Sunday 20th January 1991

Daniel joined me and helped install the crossing sleepers that formed the new garage floor and we worked well all day. I dropped in to see Mum at Stanton and set up her new phone system on my way back to Paxton when I arrived at 11pm and was up until 1am following the Gulf War news.

The Iraqis being able to launch a total of 10 Scuds at Saudi Arabia, three at the eastern military bases of Dharhan and the rest at the capital, Riyadh which wrong-footed the Allies who were defending Israel

The night went well and I awoke to the sound and warmth of the electric storage heating. Rose to get myself a drink and then breakfast of Oat Bran Flakes and milk. I took a while to have my bath as the drain pipe was blocked, but I eventually cleared it with a plunger. This made me a bit late and I was pleasantly surprised and a bit embarrassed when Daniel arrived to help me before I was ready at 9.00am! We started work soon after and we got on quite well today. Stopping only for an hour or so for sandwiches and tea, we worked until dusk and by then had moved all of the sleepers into place to form a floor between the foundation walls and the garage structure. It forms a solid floor and will serve the task very well, but I still have to construct the access ramp to the garage. There was no sign of Steven Bloom, but it was therefore a good chance for a man and his son to be together for a day!

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Saturday 19th January 1991

After watching the Tv news, joining the girls for breakfast and then helping my colleagues at the St Neots recycling campaign event, I drove to Horning and Heronshaw and did some work on the boats before settling down for the evening.

I witnessed the news coming in of further Scud missiles hitting Israel and of the massive US air lift to Tel Aviv of Patriot II anti-missile missiles arriving every 15 minutes in huge Galaxy transport aircraft. By deploying these the US hopes to keep Israel out of the war and thus the Arab coalition together.

I had made arrangements to travel to Heronshaw for a work programme on the garage today and I was up quite early and watched the TV news on the Gulf before I went. In doing this, I witnessed the news coming in of further Scud missiles hitting Israel. The early stories were of the missiles hitting Jerusalem as well as Tel Aviv with the numbers being 8 and 3 respectively; but, after the stories were cleared by the Israeli military censors, the news was limited to just three on Tel Aviv later. Later on, Israeli television showed film of the massive US air lift to Tel Aviv of Patriot II anti-missile missiles arriving every 15 minutes in huge Galaxy transport aircraft. They are operational units from the US German deployments that have come complete with their American operational crew and have been deployed in order to prevent Israel from entering the war and breaking up the alliance of USA and Arab countries.

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Friday 18th January 1991

The Allies spent a stressful day trying all forms of diplomacy to try to persuade Israel not to retaliate as Iraq escalates Gulf War by attacking Israel with Scud missiles and the true aircraft casualties were kept secret on both sides. A little work outside today and a Council meeting in Huntingdon as I was recovering fitness after illness

For the second day running, I awoke to bad news from the Gulf. I was first awake at about 5.00am when I had to get up for the toilet but turned on the TV to hear that Iraq had successfully attacked Israel with Scud missiles. I went back to sleep and got the full details when I was called later. Seven missiles had hit the coastal plain with most in Tel Aviv and Hiafa. A further one nearly got through to the main Allied air base in Saudi Arabia but was shot down within camera range by a "Patriot" ground-to-air missile. Evidently, these occurrences were a great shock after the euphoria of the first day's Allied successes and particularly so as at first they thought that the warheads contained chemicals or biological agents. Most of Israel spent the early hours in their sealed rooms and bunkers and were very worried.

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Thursday 17th January 1991

The Gulf War Begins with a US warship off-shore Cruise Tomahawk missile fusillade and hundreds of Allied warplanes attacking strategic Iraqi targets opposed by just surface to air missiles and gunnery.

Daniel called and arranged to come to Heronshaw and help me at the weekend as the weather was a little milder.

I awoke this morning to the sound of shrill reports on the radio revealing the fact that the Allies had started the Gulf War just after I had gone to bed last night. Under cover of darkness, flights of Cruise Tomahawk missiles had been released from US warships off-shore aimed at Iraqi Scud missile silos and, together with hundreds of US and UK (and some Saudi and Kuwaiti) war-planes, had attacked strategic targets. The UK fighters accounted for Iraqi air bases, with their US allies, in Iraq and other US planes attacked communications and command targets. These overnight attacks were not opposed by Iraqi war-planes which, if not destroyed on the ground, either stayed in their hardened bunkers or headed into northern Iraq to avoid the unequal battle. Instead, they relied on "triple A" (Anti-Aircraft Artillery) and surface to air missiles and gunnery to oppose the Allied planes without much initial success.

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