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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: 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.
May 31, 1941
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
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.
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.


World War ll London Blitz: 4-26-41 The raiding last night was on a town in the North East, probably Hull or Tyne-Side again.


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April 26, 1941
It is still cold, but sunny. There is a boisterous wind blowing. It is a quiet night. The raiding last night was on a town in the North East, probably Hull or Tyne-Side again.
I have had a very busy morning, full of callers; all of them want to talk about the blitz. The first one was Sainsbury’s van man, who stayed here at least half an hour. He knows Cuthie. He used to be the delivery boy, when both of them were in short pants, so he always wants to talk about Cuthie. Then Mary Bernadette arrived, to tell me about Mrs. Jude, and the blitz in Belfast. Mrs. Jude has gone to a little village in Marne. Then Mr. Skilton came to see about the ball-in-the-tank, which doesn’t act right; and the roofer to tighten the tiles, which were all stripped last Saturday in our blitz. Then Danny Hartnet to bring me a letter, which had been wrongly addressed to Eastern Road; then Mrs. Thomson from next door to tell me her troubles, besides the usual Saturday morning deliveries, and bills to pay, and an early dinner to cook.
No fresh news from Greece is given us yet, except that we are retreating. The Germans claim the capture of the Pass of Thermopylae, and occupation of the Island of Lemnos. Mr. Skiliton is particularly disturbed about Lemnos. He says he was stationed at Lemnos in the last war, and if the Germans have taken that, “someone has been asleep.”
In Washington, Roosevelt has publicly censured Colonel Lindbergh, and the other “appeasers.” He declared they “were just dumb” and of what they said, “I don’t call that good Americanism.” Here in London, Churchill is to speak to the nation at nine o’clock tomorrow night.
Another letter arrived from Mother this noon. She says that on Wednesday night she thought Joan was going mad. In the morning Joan said she refused to stay in London any longer. She has gone to Cecily Affleck, in Whitby. Quite sensible of her, I think; I can’t understand why Mother stays in London. She doesn’t have to live there.
April 27, 1941
One o’clock news. The Germans have entered Athens.
Six o’clock news, the Germans claim to have captured Corinth, by means of parachute troops.
April 28, 1941
No further news from the Balkans yet, but it is reported that the Germans have crossed the Egyptian frontier at Sollum at several points.
Yesterday General Saints made a speech about the war, and last night the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, again spoke on the air. He spoke of the campaigns in Greece and Libya, and of American and the Battle of the Atlantic. He did say that nothing happening now was comparable in gravity with the dangers of last year. Nothing, which could happen in the East, was comparable with what was happening in the West. The Battle of the Atlantic would be long and hard, he said, but he had a strong conviction that it had entered upon a grim but at the same time a far more favorable phase.
He spoke of our lifeline across the Atlantic. He gave great thanks to America, but a knock to Ireland. Speaking of Hitler’s occupation of the European coastline, he said, “Thanks to Hitler’s occupation and use of French and Norwegian harbors, and thanks to the denial to us of the Irish bases, he could attack us with U-boats so far out in the Atlantic.” Of course this is a sore point. Had we had the use of the Irish ports we could have fought Hitler much more effectively even than we have done. Would the Irish cooperate with us? Of course not! Oh, the damned Irish! Have they ever been any good in the world? Have they ever cooperated with anyone? No, they are being “neutral.” Well, if the Germans invade Ireland, nobody will be sorry for the Irish.
May 1, 1941
Ted just left for his evening’s work with the Home Guard. I met Mr. Pryor this morning, coming out of Ive’s Gardens. He said, “I see your old Guv’nor’s gone and joined the Army! My missus and me followed him down the road last Sunday morning. Gave us a jolly good laugh, he did. I didn’t half clank! Can’t even fire a gun, can he?”
The war news continues badly. Churchill announced that eighty percent of our troops have been safely evacuated from Greece. We had sixty thousand men there; at least forty-eight thousand have been brought safely away. This is another defeat.
News tonight says the enemy has penetrated the outer defenses of Tobruk. There is trouble brewing in Iran, and the Russians are stirring. There is talk that Germany will now “take” the Ukraine. What next? The Germans win everywhere. We thought perhaps the invasion of Britain would really begin today but it didn’t. Perhaps tonight it will.
To listen to the political talk disgusts me. To excuse our defeat in Greece, and withdrawal from Greece, the politicians say, “Well, of course, we knew we couldn’t defeat the Germans in Greece.” Then why did they attempt it? Why did we start the war anyway? We knew we weren’t “prepared,” whereas Hitler has done nothing else but prepare, ever since 1933. His numbers and supplies are endless. Except for Turkey and Spain and Portugal, the Germans now occupy all of Europe. Except for Poland and Greece and Yugoslavia, not one country withstood them, and three have been conquered. If the little countries wouldn’t combine to resist, why should we go and fight for them? We’ll be licked too, I suspect. The talkers insist we shall win in the end, but I can’t see how. Hitler has literally hordes and hordes of men, and with all Europe in his pocket, practically unlimited supplies. We can’t fight all of Europe. Oh the damn fools politicians are! Talk about liberty and democracy and honor and a better new order won’t win the war. Talk, talk, talk. God, it makes me sick.
