World War ll London Blitz: 10-2-42 to 10-29-42 There were three alerts before one o’clock today. Tonight we were told the Germans dropped bombs on twelve towns in the Eastern Counties and several villages; also they machine gunned trains, and workers in the fields.
October 2 1942
Artie arrived in time for breakfast. He is now a full lieutenant.
October 9, 1942
It is the end of Artie’s leave. Ted has gone with him to St. Pancras, to see him off by the night train for Scotland.
October 17, 1942
Love in the night. I see clearly what I have lost in the marriage bed, my religion and my lover. I think all wives must lose their religion because of their husband’s, or rather must lose their Christian religions. Christianity did wisely for itself when it ostracized sex. A woman (and perhaps a man) could think of God during coition, but could not think of Christ, or any of the gospel stories or any Christian dogma. Sexual union is one of the most real and most definite and most ultimate facts of human life, no theories, no “beliefs” can stand against that. That is and against it, what is history a true speculative? Or any speculation?
So I hold my man when he wants me, and secretly I smile to myself, seeing how necessity drives him to be natural occasionally. He returns to me, but I cannot keep him. His mind (so called) I think more properly his fancy is dearer to him then his flesh, or than my flesh, because when morning comes he arises early, according to his habit, and out he goes to early mass. Ted loves the church more than he loves me. He is not my lover, not really; he is the lover of the phantoms of the Roman Catholic religion. He can love me occasionally, but he can and does love the holy Eucharist every morning of his life. I resent that. Yes I do. I feel I ought to be enough for him. No, things are not like that. It was a very sorry day for me when Ted joined the church. I say, and I’ve said it a thousand times, Damn Ted’s conversion!
October 19, 1942
There were three alerts before one o’clock today. Tonight we were told the Germans dropped bombs on twelve towns in the Eastern Counties and several villages; also they machine gunned trains, and workers in the fields. Twenty people killed, and over two hundred injured, in one place, fifteen killed somewhere else, and “scores” injured. Damn the war! Is it ever going to end?
Ted brings back news from the Home Guard, that the towns near us bombed are Colchester, Chelmsford, Ipswich and Brentwood, and the village of Hampton. Over Brentwood the Gerry flew so low the pilot could be seen, and people saw the bomb doors open, and the bombs descend.
October 20, 1942
A Mr. Nevin is here tonight to see Ted about a house. He works at Ford’s in Dagenham. He spoke of the women who now work there, over two thousand of them, he said, most of them make good, but he said many of them hate it, and “It is pitiable to some of the girls who break down and cry over their work.”
This is conscription for women. When Doreen Peel came to see me the other week she told me of the girls in the W.R.R.S. who can’t bear the hostel life, and go off into fits of hysteria. She herself had to share a bedroom, an ordinary bedroom in an ordinary house, with fifteen other girls! Privacy there is none. She said some of the girls hate life in the services so much that they commit suicide. Of course, this is hush hush, but it happens nevertheless; the conscription of women. This is one of the most damnable things our politicians have put over us. I record these items as they are told to me. It’s a sure thing they will never get into the history books.
October 21, 1942 — Trafalgar Day
There are lots of arranged celebrations about it. Tonight we heard broadcast a speech General Saints made before the House of the Parliament this afternoon. He was a member of the War Cabinet during the last war, and has now come to London to be a member of this War Cabinet. He said he viewed this war as a continuation of the last war, and the whole as perhaps another thirty years’ war, which began in nineteen-fourteen, was interrupted by an armistice in nineteen-nineteen, improperly called a peace, was resumed with greater ferocity in nineteen thirty-nine, and may continue (who knows?) until nineteen forty-four. An interesting view, I thought. How tired I am of the everlasting, speech making!
