All posts for the month December | 1941 |

Mon Dec. 29 1941 8.30 PM.

To-day Jean has collected the cards. We are asked to send them for salvage to make munitions, a gruesome end to all the messages of peace and good-will. Some of them are so beautiful we are loathe to part with them. It has been very cold and raw to-day a sharp frost turning into a damp atmosphere and at last to a sleety wet rain which, however, did not last long. I did a big wash, Rene helped me with part of it. Part of the day there was a little breeze and more got dry than I expected, most of the others are partly dry. I have got the big clothes-horse down and filled it, one lot almost dry now. It had to be scrubbed as the oil-stove seems to make a mess of it. Father went to Dr M. for medicine on Sat. Dr. says nothing very far wrong with him but best to go before too bad, thinks it was a touch of bronchitis again. As he is on the “Panel” now he got his prescription made up at “Boots”. Jean very sick Sat. night, seems to be going about. I was in and out of bed until I was shivering and at 4.30. a.m. I came down to get a drink of milk for her as I thought she would be so faint. I put kettle on the stove to fill up our hot water bottles (Father was on watch 2 a.m. to 8 ) and then lit the kit. fire. I put McL. Stomach Pd. in milk and a teaspoon of brandy and the sickness settled and she went to sleep. I went to sleep too and was thankful the fire was lit and kettle on bar, as it was 10 to 8 when I got downstairs in my dressing-gown. I just had time to dress and get tea pot ready when Father came. Hallgarth who is usually late was early for once, as I was late. Still it was Sunday morning and nothing spoiling. Jean stayed in bed until dinner-time and only had tea and toast until Tea-time then had Oxo.

It was a beautiful bright winter day and after-dinner I walked to Wigg Lane to see Harriet. J[ack] was very affable and insisted on me staying tea. They had a lovely trifle, sponge-cake, jelly fruit and custard. Their Xmas cake was about 3 times the size of ours (their family is too) and was very good tho’ no better than ours. It was decorated with pink and wht. icing but no almond paste. Jk gave me a slice to bring home and H sent Jean 4 bars of choc. Had a letter from Ron to-day he is coming home on Wed again if all is well. Father is on bx tonight until 2 am. Jean is on couch, expect we shall soon go to bed. It has looked very like snow to-day, I hope we don’t get as much as the last two years. I don’t like snow. I have a lovely blue anemone in the garden and the foliage on the others is a vivid green, rather like curly parsley. One or two primroses are in bloom, I thought of what Jean said about the spots on her face, “it must be the spring”. I shall have to turn my chrysants out this week, they have lasted well. I have two little flowers, yellow chrysants, in a flower pot (rooted), so perhaps they will last until I can find enough primroses or snowdrops.

Jean had Xmas card from Sheila and Pam Smith, they are in the Scilly Isles now, at least I expect so. Grandma walked to Charles’ and back on Xmas Day for dinner and tea, as she is 82 or 3 and it was very cold it was rather an event. It must be a good mile each way I should think. Mr Eden returns from Russia to-night. Mr Churchill is in Canada to-day, returns to U.S.A later. Father went to Tetford to see if Gavin had a suitable car a little larger than ours but made no bargain.

“The Panel” referred to a medical insurance scheme.

“Boots the Chemist” was in Skegness. The Chemist in the village was Meadows’, near ‘The Pullover’.

Maclean’s stomach powder was a well known product.

Oxo drink was made from Oxo gravy-salt cubes.

Jack Harness, Harriet’s husband, was meant here (see 28 Nov. 1940).

Charles Hill was meant here (see 16 Dec. 1940).

Anthony Eden was the British Foreign Secretary.

Winston Churchill and US President Roosevelt had been attending the first ARCADIA Conference on strategy in Washington in late December 1941. Churchill addressed the Canadian Parliament on December 30th.

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

Dec 25 11.15 PM Thurs. [1941]

Xmas 1941. Our third war Xmas and no end in sight, indeed we seem deeper in the toils of war than ever now that Japan has declared against us and the U.S.A. and thrown so many men into the fight, alas, I am afraid we were not as ready for them as we ought to have been. How is it they have 100 troop-ships ready for landing forces in one place alone? Where are our watchers on sea and air? It is a great comfort that things are going so well in Libya, surely we shall manage to completely rout them there now. Also the Russians are winning along a big front now and expect to raise the siege of Leningrad any time and are driving the Gers. back from Moscow. We are not out of danger here yet, the government keeps warning us more than ever of the danger of an invasion. Think most of us are of the opinion even then that it won’t be so bad to be invaded by Gers as to be overrun by the little yellow men.