May 3, 1941
It is a day of excitement. My thirty-sixth wedding anniversary also. Have had two R.A.F. boys billeted on me for two weeks. They came in at teatime. Also Flora, one of the boy’s girlfriends, came to tea. Rita Pullan was also here. Then in the evening, Dorrie Stanford, and Mrs. Thomson came by.
May 10, 1941
It is a year today since Germany invaded Holland and Belgium and Luxembourg. Today, the Duchess of Luxembourg broadcast from America and M. Pierlot, for Belgium, and Queen Wilhelmina broadcast from London. The war is accelerating. America is debating using her Navy to convoy armaments and food to Britain, and is practically in the war already.
May 11, 1941
It was a most frightful night. The main attack was on London. Thirty-three bombers were brought down, by thirty-one fighters, two by anti-aircraft. This makes a total of one hundred and twenty-three since the first of the month. The raids are awful. I do not know yet what happened in Romford. One awful blast rocked the house and blew in our dining room window; it broke through bricks and plaster, and pushed out the frame, but not a pane of glass was cracked.
I am worried about Mother. She surprised me last Sunday by walking in during the morning; the first time I have seen her since last July, just before the Blitz began to be heavy. She won’t leave Hammersmith, although her house has been very badly damaged. Perhaps last night it collapsed altogether. Joan has gone to Mrs. Affleck, near Whitby. Mother ought to leave London, but she won’t. God knows what happened in London last night! The planes were over incessantly for hours.
Of the two air force boys I have here, one came in at midnight and calmly went to bed; the other was on duty from midnight until eight this morning. He said all night the fires could be seen in London, predominantly in the East. I suppose the devils were after the riverside and the docks.
May 12, 1941
We had three alerts last night, and a fairly noisy night, though nothing as bad as Saturday night. Saturday’s was another terrorization raid on London. In the nine o’clock news last night we were told of some of the damage. The heart of the attack was at Westminster. Serious damage was done to Westminster Abbey, the British Museum, and the Houses of Parliament. Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Hall were all seriously damaged by high explosives and incendiaries. The abbey is open to the sky, the Lantern Roof burned. The Little Cloisters were burnt out. Five more hospitals hit, a cinema, and a large hotel. In the hotel one hundred and forty guests and employees were sheltering in the basement, but a bomb crashed through, and it is feared all are dead. Frightful. It is the Devil’s work.
About four o’clock yesterday Mary Bernadette came in pale and shaking. She came to bring me news of Doreen Peel. Mary had been in her house alone all night. She had spent the evening at the Peel’s; they asked her to stay the night, but she declined. About noon a boy called in to tell her that the Peel house was destroyed, the family all safe, but Doreen was in the hospital. The Peel’s live or lived on Castellan Avenue, Gidea Park. A land mine came down just outside their house. Doreen heard it landing and went to warn the family. Before she could do so, the front door blew in on her, knocked her unconscious, and cut her face open. It is feared she will lose an eye. The house is collapsing. Mary had come from seeing it, and described the fantasticalness of the wreckage to us. The house is beyond all repairs. Further, Mary was shaken about hearing of the death of a man she had been talking to on Saturday evening. He was a musician who lived opposite to the Peel’s. Mary had arranged with him for him to give her violin lessons. She was to have had her first lesson as tonight but the blast had killed him.
So it goes. Several land mines fell in Gidea Park. A block of twelve flats near the station was completely destroyed, and the row of shops at the end of Carlton Road also. Squirrel’s Heath Church is gone, and All Saints, at Gidea. I shall have further details of our local damage when Ted comes in for dinner presently, and when Elizabeth Coppen comes this afternoon. Poor Elizabeth Coppen! They had all their windows blown out by a bomb in Pettit’s Lane, only about two weeks ago, and the Coppens are as nervous a family as I know anywhere. The Gidea Park section gets an awful proportion of the bombs and mines in our neighborhood. Why? Nobody knows. There is positively nothing of military value up there.
So perhaps this is why I have been on this buying jag, and all this material I have gotten for myself is a sort of a lifeline I am throwing out into the future, when ultimately we shall come again into peace. I don’t know. Anyhow I have bought the goods and they’ve got to be paid for, and if Gerry destroys them tonight, they have still got to be paid for. I shall manage it, somehow or other. Meanwhile, and for a little while to come now, if I remain alive, I shall have something to do and something to think about which isn’t the war. The damned war! Oh God, this damned war!



