The Casualties Were Small by May Hill, Ambridge Books, £8.99
Wartime diaries and poetry 1940-1944 of a mother at Chapel St Leonards (she died in November 1944). Diaries record domestic routine of spring cleaning and jam making, renovating clothes for the family, preparations for weddings, war news, and all the while concern for her son on active service in the RAF. Very personal insight into local life. Illustrated with photographs. A great letter writer. Revealing comments on relations, and the way the war crept into daily life.
An eloquent record, and a simple effective way with words in the poems which also reflect her Christian faith – as in The Lessons We Learn, The Click of the Garden Gate, and Prayer for Peace, and ‘The Casualties Were Small’, a quotation turned into fear for her son and concern for others:
‘When Winton aerodrome was bombed
The ‘Casualties were small’.
Just your son, my son and little widow Brown’s son,
The youngest of them all.’
This little book is highly recommended reading.