We have had a nice quiet Xmas, it has not seemed like Xmas Day at all to me. We have missed Ron, but know he would get a good dinner and be having a good time with Jeff and Vic, tho’ he would have liked to be at home. We have plenty of good food this Xmas, we had home-made sausage for breakfast broiled in the broiler I had made last year. Spare rib with apple-sauce onion potato and brussels sprouts, and Xmas pudding just a little less rich than pre-war, with custard (powder) sauce. For tea we did not eat a lot but had the Xmas cake, only made on Monday as we had not the ingredients until then but it is very good and we had a thin layer of almond (subs.) paste on top and Rene decorated it with coloured marzipan and choc. Of course we had some mince-pies left and biscuits. In the afternoon we had some choc. Caleys Plain Tray, very good, and a ¼ lb bar of Cadbury’s fruit and nut. We have a few apples too. Canadians at 9D lb. very good too. We had pork pie for supper (home-made), early because Father had to go on watch at 8. p.m. He has a new C.G. cap, the other was always rather small, this is far more comfortable. We played whist before and after tea and after supper we played games with coins, that Mr A showed us. Don’t know if it was shove-ha’penny, but it was amusing, tho’ I don’t think it improved our table-top. Jean lit her Xmas tree candles. She hung up her stocking on Xmas Eve and had raisins an apple, sweets stockings and a 6D Penguin Book of Tennyson’s Poems.

Airmen with Wellington Bomber at RAF Binbrook 1941

Airmen with Wellington Bomber at RAF Binbrook 1941

Father has bought another pig from Can 25S/0D to keep for bacon next year if all is well, it is a white one. Eff has one too. It has been very cold with sleet-shower but some sunshine, we could not see “Binbrook” at first but cleared later. Thank-ful to say we have plenty of coal at present and we had a few logs to-day. Jean went to Mrs Brown’s to wish them a Happy Xmas and take a small brawn. They are inviting us for dinner one day Jean says. Rene and Mr A went about 10.15 then I wrote to Ron and I had a cup of Horlicks malted milk and Jean had cocoa. It is nearly 12 o’clock so had better stop writing. I am writing in bed and have got a lot of ink on my finger. We have had about 30 Xmas cards, very nice ones. They are set out around the room.

The siege of Leningrad by the Germans had begun in September 1941. Although the siege was not lifted until much later in the war, a winter lifeline was established in the form of an ice road across a frozen lake, allowing some food to be brought in, but insufficient to prevent an appalling degree of starvation.

The Germans had advanced to within 20 miles of Moscow in early December 1941 but the harsh weather and the arrival of fresh Soviet troops from Siberia prevented capture of the city.

The broiler was a pan with deep sides and front handle designed to be placed on the bar of the ‘Yorkist’ range in the kitchen (see 17 Jul. 1941).

Caley’s of Norwich was a long-established quality chocolate manufacturer, less well known than Cadbury’s.

‘Can’ was probably an abbreviation or nickname for Mr Capron, a pig breeder, who lived at ‘The Rest’ in Anderby Road, near the edge of ‘The Marsh’. Mr Capron, a lay preacher, also cultivated and sold blackcurrants and other soft fruit. (Less likely, it could possibly have referred to Scottish Mr Kochan, from Harrington, a relief veterinarian for Captain Shaw who was the regular vet from Alford.)

“Binbrook” was probably the name of a house, usually visible from Lenton Lodge. (Binbrook village and airfield were too distant.)

Mrs Brown, here, was probably Rose, wife of Eardley (see 31 Jan. 1941).

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

Sun Dec. 21 6.30 p.m. [1941]

Phew! What a hectic week we have had. Washed on Monday and the clothes dried fortunately so ironed Tues. morning. It was a fine cold day for pig-killing but Norman was late so it was not set when they cut it out at 4.30. However it was very fat but weight a great disappointment 15 stones. Don’t know whether it is the breed, or the food they get now. We are trying a fresh breed next. Eff’s weighed 16 sts, It is beautiful meat. The “thalms” were so tender I had a tiresome job cleaning them but got enough. We made 58 sausages and 6 pork pies, not huge ones of course.

