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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: 1-4-44 No word from Artie. Last week we forwarded him, by telegram and mail, a notification, which came for him from Roehampton, directing him to present himself at the hospital there, at two p.m. January 4, to receive his artificial leg.

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January 4, 1944

No word from Artie. Last week we forwarded him, by telegram and mail, a notification, which came for him from Roehampton, directing him to present himself at the hospital there, at two p.m. January 4, to receive his artificial leg. So he must have come down from Glasgow in time for that. Also, he has an examination before a medical board set for January Fourteenth. I thought perhaps he might have been traveling yesterday, and would have come in late last night. He did not come, nor is there any word from him this morning. Perhaps he traveled last night, and will go straight through to Roehampton this morning, I don’t know, but even so, he could and he should have notified us what he was doing, unless he has cut loose from us altogether. Maybe he’s done that. Maybe Hilda hates us so much not only is she not going to come here anymore, she is not going to let him come either. Quite likely, for she comes from the class of people who behave like that. She definitely has no class. What a fool it makes Artie! Well perhaps he is a fool, really, certainly there is something lacking in Artie’s mentality that he could ever have chosen such a girl for a wife. Certainly the adage is proved in Artie’s case, “a son is a son until he takes a wife.” 


January 10, 1944

It is the twin’s birthday. They are twenty-five today. Cuthie is still a prisoner in Germany, Artie, I don’t know where. Artie should have reported to Roehampton last Tuesday the Fourth, but whether he did I don’t know. No letters from him, or word of any kind.

January 11, 1944

A letter has come from Artie. It was addressed to his father, and came from Scotland, written on the Ninth. He said, “You will be glad to know I now have two legs again.” He added the information that he was remaining in Glasgow, would attend the limb-fitting center there, and had arranged to have his medical board exam there. He said he was well and happy and Hilda sent her love. 

January 14, 1944

It is cold and frosty here today, but not too bad. The weather in Italy is reported to be very bad, and has been so for weeks, holding up the fighting. By the way, Ciano and DeBono were “tried” by the Germans in Verona last week, and executed there this Monday. Two of the double crosser’s crossed. 

This infernal war goes on and on. On Tuesday we were told that the American’s had made a big daylight raid over Germany, but no facts were given, which was ominous, and portended a failure of some sort. This morning “ corrected” figures were given out. We lost sixty bombers out of a company of seven hundred sent out, and five fighters; for a loss of one hundred and fifty-two fighters to the Germans, and some other “probable’s” brought down by the lost sixty, but not reported. Report says we hit our targets successfully and destroyed three large aircraft plants and other objectives. The attacks were on the Focke-Wulf factory at Oschersleben, the Junkers plant at Halberstatdt, and the Messerschmitt factory at Brunswick. General Arnold, Chief of the U.S.A.A.F. has stated that the huge air battle over Germany inflicted one of the hardest blows yet struck against the German Air Force, at a cost of approximately five percent of the American aircraft making the attack. I can’t see how sixty out of seven hundred is only five percent, but there you are, reporting. Probably all the escorting fighters are counted in, and we are not told how many of these were sent out. War, damnable war. It is intolerable, and yet the fool world of men goes on with it. We had an alert here last night, the first one in eight nights, luckily it came about eight in the evening and the all clear came before nine. Somehow it is more endurable then when it is in the dead of night, though it upsets my stomach just the same. Oh, when, when will it cease!

January 17, 1944

There was a bad railway accident at Ilford last night. The express from Norwich ran into the back of the Yarmouth train, which was stationary. Nine people were killed, and over thirty seriously injured, nearly all of them service people, squadron leaders and men from Bomber Command and many of them Americans too. The accident was due to the fog, of course, which was the very worst one of the winter. We have had too much fog this year, no snow or deep cold, but constant fogs. How exasperating to the fliers it must be to suffer death and mutilation in a railway smash, instead of in the air, doing their jobs. There it is, no man knows where his death awaits him. Poor fellows, may their souls rest in peace!

January 21, 2011

Last night the R.A.F. made another very heavy raid on Berlin, thirty-five bombers were lost. I ought to be in the middle of my children and grand children, instead of which, I am thousands of miles away from them, living alone with Ted in a poky English Street and that is not enough for me. Ted alone can’t satisfy me, pacify me. I want life and more life, young life, the world of tomorrow swirling around me, not Ted’s world of yesterday and all the pieties of yesterday. 