October 22, 1942
Here is another item to note for reference in the future, one of the items, which is not likely to be put on the historical record. It is about coal; “The coal crisis,” as it has been dubbed in the press. We have heard in Parliament and outside, a good deal about absenteeism of miners (and it may be true that a good deal of time is being lost through this) but we have not heard much about the management of the mines. There are signs that this is more at fault than the miners. One of the complaints made comes from the face-workers. They state that they are being removed from good “stalls” where they can easily produce the coal required, and are put to work in bad “stalls” where this is impossible without much overtime, and overtime is difficult for men on war rations who have to do fire watching as well. The reason put forward for this action on the part of management is that places where coal can be easily got are being reserved until after the war, when prices will be higher. Wagon loaders make another complaint. They allege that many of their number have been either sacked or sent down the pit, and the remainder has been put on one shift instead of two as before. The result of this is that instead of thirty-five to forty wagons being filled each day the number has dropped to something under thirty per pair of men. This, again, necessitates overtime for the surface men even though the total output of coal has fallen by some twenty to thirty percent. The complaints deserve thorough examination by the government. Will they get it? I don’t think so. For the mine owners sit in Parliament, in the government. They are not likely to allow their private profits to be interfered with, now, or in the future. No, it is simpler to put adverts in all the papers asking, are you keeping your eye on your fuel target? Oh, the British, the hypocritical British!
In Parliament today Mr. Bevin, Minister of Labor and National Service, announced that the King has signed a further proclamation as a result of which men who have reached the age of eighteen by today, will be able to be called up. Men who became eighteen between July First and September Thirtieth must register on November Seventh. They will be medically examined later in the month and called up to the forces as required, and many of them may expect to join in December.
He calls them men. Poor boys. Bevin added, “I should like to make it clear that the reduction in the age of calling up does not affect the minimum age, namely nineteen, at which men called up to the Army are posted for service abroad”. How kind!
Poor lads, poor children! Why must they be sucked so soon into this damnable war? All the time the oldsters keep on talking, blah, blah, they make me sick. How I hate the old men!
How about the Fourth International, which is of course, the Central Bankers’ International, the Bank for International Settlements? The links between the two camps of belligerent countries were severed with the outbreak of war, or as a result of subsequent legislation passed to this end. There is one noteworthy exception, however. The link between Central Bankers stays intact. Rising above the petty quarrels of their respective nations, they are still firmly united in the Fourth International of Basle. It is true, they do not communicate with each other, though they have received permission for their fellow-citizens on the management and staff of the B.I.S. to do so, and they themselves are still members of the same board. The list of directors, published on the cover of the annual report for nineteen forty-one and nineteen forty-two, includes British names rubbing solemn shoulders with German, Italian, and Japanese names. The distinguished name of Mr. Montagna Coleet Norman appears in the same list with that of his fellow director Heir Walter Funk, German Minister of National Economy and chief inventor of the notorious Nazi “new economic order” for Europe.
Are we still at peace with Germany? How God must laugh at this preposterous business! Business, that’s it. Sacred business. It is a fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Kingsley Wool, has defended the axis controlled BI.S. and the association of the Bank of England with it. When Mr. George Strauss rose the subject of the B.I.S Sir Kingsley Wool failed to answer his criticisms of the report. Instead he embarked on a lengthy apologia for the Government’s attitude. He declared that the reason why connections are retained with the B.I.S. are in order to safeguard the financial commitments of the country and also of occupied countries whose assets with B.I.S. would be seized by the Germans but for the fact of the British participation. His explanation was something less than convincing. After all, in so far as the British investments are in Reich marks (as the bulk of them are) they are in any case in the hands of Germany, and the presence of two British directors on the board makes no difference to their fate. Before putting forward the claim that the British participation safeguards the assets of German-occupied countries Sir Kingsley Wool might profitably have re-read the history of the Czech gold scandal, showing that assets of German controlled Central banks with the B.I.S, have a way of passing into German hands.
Scandals, scandals. What does a woman make of all this? Those who have the money keep it. They pirate away at their ease in safety, and meanwhile our boys and girls can go out an win a war for them, whilst our poor and old can sit at home and shiver in the dark. I say damn the bankers and the politicians. Damn then and damn them.
October 24, 1942
Last night the R.A.F. went out over Italy and heavily bombed Genoa and Turin. Yesterday afternoon Mrs. Roosevelt arrived in London. She was met by the King and Queen at Paddington, and is to be their guest whilst here. She says she came on their invitation. Perhaps. What does she want to come for, except vulgar curiosity? She is a regular nosy parker, and an everlasting talker, a thoroughly disagreeable woman, not only in my opinion, but also in the opinion of millions of her fellow countrywomen. So she has to come and see the sights, and patronize the doughboys.
News tonight is that our Eighth army has launched a big offensive in North Africa. Stalingrad still stands.
October 29, 1942
It is the Anniversary of Grandma Side’s birthday. In her house, fires were never started until her birthday, no matter how cold the weather. The old Victorian Spartans.