The pies were in the oven on Wed. evening, I had just scrubbed the boards and table ready for getting tea when Paul came from W.Bx to bring a phone message from Ron to say he and Emmie would be at Willoughby St at 9 pm. It poured with rain, car was at garage at Hogs[thorpe] so Father had to ring up to see if it was whole. Fortunately it was, so at 8 he cycled there and went to Will. Train went straight thro’ without stopping. Chapman at Station phoned to Alf[ord] to see if they had got out there. NO So phoned to Burgh then to Firsby for Airman, Ron of course was in civvies! However they were caught at Firsby and told to go on to Sk[egness]. Father went on, got there first in fact, and finally collected them. Meanwhile Jean and I made up the double bed in best bed-room for her and Em, I put Ron in Jean’s bed just as it was. We lit fire in sit-room and cleaned it up as we had only done grate on Tue and was leaving it until Thur. morning. Began to get uneasy after 10’ o’clock tho’ we thought the train might not have stopped. But Father’s lights are not good and he cannot see too well in the black out, so I was wondering, Jean kept weeping so when it had turned 11 o’clc. we went to R.A’s and asked if their phone connected with W.Bx. It did not but one of them went up to see if there was a message. There was not, they phoned garage, and found W. left there at 8.30. So we went home again, it was a fine starry night then. After a 20 mins wait to our great relief they arrived at 11.30 looking rather like two naughty children wondering what mother would say. However I was so relieved I only thought and did not say. Poor Father was on watch at 2 am so did not go to bed.

On Thursday ev. we had a little party, Rene made saus rolls and they went, like smoke. We also made trifle with a spo[nge] sandwich, tin of sl[iced] peaches, a rasp jelly and custard (Bird’s) with sugar flowers. Jean made water-lilies of serviettes (paper) and in each put a name card made from old Xmas cards, just a little flower cut out and stuck on the corner of a plain white strip and the name printed. Joan C came, it was a great success. Peter Kirk brought Ron a razor in case and Gordon and Law[rence] a leather wallet. On Fri. we went to Sk. for petrol and a little shopping. Got Rene a lovely pair of gloves with fur at cuffs for 7/11 pre-purchase tax. She is very pleased with them. Gave Ron and Father cuff-links. Father has given me a lovely shopping basket. Ron gave him a pipe, Jean a book, Rene a lovely case for Hosiery. He brought me a set of table mats from Leeds, that looked like polished wood.

Have got most of my Xmas cards and letters done. S and D. Club money 18/0 this year. Father left 6/0 to pay first quarter of next year. Tomorrow we must make our Xmas Cake, Rene and I. I have not been as late before but had not the ingredients until this week-end. Emmie brought us a taste of her Xmas Cake the last bit, so they have got thro’ theirs before Xmas. It was very good but not quite as good as Ron’s B.D. Cake. Jean has had a hanky case from Sh[eila] Smith but no letter. After all this we rather feel as if Xmas had been and gone.

Norman, nephew, working for Wells’ Butchers, was probably meant here (see 17 Oct. 1941).

The pig would have been held on a wooden framework or ‘cratch’ for slaughter and then left there to become firm or ‘set’ before the cutting-up procedure. Cold conditions were considered essential. (See p48 of ‘Nobbut a Yellerbelly!’, Alan Stennett, Countryside Books, 2006).

Mr Chapman was a railway employee at Willoughby station.

Joan C was nephew Roy’s girlfriend (last mentioned 7 Aug. 1941).

Laurence (usual spelling, frequently abbreviated to Lau), nephew, was a brother of Raymond, Keith, Gordon and Colin Hill (see 18 Jul. 1941). He was in the Boys’ Brigade, as was Colin.

‘S & D Club’ meant the Sick & Dividing Club (see 16 Dec. 1940).

Sheila and Pam Smith were the twin girls (similar age to Jean) who had moved with their mother to the Scilly Isles (see 26 Jan. 1941). Their older brother and sister were John and Peggy (see 24 Mar. 1941).