January 22, 1944

I am cooking the dinner. It is a blowy stormy day outside. Last night we had a very bad raid, it was like one of the old blitzes of 1940 and 1941. It lasted two hours, from eight-thirty to ten-thirty p.m. and planes going over all the time, and vey heavy gunfire. Sometimes Gerry seemed right on top of us. I do not know what damage has been done in Romford, though several times we heard the bombs fall. Our radio is out of order, and was taken away by Stanley’s for repairs yesterday, so we shall be without the immediate news for a week or so. The milk boy said this morning that the Brewery, on High Street, was hit, and was still burning. Ted may bring in more news when he comes to lunch. The papers won’t have much news because it would have been too late for them. I expect London got it badly. Anyhow this was expected before, seeing how heavily we are bombing Berlin and boasting about doing so. God! How I hate the boasting! The war in itself is horrible enough and I know it must go on but the bragging about it is sickening. 

We had another alarm about four-thirty this morning, and a lot more bombing and gunfire, going on until quarter to six this morning, though it was not quite so bad as the evening one. It was much heavier than any night raid we have had for a long time, and bad enough to bring Ted downstairs. I always come downstairs when the alert is given during the night, because I am too nervous to stay upstairs, but Ted hates to leave his bed, so remains in it, and takes a chance on the house being hit. Anyhow, he came down last night, everything seemed very close, sometimes directly overhead, and was very frightening. When is the world going to recover from this hellish craziness?

It is now two p.m. and the B.B.C. says ninety German bombers were over here last night, and we brought down nine of them. That is ten percent. Here in Romford, houses on Albert Road and Shaftsbury Road were hit, one man killed. This was Fulcher, the oil man, known to everybody in town until a couple of years ago, when he could no longer get supplies, he used to come around with a van, peddling soaps, oil, brushes, etc. Bombs also fell in South Hornchurch and in Rainham, but no other casualties reported. There is a rumor that in London, Westminster Hall was hit again, but there is no authentic news about this yet. 

January 23, 1944

A report that yesterday allied troops made another landing in Italy, at a place named Netinho, thirty-two miles south of Rome. The enemy was taken by surprise, and the report says it was two hours before he fired a shot at our troops.

January 24, 1944

At Rainham two hundred houses have been destroyed, but casualties not stated. At Warley, landmines were dropped. At the Brewery, great destruction in the bottling section, but the shelter, thought only a wall away, was not touched. This is a large public shelter, and is used as a sleeping place by many of the American Soldiers when they are on leave in this town. Had that received the bomb, the casualties would have been high. Only thirty of the bombers got through to London, and most of the damage done there was in Chelsea. We say now that we brought down twelve bombers, fourteen percent of their ninety. 

January 26, 1944

The Air Ministry and Ministry of Home Security stated last night that it is now known that a fourteenth enemy aircraft was destroyed during raids on this country last Friday night.

January 29, 1944

An alert sounded last night just as we were going up to bed, about ten-thirty p.m. Ted went up, I stayed down, until the all clear came, about an hour later. Gunfire in the distance only, not in the immediate neighborhood, very alarming just the same, as you know it may come closer at any moment. After I got to bed Ted was very loving. I regarded this as a nuisance. I felt too tired to be bothered, but he was set to love, so he loved. I thought; this! This! I thought, what is the use of bothering about philosophy or religion or politics or anything, when this is the only thing that matters to man! Oh, I’m tired, tired of love and marriage, tired of thinking, tired of working, tired of England, tired of winter, tired of the war… Now I’m cooking the dinner, and I’m tired of housekeeping. I’m tired of everything and everybody.

