All posts for the month January | 1942 |

Jan 31 /42 Sat. 8.15 P.M.

Evison came this afternoon. No chance of another wireless apparently. So we are having this one renovated, cost 30S/0 or maybe a little more. We may get it back in a week or 10 days. Miss Scott’s sister (Brenda’s mother) came too to ask Father to take Mr S. to Louth at 10 o’clock on Monday morning. At about 1.45 am this morning just before Father came off watch they saw a fiery glow like a big red moon, then it burst suddenly into a huge fire at Roy. Arthur and spread rapidly. We have heard to-day that no-one was hurt. It was in the Catering Dept. and Gloucester House was burnt out. The Duchess of Glo. opened this a year or two ago and the new wing of Sk[egness] Cott[age] Hospital. She has a little son some weeks old now, who is to be named Prince William. Am writing this in indelible pencil as we are in the kit. tonight and I forgot to bring the ink out and sit. room is not blacked-out. I can’t fetch it. Thought as we had no wireless and Father was on watch at 8 we would not mess up room so shan’t have to clean it tomorrow. Side a little better to-day. It has snowed on and off all day but not much lays on the ground, thawed a bit so roads will be slippery if it freezes, it did freeze at dusk but don’t think it is very sharp yet. It was dull when I looked out about 7.30. Skinned rabbit, it was very fat inside, its kidneys buried in fat and great lumps of fat on its shoulders under the skin. I threw fat to the birds and the gulls were on it as soon as it touched the ground. They are getting very tame. Jean’s cold at its height to-day I think, she has not been out, but is not quite so snuffy to-night. Got a bot. of cherry cough mixture from Hall’s 8D. Will loosen phlegm I think. Can hear the sea, think tide is in.

Gers have taken Benghazi again and Japs are within 15 miles of Singapore. Last night I had a queer dream, I thought we had taken a business in Japan, some kind of shop, and found we were very much in subjection to them. We seemed quite well off and I asked a person, she was a very beautiful Japanese lady about 30 I should think, (there was a plainer one with her but she did not seem to have any authority) whether I could close the shop one evening at 6 and go for a drive with some friends. She impressed (that is the only word for it) on me that on no account must I close the shop before 9 o’clock. That was the time and the consequence to us would be terrible if we disobeyed in any way, the commands of the Japs. I remember I was not afraid when I asked her, in fact I only mentioned it rather casually, but I still feel the awful sinking at heart and despair as she impressed her inexorable will on me and the determined look in her dark and very lovely eyes. I wondered why we had ever come there to do business, as I thought there would never be a chance of escape. Finished Jean’s sock to-day, she has got them on. Eva expects to go to Peterboro’ to learn El[ectrical] engineering she says, but what she is to do takes only a week to learn and she thinks has to do with fixing El. Stoves and telephones. Norman Swift is on draft leave. Am sorry for his poor almost bedridden mother. Rene said was very poorly, had diarrhoea but was a little better this afternoon. Seems to be several planes about tonight, think they are ours going out. Guess Ron and Emmie are at pantomime now.

Miss Scott’s sister, described as Brenda’s mother, has not been identified.

Benghazi in western Libya had already changed hands during 1941 and was again taken by the Germans under General Rommel on 29th January 1942. It was finally re-taken and held by the British under Montgomery later in 1942.

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

Fri Jan 30 1942 8.30 P.M

Tomorrow is the last day of January – I don’t think we have had one really fine mild day this month tho’ it was a fine frosty Sunday on the 11th. Tonight it pours with rain, I hope it washes all the snow away. Poor old Ron it is a bad night for him going up to Grimsby to sleep on his way to Leeds. The train goes at 6. a.m. I think, so he was starting his 48 hours to-night and hopes to arrive back in Camp Sun. night. Wonder how many more week-ends he will get before Emmie is called up. The roads were icy this morning under a thin layer of snow, but Jean managed to cycle to Jessies without mishap. She started early in case she had to walk. She has a snuffy head cold now, expect it is coming out after her wetting last Fri. Pleased it is Sat. tomorrow. Rene came on cycle but said roads very treacherous. She baked for me and made up the bread I had set to rise and baked it for me. She made gooseberry tarts of one bottle G.berrys and we had our last bot. of Plums stewed for dinner with custard. G.Bs have kept perfectly but think season was too wet for plums as they had not kept quite so well. I boiled a piece of the new bacon of our own curing last night. Have not had any yet but Father and Rene say it is very good. Rene made two bacon pasties for Father to take on watch. This morning at 2 a.m. Snippett went with him and stayed until he came home at 8, tho’ he turned her out sometime before, she waited on the steps for him. He said she slept on his knee or in the chair when he got out of it, all night, or rather morning. She ate a good breakfast of porridge and then went out until tea-time. She still stalks the sea-gulls. We are having a young rabbit this week-end it is one of Mrs Grey’s crossed with Flemish giant and is as big as a hare and so fat. Expect the oats have done a lot of that.