World War ll London Blitz: 4-25-41 No fresh news from Greece. We cannot win a victory there. Reports say the Germans sacrifice their own troops “sickeningly.” It is said their losses in the battle last week were 75,000 killed and 200,000 wounded. Their numbers are endless, and last year in France, Hitler said he was willing to lose a million men to gain the battle.



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April 25, 1941
It is a quiet night. Still sharply cold, a stiff wind blowing, but a clearer sky this morning, and then sun shining a little later. No fresh news from Greece. We cannot win a victory there. Reports say the Germans sacrifice their own troops “sickeningly.” It is said their losses in the battle last week were 75,000 killed and 200,000 wounded. Their numbers are endless, and last year in France, Hitler said he was willing to lose a million men to gain the battle.
Last night Rita Pullan came over. She brought a message from Cuthie. In a card she had received from him he asked her to let us know he had received the books and the chessmen. Whilst she was here an old man came over to collect one of Ted’s old suits. His name was Wizen, and he is the husband of one of old Mrs. Burton’s daughters. Later in the evening Ted got on to the subject of this family, singing their praises.
America is very slowly but surely being talked into the war. Talk again! Last night Cordell Hull and Colonel Know were talking about quick aid to Britain, and how to give it, convoys etc., whilst Lindbergh was talking against it.
About Lindbergh, today’s Times reports: “The ‘America First’ Committee, organized to oppose American intervention in the war, staged a mass meeting here (New York) last night. Which was addressed by Colonel Lindbergh, Miss Kathleen Norris, a writer of sentimental novels (they mean Mrs. Kathleen Norris, of course) and Senator David A. Walsh of Massachusetts, one of the leading non-interventionists in Congress.”
About 25,000 persons listened to their speeches: 10,000 in the hall; Manhattan Center, where the meeting was held; and the remainder, with the aid of loud speakers, in another hall and in streets round about.
Some of the wildest cheers came when Colonel Lindbergh repeated his familiar assertion, “It is obvious that England is losing the war,” and declared with respect to the nations to which she had promised assistance, “We know that she has misinformed them, as she has misinformed us, concerning her state of preparation, her military strength, and the progress of the war.” Colonel Lindbergh asserted that he believed that even the British government realized that “England is losing the war” and “that they hope they may be able to persuade us to send another expeditionary force to Europe and to share with England militarily as well as financially the fiasco of this war.” He asserted “that America had been led towards war by a minority of her people. This minority had power and influence and a loud voice. It did not represent the American people. Most of the people had no influence or power. Up to now they had relied upon their vote to express their feelings, but now they find it is hardly remembered, except in the oratory of a political campaign. These people, the majority of hard working American citizens, are with us.”
He made clear that in his mind the only practical course for America was to keep as far away from as was possible. Senator Walsh, described the “propaganda” which he said had brought the United States to its present position in respect to war, and he ended his address with an attack on the proposal to convoy supplies to England. “Convoys,” he shouted, “mean war. Do we want war?”
“No,” roared the audience.
This morning’s New York Times (April 24) commented under the headline, “Colonel Lindbergh’s Realism: ‘At one point and at only one point in his address last night did Colonel Lindbergh have a good word to say for the British people in this hour of their struggle to survive.’ He believes that ‘it will be a tragedy to the whole world if the British Empire collapses.’ Therefore, runs the argument of a man who spoke in the name of realism, let us take no risks to help prevent it from collapsing.”
So! Lindbergh is not ashamed to keep his head and keep his belief that war is wrong for America, and to say so. The big boys of America have already tied up their finances with Great Britain, and they will maneuver America into the war to save their money, spouting all the time about ideals and liberty, of course! So the war will go on and on, until another million or so common men have been slaughtered.
Churchill’s speeches, Roosevelt’s oratory. We shall pay for all this fine talk. Why don’t they talk, quietly and soberly, with Hitler? Hitler is winning the war. Why not come to terms with him sensibly? Go and be reconciled with your adversary quickly! But no! We must have our fire-works first. Our glory, our honor, our sacrifices, etc.
I loathe the men who talk sacrifices. The other man’s sacrifices they usually mean. Like Ted, who told Joan he would greatly sacrifice the boys, and me, would gladly see us die lingering and cruel deaths, if by doing so we could defeat Hitler. Yes, he’d applaud the sacrifice. We could die the deaths. Oh, men and their wars; men and their talk. I hate men.
The blatant assumptions that Britain and America are wholly virtuous whilst Germany is wholly vile. Oh God, such absurdity makes me sick. Each country trying to corral God in for umpire! How he must laugh! Meanwhile common people everywhere suffer and die. Where will the bombs drop tonight? London, Berlin, Athens, Romford.