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

Sun Dec. 14 8.15 P.M. [1941]

It is very rough and cold tonight, after a dull quiet morning it started to rain a fine drizzle and came on very fast later. Jean did not go to S[unday] School but Rene came home, says Mr A’s chest hurting him again to-day and very stuffed up. Seemed a bit fed up with him. If I am not crocked, he is, or failing that she has a cold herself, her last one is not gone yet, but think I am getting off of her hands a bit. Did not get staircase cleaned last week, must try tomorrow as I am only doing a small wash. Father and I went to Sk[egness] on Fri. aft. Got Jean a pair of shoes £1.1. ! and 5 coupons. Rene gave me 10/0 for Xmas box, bought a new H. W. Bottle and a pinafore (3 coup.) still have 4/0 left. Bought a pair of pants and posted them to Ron at Yeadon to wear with civil clothes. Sent the enlarge. of his photo as he wanted it for Emmie. Having a small party on Thur evening as Ron won’t be here for Xmas. Have written to Mrs Denman and to Edie. Sent E. one of Ron’s photos, they are the best he has had taken. Rene has taken the film to be developed that has Amy and Ken on. Hope they will all turn out well. It is a very interesting if expensive hobby. Father is on watch, the box is draughty and two or three of the others have colds, hope he does not get more.

Will Hill ('Father') in Coastguard greatcoat

Will Hill ('Father') in Coastguard greatcoat

Russians seem to be driving the Germans back now, hope the tide is turned there, the news from Libya continues to be encouraging. The Far East is too new a war to judge anything at present. The loss of the Prince of Wales and Repulse was a big blow but the comparatively small loss of life was a great relief. Jessie sent me some more chrysanths to-day, the last, I hope they last over Xmas, they are lovely. I still have a few of my own in water. I brought the buds in and put them in water in the pantry and they have come out well. Eff had the rabbit we had from Warner’s (Millicent). She was as big as a hare and so fat. Parish killed her for me as Father hates killing tame rabbits. Our kitten continues to visit us. It is a great pet.

Jean with Pet Rabbit

Jean with Pet Rabbit

In Libya the siege of Tobruk had been relieved on December 10th 1941, as part of Operation Crusader, as German forces under Rommel were withdrawn from the immediate area. Further German withdrawals, within Libya, took place in the following weeks (although the situation was reversed for a while in 1942).

HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse were sunk by an intensive Japanese aircraft attack off the coast of Malaya on December 10th 1941.

Warners were an elderly couple whose bungalow was in the area leading to Joe Kirk’s ‘Point Farm’ from St Leonards Drive (see Village Map).

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

8.20 am Thur Dec. 11 [1941]

Jean has gone to school tho’ it poured with rain when she left here. It has just left off pattering at the window. She will be in the bus’ by now I expect. She put on a waterproof “pixie” and her Wellingtons, and took a change of stockings. It is “exams” or I should not have let her go. But do not want her to miss any. She is 6th in term work aver. 75%. There are about 30 in class so not so bad. Geo. Ran[son] is top as usual. Cleaned Jean’s bedroom yesterday and finished ironing, also put up the sit. room curtains. Had asthma about 5 o’c. this morning so rose about 6.45 and got a cup of tea and it is settling down. Pig can’t be killed until Tue. 16th now so must get all cleaning done this week if possible. Shall have a quiet Xmas I expect as Ron won’t be here and Father goes on watch at 8. p.m. Wish Mr. A would go out for the day, but expect we shall have to ask him here again as we shall want Rene to come. Think I will make a pair of curtains until it gets daylight. Have been knitting Jean’s second glove, am just ready to increase for thumb. Rene’s cold not gone yet.

George Ranson was the son of niece Ciss and her husband Percy Ranson. George was a Boys’ Brigade member and Percy was in the Royal Observer Corps and Home Guard. Ciss, a sister of Connie, was a daughter of Will’s eldest brother, George (see 2 Feb. 1941).

