I have found my late mother’s WWII diary from 1939/1940, when she was just 15/16 years old.  She had left school and was already at work.  She had only filled in a few pages, but what she had written I found quite fascinating:


September 3rd 1939:

11am. The war between Britain and Germany started.  Had one alarm just after Mr Chamberlain declared war.

September 5th:

Every child is to be evacuated from London and the danger areas.  Blind people and expectant mothers are also to be evacuated.

September 12th:

Sugar is beginning to get scarce.  Cannot purchase more than one pound of sugar at a time.

September 13th:

The Duke of Windsor has arrived in England with his American wife after being in exile for 3 years.  He will go up to the front line.

October 16th:

First air raid was on Scotland in the Firth of Forth area.  The enemy tried unsuccessfully to bomb the big bridge.  We have as yet had no air raid although the war has been in progress for 7 weeks.

October 17th:

There are normal supplies of sugar.

October 18th:

Royal Oak was sunk, with many lives lost.  A great tragedy.

October 21st:

My right eye has given me great pain today, I could hardly hold my head up at work.  Miss Summers was very unreasonable about it.

October 22nd:

It’s half past 12.  I have just finished the back of a vest I am making.  It has taken me two weeks to do it.

October 23rd:

An entirely uneventful day, but saw a marvellous picture in the evening called ‘Gunga Din’.

June 10th 1940:

Italy has declared war on Britain and France.

August 9th:

Have been on my toes now for 6 weeks, waiting for a holiday which has at last arrived.  Won’t know what to do with myself for a fortnight.

August 11th:

The Duke of Windsor has been made governor of an island thousands of miles away from the battlefront.  I suppose this was expected sooner or later.

August 12th:

Just come up from the air raid shelter.  Had to get down there on the quick.

August 15th:

Had to go down the shelter again for an hour.  Might have guessed so after the short lull.  Mr Duff Cooper was only talking about the quietness of the weekend last night.

August 23rd:

There was intense anti-aircraft gunfire early this morning, and bombs were dropped in Edmonton before the sirens went off.  The fright of it has given Grandad another stroke.  He can’t speak now.

August 25th:

Grandad gave me a photo of my cousin Bob in America.  I saw Irene today; she looks very ill.

September 1st:

Germany has marched into defenceless Poland, but Poland will resist to the last man.

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