Alice Bonney's Diary 1942

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Alice Bonney

This is the third part of the diary kept throughout the German Occupation of Jersey by nurse Alice Bonney

January

I have a new patient in Mrs N's house, a Mr A. He has got Parkinsons disease, poor chap. Quite helpless. A peculiar case really. He has a German wife, an anti-Hitler, a Baroness in her own right. Will have to watch my slips of tongue. She may be alright, but you never know.

She is an interpreter up at the College House, German headquarters. He is supposed to be a British diplomat. I wonder why they were caught over here. The weather is playing up too, it is even too cold for snow. I wonder how some of these poor old folk are getting on.

Another patient is Mrs N and Mr H, poor chap. Cancer. He is slowly dying. There is nothing we can do, damn these Germans. Why do they have to be so inhuman towardes their enemies. Poor Mrs B. More eccentric than ever. Catches birds and roasts them with the feathers on, and then eats them as they are.

Well, old B is dying. Poor old chap. A happy release really, if he did. Dr Gow is going to try and get Mrs B into the Limes, invalid like she is , cannot be left there with the "Greenfly" next door. Mrs J tells me they are numerous. They will take Mrs B's house as well.

Illicit wireless

Got stopped this morning by a Jerry Sargeant. "Identity Card" in his guttered speech. German is not a language, it is a damn disease! Why he stopped me I don't know. Yesterday I was told they were looking for thieves. That's a laugh. Who are the thieves? I was lucky though, they did not find the wireless I had in my basket. They only looked in my case.

Laufen

Churchill’s advice

We heard Churchill last night telling us not to do anything rash to bring down punishment on our heads. "Passive resistance" is what he advocates. Got Mrs B into the Limes. Just in time, too, as the Jerries have taken her telephone away, so she would have no communication at all. I have got Biney, poor thing. Buddie is her son, so I hope she will settle down. Poor Mrs A worried to death, two German doctors saw him this morning, and she tells me they are thinking of moving him to Cassel, Germany for "treatment". A fat lot of treatment they will be giving a British diplomant. I bet it will be a "wooden overcoat". Have got Auntie Liz to sit up at night with Mr H. He is dying.

Some of these people make me sick. Do anything for money. Tried to get some eggs for that poor kid, she is very ill, but the farmer swore black and white that he had no eggs. Then as I came away he handed a damn German a basket full. It makes you sick.

Beauvoir fire

Fred came in this morning and told me about the fire at Beauvoir. Last night "his officer" lost his papers and his uniform and his greatcoat. By this time I was really in a temper and I went for him. "Since when has a British Sergeant called a damn Jerry "His Officer"? All I can say is, it is a great pity the German swine was not inside his clothes". I was furious.

Well, I took poor Mr A down to the barge this morning. Poor chap, he is in a bad way. I made arrangements for the kids in case I did not come back, as you never know. Well I got back alright, thank goodness.

Clem in Laufen

Deportation

September is a terrible month. Had a notice this morning for the two boys to go to Germany. Whole families are going. It is terrible. 16 and 17 years old, and their only crime is they were born in London. How I wish I had gone away. Apparently, the Germans issued the order yesterday afternoon. 16 to 70 year olds are the ages. This is terrible.

God knows when it will all end. My word, there will be some aching hearts. I wish Fred was here, and yet, no, I don’t. If he was, we would all go. Poor kids. Rev Atley is going and he has told me he will keep an eye on them and look after them as far as possible. But no one knows what they will have to face, we can only hope the war will soon be over. There are some terrible scenes with families, poor things. The heartache is almost unbearable.

Well, we were not allowed on the piers, so we went up on the fort and watched the boats pull out. We all sang "There will always be an England", and those on the boats joined in as they pulled out. Many of us cried our hearts out, none of us knew if we would ever meet again.

Olive came up this morning, her sister Elsie, Tom and all the family have gone, and Elsie is expecting another baby, poor things. They say another lot will be going next week, but why? It seems so senseless to me, but life has to go on. Margeret is a great comfort, and she is a good girl. A lot more people have gone, and no news of any of them. I wonder where and how they are.

A group of Laufen internees, with Clem Bonney at the left of the back row

Christmas

The weather is getting cold, and there is precious little medicine or drugs to help them. There an awful lot of sickness, and precious little medicine or drugs to help them. There is a lot of semi-starvation too; shops are empty, rations are small. It will be a poor christmas.

Christmas Eve. I managed to get a couple of chickens. Margeret took a dinner to Frum, and one to Auntie Liz. It is people of those ages who suffer most. Their rations are short and they cannot get out to buy black-market, so we share what we get with our old folk, so nobody gets enough.

Fortifications

My word, this place must be the most fortified place in Europe. Bunkers, gun emplacements, gun nests and mines are being built all over the place, and those poor slaves are doing the building. It doesn't matter if they die, cement them up in the walls. It does not matter to Jerry.

Still no news of the boys. I do wonder where they are. Have they any food to eat? These are the thoughts going through my mind tonight, the last day of 1942.

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