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

Dec 9 Tue 8.30 PM [1941]

My diary was to be just everyday things and not a diary of the war. But war comes into everyday happenings now every hour of the day. Japan has attacked U.S.A. and British possessions without warning while her ministers were still in Washington pretending to talk over terms for keeping a peaceful Pacific. They have marched on Thailand (Siam) with Hitler’s excuse that they are doing it to protect them from Britain! Thailand is negotiating with her now and allowing them to use her country as a thoroughfare. One thing, it has woken up U.S.A. even Lindbergh and the rest of the isolationists. We had hoped that in the New Year we might perhaps begin to hope for peace before another Xmas but now the war clouds seem darker than before. No extra food is to be issued for Xmas, but that is a small thing. Here at least we have enough and to spare. Ron was home yesterday, but it seemed a very short day as Ralph is home and came with him and stayed until dinner-time then he went to Ralph’s to tea. He doesn’t often see Ralph now so could hardly refuse. Jean and I went to the station with him. It was very bad driving with masked lights as there were banks of mist here and there. I am resolved we will have one of the new pattern masks which are said to be much better. I had intended having a new easy-chair but think the mask must come first. Coming home, when we had got off the Sloothby Low Lane with its great drain along one side, Father got out and adjusted the head lights to shine a broader beam across the road so that we could see all the road and a wide piece of the grass verge, it was much better as we could see much sooner if anyone was walking either side of the road. It is rather nerve-racking when someone, as often as not, wheeling a lightless cycle, looms up just in front.

Rene and I washed to-day and when the line was full of clothes the end post broke off and all the clothes up to the next post went on to the garden and most of them had to be rewashed. Father put a new post up and they have got nearly dry. I have ironed the sit-room curtains and one or two more things. Father is on watch. Yesterday Father shot a fine wild rabbit and as we were out of meat I cooked it to-day, it was very good indeed, floured and fried with onion then stewed in thickened gravy and dumplings. News just being read, better news from Libya but I cannot take in all the other news and of course it will be some time before we know how things are going, but our Heads of State seem better prepared than before to meet this new aggression. However I think we shall know more hardship than we have up to now, before this dreadful war is finished. Sent for tin of salmon to Stow’s with my “pink points” Ra. Bk to-day but they are already sold out of best quality. As we are not tied to one shop with these I must try at Sk[egness].

Have finished one of Jean’s gloves, can’t seem to get going with the second as I accidentally burnt the instructions. Have already pulled it down twice, perhaps I shall be luckier next time. It tries my eyes counting the stitches. Last Thur when Ron was home a little brown Tabby cat came for the day, we saw it no more until yesterday, when it turned up again and stayed all day, it went out at night and haven’t seen it all today, tho’ Jean called it this morning and tonight. [Aside: Snippitt arrives.] It is a little “pet” and so plump it evidently knows where to go for a good living. Jean is busy with tests and exams now before breaking up for Xmas. Her average for terms work is 75. Dorothy Raynor has left school and gone into Lloyds Bank at Skegness. Should think she will do well. Don is in Canada, his mother has had a parcel from him with 1 lb. butter, sugar etc. Wrote to Sybil Adams on Sunday and to Emily to tell her Jaines had collected the organ. Hope it arrives safely.

Bessie Brown and Ted called on Sat afternoon. B. is in the A.T.S. and is a gunner. She is big and shy and very bonny, it is a pity she has the scar on her nose caused by putting it thro’ a pane of glass in a window. I think if it had been stitched it would not have been so conspicuous. She is only 19 or 20 but says she likes her work, she is a volunteer of course. She is going to Coventry after her leave. It seems so dreadful to think of girls fighting, surely it should not be necessary. Rene’s cold is better than it was but she is stuffy yet, tho’ she insisted on finishing the washing. I give in as I don’t seem to have enough energy to stand against her but I would really often rather finish when I have got a good start. I know she does it to save me but I do like to work when I can. Mrs Beels came to see me yesterday, had heard I was ill. She was rather too late as I was better!

The Japanese attack on the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, bringing the USA into the war, took place on 7th December 1941. Japanese forces landed from troopships and overcame British defences at Kota Bahru, Malaya. Air attacks took place on bases in Singapore and Malaya.

Charles Lindbergh, an American, had been the first to fly solo, non-stop, across the Atlantic, in 1927. In the early stages of WW II he had strongly advocated, before the US Congress, a non-interventionist policy. However, in the later stages, after “Pearl Harbour”, he patriotically served the war effort through involvement with military aircraft development and advanced pilot training in active combat in the Pacific.

Dorothy Raynor was the sister of Don and the daughter of Herbert. Don Raynor (see 16 Dec. 1940) was training in Canada for RAF service.

