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John Wadsworth - War Diary

The Diary of John Wadsworth.

John Wadsworth lived at 17 North Terrace, Waleswood and worked at the Waleswood Colliery. This is his account of monthly and daily reports of mainly the war, as heard over the wireless. These extracts are by kind permission of Jenny Whysall, grandaughter of John Wadsworth.

January 1941

Wednesday 1st. On nights. First fall of snow tonight, during the night raiders came over and bombed Liverpool.

Thursday 2nd. The Thetis which sank during trials in June 1939 renamed Thunderbolt sank enemy submarine. No raiders tonight.

Friday 3rd. Wages 10 1/2 days £4-14s-4d after stoppages, rent 6s/10d bath 5d.

Saturday 4th. Alderman Rowlinson & Alderman Wardley, Sheffield City councillors died today.

Sunday 5th. Amy Johnson the famous airwoman drowned in the Thames after baling out of her machine.

Monday 6th. On days. Bardia the Italian fort in Libya was captured by the British today.

Wednesday 8th. Billy lambert left Waleswood for Fareham to join the Royal Navy.

Saturday 11th. Sirens sounded at 1145am and shortly after a large plane was brought down near Worksop.

Monday 13th. Plymouth was raided by fire bombs, 10,000 were dropped and also many H.E. bombs.

Tuesday 14th. Mr E Dunn MP for Rother Valley is appointed Deputy Commissioner for North East Civil Defence region.

Saturday 18th. Mrs H Bailey of Waleswood Hamlet died today aged 64 years.

Monday 20th. Lloyd Georges wife of Premiers in last war died today aged 75, they were both given the freedom of Sheffield in 1919.

Tuesday 21st. British captured Tobruk after 8 hours fighting.

Friday 24th. Dick Waite died today of 20 years illness.

Tuesday 28th. Dick Waite buried at Wales, Home Guard and British Legion followed.

February 1941.

R.A.F. made daylight raid on invasion barges in French port.

Tuesday 4th. Sirens sounded at 905pm all clear at 1150pm bombs dropped on Fulwood, 1 killed 6 injured.

Thursday 13th. King and Queen visited Manchester to see bomb damage.

Monday 17th. AA guns and RAF shot down 7 German bombers today.

Wednesday 19th. Mr Sam Skinner, big share holder in Waleswood Colliery died suddenly today.

Friday 21st. Sirens sounded at Retford 8.25pm.

Tuesday 25th. Miss M A Bramley was married at Wales to Mr Teddy Brookbank, mining engineer of Newton Chambers & Co. Ltd.

March 1941.

Tuesday 4th. A German bomber had a direct hit and blown to bits by a gun when sheffield was raided on Dec 15th. G.E. Radford directed the shot.

Friday 7th. Brother Walters birthday today (aged 52yrs).

Monday 10th. 17 people were sentenced to prison and received from 10 down to 4 years for looting bombed houses in Sheffield.

Wednesday 12th. A widespread raid over england in which German bombers were shot down by AA guns and RAF fighters. Two landmines were dropped near Wales at 1am in a ploughed field.

Thursday 13th. Raiders over Yorkshire alert at 8.50pm until 01.15am. Many people killed and houses damaged. 11 enemy bombers down.

Wednesday 19th. Sqn Ldr RS Tuck DSO DFC & Bar shot down his 27th German plane.

Sunday 23rd. At todwick a bomb was fired at 6pm, it was found by a farmer in his ploughed field.

Sunday 30th. Raiders heard over this area for the first time in a week.

April 1941.

Tuesday 1st. ARP practices were begun this morning, each day for 4 days.

Sunday 6th. germany declared war on Yugoslavia at 5.30am and began to invade the country.

Tuesday 8th. Coventry bombed this evening, much damage and many casualties.

Tuesday 15th. Sirens sounded at 9.30pm and the all clear at 4.30am, the raid was widespread.

Wednesday 16th. Heaviest raid on London, Lord & Lady Stamp were killed along with others of their household.

Monday 28th. 45,000 troops evacuated from Greece out of a force of 60,000.

May 1941.

It is estimated 800 German airman have been shot down over Britain this year.

Sunday 4th. Belfast and Liverpool heavily bombed tonight, two previous nights 29 German bombers shot down.

Saturday 10th. Rudolph Hess the German Deputy landed in Scotland by parachute after flying solo for 865 miles from Germany. He broke an ankle.

Monday 19th. German paratroopers landed on Crete island occupied by our Imperial Forces.

Wednesday 21st. It is 25 years since Mr Willets idea of summer time has been in operation, Mr willets died March 4th 1915.

Monday 26th. The German battleship Bismarck which sank HMS Hood on Saturday was sunk today by HMS Ark Royal.

Tuesday 27th. Max Schmelling the German boxer was killed at Crete, he was a German paratrooper.

Wednesday 28th. Mr C H Aldous was buried today at Wales, aged 59 years. He was an ardent worker for Sheffield hospitals and Wales Nursing Fund.

June 1941. Mr G Holland secretary Waleswood Colliery over 40 years died at Retford, aged 91 years.

Wednesday 4th. Kaiser Willhelm who plunged the world into war in 1914 died this morning aged 82 years, he had been exiled for 23 years.

Tuesday 10th. News received that Ken Wetton aged 31 years RAMC has been killed in action. He was a chemist at Boots in peacetime.

Monday 16th. A fierce battle tool place over the Channel, the RAF lost 8 planes.

Thursday 19th. For the 9th night the RAF has battered Germany and the Channel Pports of France with waves of bombers.

Sunday 22nd. Germany violated Russian territory at 5.30am this morning.

Tuesday 24th. An expolosion occurred at Kiveton Barnsley seam in which 5 men were badly burned, Hoofton has since died.

Saturday 28th. for a tank fund Mr Garfield-Weston has given £10,000, he is a millionaire and last year gave £100,000 for the Spitfire fund.

Sunday 29th. Mr W Eames is the 4th victim to die from burns in the Kiveton mines explosion last week.

July 1941.

Thursday 3rd. For the month of June 399 civilians were killed by German raiders over Britain.

Sunday 6th. Mr c Bradford, the last to succumb to his injuries in the explosion at Kiveton Park.

Thursday 10th. For the 5th night in succession Munster was bombed by the RAF.

Sunday 20th. After 5 weeks intense fighting, the Russians still hold the German advance on Moscow and Leningrad.

Saturday 26th. Early this morning the RAF bombed Berlin for the 46th time since the war began with new Flying Fortess stratosphere planes.

Tuesday 29th. The Duke of Kent flew to Canada overnight, he is the first member of the Royal Family to cross the ocean by air.

August 1941.

Saturday 2nd. Pit baths closed for a week for cleaning.

Sunday 3rd. Joe Murphin a surveyor at Waleswood for 50 years died aged 81 years.

Friday 8th. battle of Britain began 1 year today until end of October.

Tuesday 12th. The King pays a 30 day visit to the Fleet in Northern waters and bestows a knighthood on Admiral Tovey.

Suday 24th. Bombs dropped on Alma Rd Retford this evening.

September 1941.

Tuesday 2nd. Berlin had their heaviest raid by the RAF this year. First coat of paint on shed.

Sunday 7th. Mrs Roosevelt, mother of President died aged 86 years.

Tuesday 23rd. Signed on as Orderly in Home Guard.

October 1941.

Friday 3rd. 7 days wages £2-0-0d.

Monday 20th. sirens went for the first time since midsummer at 8.50pm to 11.35pm.

Wednesday 22nd. sirens sounded 8.35pm to 11.30pm.

The diary entries ended in October.





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