January 30, 1944

Last night we had a most awful raid, it began about eight-thirty, and went on for two hours. It was worse than the one a week ago; it was sickening. I found myself praying like mad, the Catholic prayers, calling on the Virgin, begging for protection. When it was all over and we were still safe, I offered prayers of thankfulness, and I said, I will go to mass tomorrow. So, I have been but I really don’t know what good it has been, either to the church or me. I thought last night the Catholic prayers had a sort of authenticity, but in the church this morning I couldn’t feel it. The Church was crowded, as usual, of course, but the crowd oppressed me. It was so predominantly Irish, so foreign, it alienated me, and I do not belong with these people. The only thing that pleased me was the collect for the day, the fourth Sunday after the Epiphany. I know that it is fear, and nothing but fear, which drives me to any intense realization of God. When I am afraid I call upon my God. It is atavism. I despise it, but I act it, suffer it all the same. I cannot help myself. In these awful raids, when we are in danger of destruction, when an awful death may strike us any moment, when we can do nothing what ever to help ourselves, or help anybody, when we are sick with terror, when all superficiality vanish, then our souls, our primitive souls, cry out from their depths, oh God, save us! God be merciful to me, a sinner! Our father who art in heaven, save us, save us! Jesus, save us! Mary save us! Oh God be merciful to me, a sinner! Deliver us from evil, deliver us from evil! He does save us, and we say Thank God! Thank God! Thank God!

January 31, 1944

It was a quiet night. No raids. Today is very overcast. The sort of weather, which is very favorable to Gerry’s hit and run raids. If it does not clear I expect we shall have another heavy raid again tonight. I do not know what damage was done on Saturday night, because our radio is still away being repaired. Presently I shall go and fetch the newspaper, and that may tell something, though, of course, the papers never give details. 

The Times reports: “over two hundred German fighters were destroyed by American bombers and fighters in their attacks on Germany on Saturday and yesterday. One hundred and two were claimed after Saturday’s attack on Frankfurt, in which fifteen hundred aircraft collaborated, and the following report of yesterday’s operations adds ninety-one more. The R.A.F. destroyed sixteen in the offensive over France. The allied losses were ninety-six bombers, twenty-five fighters, and three intruder aircraft.” 

My God!

World War ll London Blitz: 12-11-43 Last night we had a fairly heavy raid in this section, between eight and nine in the evening.

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December 11, 1943

Last night we had a fairly heavy raid in this section, between eight and nine in the evening. Rita Pullan was here and waited for the all clear before departing. She said it was like Nineteen-Forty when you had to run home between the raids. The B.B.C. this morning reported four bombers down, three falling to one pilot, some damage and some casualties in the Greater London area. I guess we were the area. 


December 20, 1943 

We were up twice in the night for raids. We heard one bomb fall which sounded fairly near; we have heard this afternoon that the railway line was hit between Stratford and Bethnal Green, nobody killed but several linesmen injured, traffic stopped all morning, but has resumed again now.

Influenza is rather serious just now, quite an epidemic, last week there were eleven hundred and forty eight deaths from it in England alone. However this is the first really bad health of the war. This is Ted’s Home-Guard night, so I am going to take my tea now, and read awhile in cozy solitude. So Au-Revoir.

December 30, 1943

I remain very serene, calm, and shall I say “happy”? News the R.A.F. bombed Berlin again last night. I am sorry about that. I know the warring has to be resumed, but I wish our authorities had felt they could let the Christmas respite last a little longer. However…


















































6-11-42 Letter to Bill and Jean Berry (Friends in the U.S.) From Ruby Thompson

                                         78 Western Road
                                         Romford, Essex
                                    Thursday, June 11, 1942


