Ruby Side Thompson’s personal diary was written during the terrifying World War Two London Blitz. Her diary is a true and detailed account of what she experienced during that horrific time. The diary chronicles Ruby's struggle to survive in the midst of a horrendous war, where London is bombed nightly.
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World War ll London Blitz Diaries
Do you find yourself watching reality tv? Well, if you do, click off that set and head for the real thing. These diary entries, written 70 years ago by Ruby Thompson, who had to simultaneously put up with the Blitz bombing of London and a marriage that was as damaging to a woman's psyche as those Nazi bombs were to the city, will take you back to a time and put you in the middle of the history the way no boring textbook summary of the war could. What was it really like for the individuals who bore the fear, rationing, and destruction created by the Blitzkrieg against London? How were women stuck in bad marriages, held captive not only by convention, but by their own mindset that had been drilled into them from birth? Ruby's fierce intelligence, powers of observation, clear writing, and analysis of her miserable husband and unhappy marriage provide insight into both history and the psychological state of a woman stuck partly by her era and partly by her own sense of what was possible. A fascinating revelation for anyone interested in World history and women's history.Fascinating!
Friday, January 3, 1941
Today is colder. The pail of water that is kept by the front door, and ready to douse an incendiary bomb, is a solid block of ice: also the rain water tank at the back of the house. Luckily the indoor pipes are not frozen. Ted is very cranky. I expect it’s the cold.
Monday, January 6, 1941
Bardia has fallen. The news was received in London late last night. Prisoners captured exceed twenty five thousand including six generals. To the Australians go the first honors, for they led the attack. The Italians are crumbling fast, making Hitler’s first broken prop. The axis is now wobbly. Hitler gave London another bombardment last night. The alert was given about six o’clock, and the all clear came just before midnight. We have not been told yet what damage they did last night.
Monday, January 6, 1941
We spent a very terrifying evening here in Romford. Edna Renacre was here to tea, and did not leave until ten-fifteen, afraid to start out. However, we think she must have got home in a fair lull, because the next big explosion did not come until eleven p.m. This house was shaken several times last night, so if it was caused by the bombs dropping in London, they must have been even worse than usual. Most of the week anyhow dynamiting has been going on in the city. The damaged buildings left standing after the fire raid of last Sunday were judged dangerous, and the Royal Engineers have been dynamiting the shells. What can be left in the city to destroy I don’t know. Hitler has vowed that he will raze London to the ground, and certainly he seems to be getting on with the job considerably. He doesn’t cow the Londoner. What he doesn’t understand is that the more he bombs and bullies and burns us the more we will resist him. Supposing he could bomb every city in Britain to rubble heaps, he still wouldn’t have beaten the British. The French surrendered Paris rather than have Paris destroyed. Maybe that’s French economy and carefulness. The English won’t surrender London. What if London is destroyed? Hitler can only destroy the bricks and stones. Like Rome and Athens, London is immortal: an immortal idea, which can never be destroyed. Once Hitler is destroyed, the form of our city can be built up again, and even fairer.
Sunday, January 19, 1941
Last Sunday night London received another bad bombing. One high explosive went down the escalator shaft at the Bank Station. All the people on it killed, of course, and all the people in the station. To make horrors worse, a train was just coming into the station, and the force of the blast blew all the people on the platform on to the lines, so they were killed by electricity, and then run over. They were unrecognizable. As for the debris, it isn’t all cleared away yet, and there are still many bodies not dug out yet. It is impossible to count the dead. The night shelter people were there, as well as travelers, the number must be many hundreds, perhaps a thousand. This is modern war, damnable hellish war.