All posts for the month October | 1941 |

Tuesday October 21 8 pm [1941]

Trafalgar Day and Father’s birthday or is it? It always was supposed to be then someone argued that it was the 20th or 22nd. I don’t remember which. However Miss Boyers says the 21st and as she was 20 mins before him and keeps her on that date we will presume it is. Rene and Jean have given him a shaving brush 4/0 which he badly needed. He has a cold and has got a bottle of medicine from Dr. M. Dr. called to see me this morning about 9.30. I was up just after 7a.m so had got a fire in room and tidied up. Says I am considerably improved, fluid nearly all cleared up. I can work a little and get out a bit now, but must take reasonable care.

Rene went to have model of teeth taken and brought back medicine for us both, mine from Dr’s and Father’s from Boots as he pays health insurance while on C.G. work. Rene brought home nice ginger cakes and a nice bit of fish for me. sent Father and I an egg each. Harriet came down this afternoon and brought me a bottle of milk, very acceptable and ½ lb tea. She gave me the tea, says no Xmas boxes this year. She is looking very well, weighs 12st 6lb. They have been to Nottingham, says Frank’s [Harnesses] are probably coming on holiday shortly. They seem very taken with “Walter” Eva’s soldier. I walked as far as the Point with her as the wind had gone down. Rene brought medicine (and brought cakes), thought she looked tired. Father is on duty 8p.m until 2 a.m. Has a touch of bronchitis Dr says, but expects it is old age coming on. He was in a jovial mood this morning and wouldn’t believe I had been up a long time.

Soldiers next door after all, but seem very decent, gave Jean some carrots for rabbits tonight. Rene did a big wash for me yesterday and is probably doing her own tomorrow. We shall miss Ron this week but he will be coming on Tues until Thurs. Goes to Leeds this Thursday. Has had a very bad cold but said it was beginning to mend Sat. Have finished his socks and started to stilt a pair for Frank Raynor, Eff does lots of things for me one time or another. Think we will go to bed if no more planes about. Am very tired.

Miss Boyes (corrected spelling), a spinster who lived on Sea Road, was probably meant here. She worked in the Post Office at Stow’s (see 6 Mar. 1941)

Frank Harness, nephew (Harriet and Jack’s eldest son) and his wife, Edna, lived in Nottingham, where, like younger brother, Tom, he managed a shop (see 26 Sep. 1941).

It was Eva Harness, Frank’s sister (previously mentioned 11 Apr. 1941) who had met soldier Walter Banks.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Tuesday October 14 7 pm [1941]

I have just come up to bed, got up about 2 o’c to-day, have not been up for dinner except Sat. Was hoping Dr. would come as I want fresh medicine. Am decidedly better, but not very brisk yet. Expect Ron will come tomorrow, had a letter from him today also from Emmie, he had told her I was ill. Roy home on 7 days leave, also Billy Hallgarth. Jessie sent me ½ doz pears off the wall tree. Had a parcel of useful jumpers from Mrs Denman a.m. today. She says she is also sending a navy coat for Jean in a separate parcel. The things are very useful.

Daisy came Sun afternoon. Mr Wells has not been able to get Norman off so she is afraid he will have to go. He does not want to go which is hard for himself and harder for his mother. Peter wants to go but is hardly old enough. Mavis and Jean going to Parade to-morrow afternoon to see Ginger Rogers. Roy and J[oan] gone tonight I think. It rained all this morn and is very cold tonight. Jean is just bringing me a cup of tea. Rene got me 2/6 jar of Horlicks yesterday, they only let invalids have it at Stows so am being careful of it. E light keeps dipping, is not very good in any case, wonder if Jerry is about. He dropped bombs in Sk. bathing pool Sun night, no casualties.

Wonder if Jean can get a chop tomorrow, had no meat yesterday or today as warmed up beef not very digestible for invalids. Wouldn’t mind another rabbit, the last was very good, fried it with carrots and onions then the gravy thickened and stewed altogether until tender. Sent Pauls half of it. Jean has brought some white chrysanths in and some small bronze button ones, it was whipping them so in the garden. Have got to the heel of Ron’s second sock. The pair Jean knitted in Aug he brought home to be washed and mended last week. (I am knitting the toes and heels double now). They are enough to make one weep, Rene vows they boil them at the laundry and of course the wool isn’t like pre-war. He had his RAF ones lost at the laundry and could exchange for new, don’t think he can exchange knitted ones.

Father took car to Mrs Smith’s funeral (Parish’s mother-in-law). 7/6. Mrs W [?] Green was there and rather amusingly Hugh who has left the sea and is in a garage at Alford now and drove the solic[itor?]. Father said he was rather grubby and wondered how she liked to see him. Rene did not come back tonight, I told her not to, she seems never to get any rest. On Sunday Mr A came for tea considerably improved by having cysts removed from head, not at all sensitive about it. Think a fresh consignment of soldiers have just arrived, heard marching, then “here we are” and considerable banging of doors at Ashleys, their billets. Believe they are the Sherwood For[esters]. Think S. Lancs are going into Nissan huts at Bilsby. Have written to Emily, Emmie and Mrs Denman today.

Billy Hallgarth (jnr.) was the son of Bill Hallgarth, coastguard (see 31 Jan. 1941).

Norman, nephew, Daisy’s eldest son, was employed by Mr Wells, butcher.  Peter and Chris were Norman’s younger brothers (see 17 Feb. 1941).

The ‘Parade’ was a theatre/cinema in Skegness.

Mrs Smith, here, who lived at ‘Moggs Eye’, a small cottage (whose name was later given to the nearby beach) between Anderby and Huttoft, was the mother of ‘Bert’ Parish’s wife (see 2 Jan.1941).