             My dear Bill and Jean,


     I've had a letter from Eddie in which he tells me a parcel of ham and butter which I received, wordless, direct from Macy's last Winter, and which I attributed to his kindness, came instead from you. So please accept my very belated thanks for the same. I saved these goodies for when Artie came home on leave, and believe me every bit was enjoyed to the last atom. Good food is extremely scarce these days. We are all getting quite enough to eat, but the rationing, though absolutely fair, works out very meagerly for the small households. Naturally the more you are in a family the better you can cater. If you spend 10/- worth of meat coupons, why, you can get a steak, or perhaps a sirloin, and then there is the makings of at least one good tasting meal for everybody. But when I can spend only 2/- per week for two people-why- what can you buy? My stand-by (this is especially for Jean's interest- supposing she's interested) is a piece of fresh brisket, which is only 10d. per lb. But - do you know brisket? I bet you don't! It's like thin streaky bacon, a strip of lean, then an equal strip of fat. The meat is poor and flavorless, but it will provide two dinners - and - what is really worth more - a jar of good dripping. In ordinary times I should never dream of buying brisket- and you may be sure, once the war is over, I shall never buy it again as long as I live- or until there is another war-which God forbid! As for ham! -that's quite forgotten. Our butter, 2 ozs. per week per person-we save for Sundays. Butter deprivation is serious. It seems that butter carries a special vitamin which keeps our eyes healthy: so there are a lot of sore eyes about, because of this lack. The margarine we get - 4 ozs. per week per person - is excellent- but it is not butter, and will not do the work of butter. However, it is palatable, and certainly very much improved on the margarine of pre-war days. Thousands of the English poor never have eaten any "butter" except margarine, because real butter was always too expensive. A charwoman I once had once told me she only bought butter for herself in her family, because neither her husband nor her children would eat it; they preferred margarine as having more taste. We mainly eat our margarine hot  on toast, when it tastes really nice. As for eggs, that's a joke. Our egg ration has been two per person per month. When we get them we make a dinner of them. Well, one day this Spring a friend from the country bought us three honest-to-goodness real new-laid eggs. We decided to celebrate with a high tea. Ted enjoyed his egg fine; so did I mine; but it gave me an attack of indigestion! I tasted sulphur all night, and until after lunch the next day. My stomach had forgotten how to handle an egg. I have heard of other people having the same trouble. Some folks claim it is something peculiar in the eggs, due to the very eccentric food the hens get nowadays. Maybe but there you are - we can no longer digest fresh eggs. Probably we'll have forgotten how to handle other foods also - but we will try our luck just the same, whenever we get any. 

     Now note: I sit down to write a letter and what do I write about? Food. Isn't it awful! Whenever people get together nowadays invariably the talk turns to food. Where you can get what, what ques you stood in, what wasn't worth waiting for, and the cost- the awful mounting cost. The unrationed foods soar until the government steps in and regulates prices, but then the item disappears. This is a joke. We just laugh. If you could be here you would be surprised how good-tempered the British are. The English still confine their grumbles to the weather. The war disagreeableness is accepted uncomplainingly-or they bring down the house handed out as vaudeville jokes. Yes, we are queer people. 
     
     I haven't any particular news to write. We are well and hope to keep so. Mr. Thompson is a Lance/Corporal in the Home Guard. He goes on duty three nights a week, and Sunday mornings. Artie has his commission in the Reconnaissance Corps. Cuth has been shifted to a new camp and should now be addressed at Stulag Luft 3. He writes cheerfully enough, but this week he told us that all the men of his crew have now perished. Poor lads! We were able to sleep in our beds all this past winter, but now since the raid on Cologne trouble is stirring again and I expect right now we shall have to abandon the upper floor. My young brother was in Singapore. From there he got to Colombo, and now my mother has received a cable from  Capetown, saying he is on his way home. 
   
     We have just been told tonight of the visit of Molotov to London and Berlin. Bill, I have often thought of your visit to Russia, back in the 30's. This must help you to visualize the Russian front quite a lot, and I think you must be more glad than ever now that you made that trip. Do you know what strikes me most about the trend of events? It's this: The Russian idea is going to win the world in the end, without directly campaigning for it. When daily every state becomes more and more totalitarian, and when you listen to the talk on what is to be done to Society after the war- why- Bolshevism walks in as a matter of course- doesn't it? Funny I think. 
     
     Now Au-revoir. Keep on praying for us and keep us in your affectionate remembrances. Ted sends greetings, compliments, regards. I send my thanks and love. 
     
     Yours,
     Ruby A. Thompson 
     

World War ll London Blitz: 11-6-43 Today the Russians have retaken Kiev. The Germans captured it in September 1941. The B.B.C. broke into program at eleven this morning to broadcast the news.

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November 6, 1943 

Today the Russians have retaken Kiev. The Germans captured it in September 1941. The B.B.C. broke into program at eleven this morning to broadcast the news. 

November 9, 1943 

A bad raid in the night, and also two on Sunday night. On Sunday a dance hall was struck, a milk-bar, and two cinemas, and the crowds of young people on the streets in the vicinity; it was London, though we may not have been told exactly where, probably the Tottenham Court Road. We have raids now practically every night. Only a few bombers come over, but they do a lot of damage. It is only sixteen minutes flying time from the airdromes in France over to London, as Gerry can make quick dashes and get away again almost before we are aware of him. Hitler made a speech in Munich last night, urging loyalty on his Germans and promising vengeance on the British. It is true the R.A.F. now does more damage to Germany than the Luftwaffe did to us, but who started this business? Germany has to be licked, and licked forever, but at what frightful price! Oh God, let the war end soon. 