Bessie Brown was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Ted Brown (see 31 Aug. 1941).

Mr and Mrs Beels occupied a bungalow on South Road (not far from ‘Sunny Side’- see Village Map) and sold vegetables from their large garden.

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

Thur Dec 4 9. p.m. [1941]

Big Ben is just striking 9 pm in its cracked voice and now Frank Phillips is reading the news. No very important change just now. We are not getting on quite so fast as at first in Libya. The successes of the last week or two are very heartening after so many set-backs. Sincerely hope we do not have to declare war on Finland, but the faint hope of peace there seems to have vanished again. Men in England are to be conscripted up to 50 and single women between 20 and 30 are to be called on as they are needed. It seems to me that there is no method or organisation of labour or there would not be all this calling up of women and I think the money spent on nurseries for children under 5, whilst their mothers work is a blot on the Nation’s History. No one can care for little children like their own mothers, nor give them the love and individual care they need. I feel sometimes that I ought to be doing something but so often I do not know how to get my own work done. I do not see how I could undertake other work.

Ron has been home to-day instead of Wed. He was in high spirits as his leave starts on Sat week 13th to 20th. I do hope he won’t be posted for his other course before Xmas, but he says it is quite possible. He took his new case and “civvy” clothes in case he doesn’t get his day off next week. He is going to Yeadon until the Thursday so we shall not see much of him, that is unless Emmie returns with him then they will come on Wed I expect. It will be rather a rush in any case as we expect to kill our pig on Mon. 15th. We have got the necessary permit from Food Office at Spilsby. We have got our Pink. points ration-cards for tinned foods so now we can get 1 lb or more per month, a head, of tinned salmon, sardines beans etc the etc being “Spam” which is chopped ham! Tinned sausage meat etc, I have heard it is spiced highly and Ron says, “for goodness sake don’t buy the messed up foods, they taste like nothing on earth”. Oh why, could the Americans not send us some good sides of bacon or better still feeding-stuffs for our own animals? Well as we are killing our own bacon we shall not be so dependent on them, but a lot of people will. After the war is over I guess there will be quantities of tinned food sold for a little or nothing and even wasted. As a nation I think we prefer solid joints at any time to messed up food in or out of tins. Rene came for dinner, she has got another bad cold, she seems very susceptible to them. Wonder if she got it Mon. night at concert as several people there with bad colds. Paid drainage rate to-day £1.5.4. The first year we were here it was 6S/4D. Have got sitting-room cleaned chair covers washed and on but curtain to wash yet. Must get Jean’s room cleaned and beds put near hot cistern to keep aired, from other room. If Emmie comes shall want both beds and Ron will go in his own little room otherwise shall put him in big room as Jean likes the little one. Harriet is having “Mrs Grey” our mother rabbit on Sat. Father is on watch and Jean and I are soon going to bed.

We went to Willo[ughby] with Ron to meet 7.20 train, did not wait as Father was due on watch at 8 pm. There is nearly or quite a full moon tonight so it was not so bad driving home tho’ there were patches of mist. [Aside: Full moon Wed.] Jean has to have lights on cycle in the morning now, as blk. out is not off until 8.17 a.m. but still gets home before blk. out time. Ron has taken a jar of home-made rasp jam and a jar of marmalade to take to Yeadon as they were not able to get marmalade when he was there last and Emmie likes my rasp jam. Shall send them a taste of pig if all is well. Em. says Ron’s B.D. cake was the best she ever tasted. Rene made it and I almond-iced it. Jeff also approved of it. Rene has made 4 Xmas puddings between us. [Aside: Ron’s rash better.]

Frank Phillips, formerly a professional singer, was a popular announcer and newsreader on the radio.

Operation Crusader (see 20 Nov. 1941) had, on 27th November 1941, succeeded in linking up with allied forces besieged in Tobruk garrison since April 1941.

On 6th December 1941 Britain did issue a declaration of war against Finland which was engaged in military action against Russia (see 10 Nov. 1941).

Rationing of basic foods by cost (meat) or weight had been in place since January 1940. Points using pink cards were introduced on 1st December 1941, initially for the purchase of certain canned foods, mostly imported.

The hot water cistern was in Ron’s small bedroom.

Jeff Pearson was Ron’s friend in the RAF unit at Binbrook.

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