Mrs Green was the wife of Captain HH Green and mother of Hugh (see 2 Jan.1941).

The ‘Sherwood Foresters’ were the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire regiment of the Army.


Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Friday October 10 9am [1941]

I rose about one o’clock yesterday and as the little boy entered in his diary “set at 7”. I had a nice dinner. Eff had brought me a young chicken which Rene roasted. I had it with bread sauce and marrow, it was quite a treat. Then I had rice (my favourite) pudding. The others had neck of mutton. Expect I shall have some today as Rene said she would skim all the fat off before I had it. Had a nasty attack of asthma after dinner and again after supper but slept well until one o’ clock then another bout and very restless until 4 am.

When I came to bed a week last Wed night I said I would have a day in bed, now 10 days after I am still here. Was up for dinner last Sat., the only day until yesterday. Jean is very good, she has two weeks holiday but says she is tired of housekeeping. Her idea of nursing is pretty good, she brings nourishment about every two hours and keeps me a hot water bottle going as my feet get so cold. Rene has a bad cold, I hope I don’t get it. I want to get out as soon as I can.

We were much amused at the old black and white cat with the kittens yesterday. (It rained all day, pleased Ron took his wellingtons and that Jean has new ones.) The cat has been in the habit of going to “Corbie” to the soldiers and has brought her kittens into the garden. We saw her come out yesterday and have a chat with them, then she bolted back into the house and the whole family followed after disappearing like the children in the side of the hill at the heels of the Pied Piper.

Anderby Road Houses facing the Sandhills near Chapel Point. May's home 'Lenton Lodge' is marked with a cross. © JS&S (Sands)

The sand hills between the Point and C.G. box right past our house are mined. They have chopped down a lot of the bushes, there will be no “golden glory” of sea-thorn this winter but with all this weather the grasses have grown and covered up the bare patches so it looks quite natural again.

Ron has got his a/c 1 and is very “chuff” about it. We are so pleased. He is very conscientious about his work. We have got the house new painted and the new gates up so look quite respectable. Jean just come up to make her bed, can hear Father raking up the cinders. It is fair weather again now but windy and dull. Will see if I can knit a bit. Have finished one sock and started the other. ‘Tis time I got up again, my elbows, shoulders and back begin to feel tender. I do not feel as brisk as yesterday yet.

Mrs Maud Clay (née Smith), Fred’s sister had an operation last week and died. So they will be in great trouble. It is only a few months (May I believe) since his younger brother Alf died. He was 42, Maud 51. We had seen in Friday’s Standard that she had had a serious operation at “The Red House” Louth, so afraid people should think she was at the “County Hospital” when she could afford “The Red House”. However death makes no distinction of that kind. We are very sorry. Will took Mr. Lamb (she lived with him at his shop 4 years) and two of the Kirks who are relatives. Lamb hired the car but Father was much amused to find he let the other two, Mrs. K[irk] and Joe, pay their share. Mean old stodger.

Later, 8.30 pm. I did not get up until after dinner to-day as I had such a bad night and felt very seedy until tea time. Father went to C.G. box at 8 and I am quite ready for bed. He has fixed up the rabbit hutch we have from Mr. Paul and put “Sara” in it and Mrs. Grey in the hutch Sara was in. Mr. A brought my medicine to-night, also some brown tablets, I think they are for asthma, the medicine looks and tastes the same.

Have written to Fred and Amy. Rene has baked for the weekend. Peter Taylor has skinned the rabbit Mr. Paul shot for us, it is a young one. I must get it cooked for tomorrow’s dinner as we are giving Pauls part of it. Mrs. P has to stay in bed a month so I ought not to grumble. She has no one but Mr. P to see her until her mother can leave another sister and come to her. Think Hallgarths are related to Mrs. P so they may do a bit for her, but it is dreary being in bed alone. Jean has had a bit of toothache and is very tired to-night. Flora Hall had her tonsils out on Tuesday so expect Dr. M. She was visiting her on Thurs morning when he came so early.

Fred Smith (previously mentioned 18 May 1941), farmer, was the husband of May’s cousin Amy.

Mr Lamb had latterly been married to Joe Kirk’s sister, Alice, whose death was recorded in the diary entry of 6 Dec. 1940.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Thursday October 9 9.15 am [1941]

Every day, “an arch wherethrough gleams the untravelled world”.

I read that this morning in a book by Alpha of the Plough, (the stars not the farmer’s) so I wrote it down. I must quote it in my letter to Ron. He was home yesterday and said he had been thoroughly “browned off” this last week. I heard a fellow yesterday saying he was not browned off but “burnt off” so think they are all a little bored. Ron had not much to do owing to the fog.

9.35 am. I had just got out of bed to go to the bathroom when the doctor arrived. I was looking out of the window and saw a car stopped and could hear a genial voice speaking to Father downstairs and suddenly realised it was Dr. Menzies, pronounced as if you had a lump of toffee stuck on your palate. I hastily got back into bed and tossed the heap of mangling Jean had left on to the little table as he came upstairs. Says I am much better, can get up if I promise to sit in a chair. No trying to do anything tho’ he says I couldn’t if I tried. Says when I am up I force myself to do things which is quite true. I think he must have a touch of Irish as well as being Scotch as he told me on no account to do anything when I got up as it wasn’t worth “killing myself to live a day longer”.

The expanded quote ‘I am a part of all that I have met; yet all experience is an arch wherethrough gleams that untravelled world whose margin fades for ever and for ever when I move.’ is from Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-92). The poet was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire (see East Lincolnshire Map). ‘Alpha of the Plough’ was the pseudonym of Alfred George Gardiner (1865-1946), author and journalist.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?