November 28, 1943 Advent Sunday 

The B.B.C. tells us that during the past eight days the R.A.F. have bombed Berlin five times, dropping in all six thousand tons of bombs on the city. This is awful. It makes me weep. I weep for Berlin, as well as us, and for all the dead, the dead in Berlin, and our boys who will never return. War, damned ghastly fiendish war! Is this the only way men can settle the affairs of he world? One wry joke comes in. The B.B.C. reports that a spokesman on the German air told the Germans that Berlin was carrying on in the debris, life as usual, including even the theaters, and listed two of the plays still running as, “Queen of the Night,” and “Love’s Glamour Over All.” What irony!

World War ll London Blitz: 10-8-43 We have had air raids every night since Sunday. Last night’s was the heaviest yet. Two bombs dropped on the Golf Links. I actually went outside to look at the sky and saw a Gerry caught in the searchlights.


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October 8, 1943

We have had air raids every night since Sunday. Last night’s was the heaviest yet. Two bombs dropped on the Golf Links. I actually went outside to look at the sky and saw a Gerry caught in the searchlights. The moon up, the stars shining, the lights criss-crossing, colored flares dropping, it is a beautiful night, but what a devil’s beauty. During the evening Ted wrote me two checks, one for my hats, the other to cover Jo Tibb’s dressmaking bill. I duly thanked him. 



October 18, 1943 

There was a very heavy raid again last night. Rockingham Avenue, about a mile or a mile and a half from here, got a direct hit, ten houses down and six people killed outright, several others injured and taken to the hospital. 


October 19, 1943 

There was a raid again last night. It’s moonlight of course. Nothing fell here, thank God. Yet somewhere else got the bombs. Oh, when will this damn war finish! What frightful times we are living in! What infuriating ones, for none of the world’s troubles need be. Men have made the world the way it is. Men destroy society and civilization. Fool men. Wicked men. Goddamn men! God does damn men. We are all damned. 


October 20, 1943 

I am very restless and very tired. Another raid last night so we are all losing sleep, and that’s making us all cranky. Ted is on my nerves excessively. I do think him a fool. He fusses about nothing and too pious for words. I loathe his piety. Why oh why can’t he be a normal man? I think he is a maniac, and I am so tired of him I do not know how to go on living with him any longer. He’s good and he means well, but the fact is, I can’t bear him. I’ve had too much of him. Marriage last too long. I hate marriage. One night soon, perhaps tonight, he will want his pleasure, and he’ll take it. Will he say his prayers over that? Of course not. In the morning he’ll be up and off to mass, as per usual. Habit.

October 21, 1943 Trafalgar Day. Salute to Nelson.

We had another very bad raid last night, between one and two this morning. I trembled so incessantly that this morning my limbs ache as though I had climbed a mountain and even my arms ache. I retched so much I am feeling my ribs are bruised, as though somebody kicked them. I am so tired from lack of sleep my eyes are smarting. During a raid like last nights it is easy to understand how human beings can die of shock and fear. Once I held my breath thinking the house was surely hit, but it wasn’t, nor anywhere immediately near, so far as I know. War. This fiendish war, the sport of men.

October 22, 1943

There was a raid again last night, between two and three a.m. and another this evening about half past seven until nearly nine. This evening was a very heavy one. The Gerry’s have got through to London every night now for a week, but it was the last quarter of the moon yesterday, so we may hope for quieter nights next week. We are all very tired. Since Gerry came early this evening we hope for an undisturbed night tonight.

October 23, 1943

Tonight’s news is that today David Lloyd George married at a registry office near Guildford, a Miss Stevenson who has been his private secretary for thirty years. The bride is fifty-five, whilst Lloyd-George is something over eighty. His first wife, Dame Margaret Lloyd-George died in nineteen forty-one. Late this afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd-George left Chart for an undisclosed location. The honeymoon couple! My God! What a silly old goat! What a glaring instance this is that men do not love women and they only love themselves. A man must have his pleasure. His pleasure. Oh God, how I hate men!

October 24, 1943

We have now had nine consecutive nights of bombing again. It is most wearing. Oh this damn war, this lunacy.

November 6, 1943

Today the Russians have retaken Kiev. The Germans captured it in September Nineteen Forty-One. The B.B.C. broke into program at eleven this morning to broadcast the news.