I wonder when I shall get my daffodil bulbs put in and if they will flower this spring? As soon as I can get some soil I think I will put them in a box in the shed to sprout. I have one in a flowerpot in the house but it is only about 1 inch high. Rene washed a few necessary clothes yesterday and I dried them in the house. Shall have to have a grand wash up next week if we get a decent day and I feel up to it. My side is very painful to-day. Had two oranges from Hall’s yesterday 5½D they were beautifully sweet. They are a great treat now and a luxury if we can get them. No apples since Xmas, we do miss them. Miss Scott came this evening to ask Father if he could take Mr S. to Louth Hos. Sun. or Mon. He has to go for treatment. A little more work for the car, if it comes off and we can do with it, but am sorry for Mr Scott. Father took wireless to Evison’s yesterday to see if it could be made a little more musical and reliable. He had intended getting another but sec. hand ones seem unobtainable, there is such a big demand for them. Hope he soon gets it done but he had two or three more sets in for repairs, he is giving us an estimate tomorrow as we are not spending a great lot on one as old as it is.

Miss Bertha Scott and Mr Scott, her father, lived in Fairfield Avenue (see Village Map).

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

Jan 27 Tue 8.30 P.M. [1942]

Father thinks explosion I heard last night at 7.30 was one of our planes which crashed at Ludboro’. Rumour that one crashed at 5.30 too at Binbrook. The planes we heard were our own coming and going. So I might as well have gone to bed early. Jean did not go to school again to-day, she was very seedy and it was bitterly cold. I think the severest frost we have had. Father says coldest night on box. A starling fluttered into the W[atch] Bx thro’ open scuttle, in the night after pattering about on roof. It stayed a little while and then went out again. He has taken two coats to-night.

Will Hill in Coastguard greatcoat

Rene cycled to-day but left cycle and walked back as it drizzled and froze first and then snowed this afternoon and froze the roads into sheets of ice. If Jean goes to sch. in morn she will have to walk to bus’ unless it thaws. Rene has finished one of Jean’s ankle socks and taken the one I started. I have renovated another old wool jumper. Wish it would come a nice wash-day, I am getting quite a pile of woollies that want washing.

The birds were ravenous this morning tho’ I think I have seen them more starved than they are this winter. “Snippet” is very ambitious, she stalks the sea-gulls very perseveringly. She might find she had caught a tartar if she came up to one. They are very vicious with other birds, but I saw a rook with his claw on a rabbit’s carcase to-day keeping off a cloud of sea-gulls that fluttered above him. One sea-gull floated down on the snow on his breast. Think he mistook it for water. Father saw Miss Lister this morning, she said Ciss was ill in bed, also Mrs Brown. He took his battery to Evison’s to be charged as he covered car up Sat. night with lights on. He got me another tin of Pork Sausage Meat from Stow’s like the last but they charged him 2/9 instead of 2/6. Had the other tin from Hall’s.

News on now. Dominions are to have representatives in War Cabinet. Churchill seems confident of winning war but prophesies more hardship yet, more blood and tears, toil and sweat but sees the light broadening behind clouds. Vote of confidence in P.M.

Ludborough village is between Louth and Grimsby (see East Lincolnshire Map). No reports of an aircraft incident there have been discovered, although a Hampden bomber crashed near Pinchbeck (40 miles away) in the early morning and the incident at Binbrook was when part of the bomb-load of a Wellington bomber fell out and exploded immediately following takeoff (see Incident Logs, Bomber County Aviation Resource).

Miss Lister, here, was the elderly aunt of Veda Lister, the village schoolmistress who had taught Rene (and Murial who had attended the school and was believed to be Veda’s younger sister). She lived at ‘Ivy House’ on Sea Road (see Village Map).

Claude Evison’s garage (also used as a wartime fire station) and taxi service were based in Hogsthorpe. His wife, Ethel, was, like Rene, a member of the Red Cross.

Winston Churchill concluded a lengthy address to the House of Commons: “I stand by my original programme, blood, toil, tears and sweat, which is all I have ever offered, to which I added, five months later, “many shortcomings, mistakes and disappointments.” But it is because I see the light gleaming behind the clouds and broadening on our path, that I make so bold now as to demand a declaration of confidence of the House of Commons as an additional weapon in the armoury of the united nations.” (See Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons Official Report, Jan. 27, 1942.) The vote of confidence in the Government was passed with an overwhelming majority (only one against) on January 29th1942.

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

Jan 26 9.30 PM. Mon [1942]

It was so windy and dark at ¼ to 8 am that I did not let Jean go to school. Her cycle was still at Jessies from Friday. She fetched it this afternoon but did not ride as tyre was flat and roads icy. Rene walked here to-day. It snowed several hours tho’ it had been a fair night. Wind changed from S.E. to N.N.E about 7. a.m. Very cold still but not so biting as last week. More snow than last night and I think a frost. Father has gone on watch. Heard a lot of planes after tea also (7.30) explosion a long way off, bombs or gunfire. Searchlights out all round. Keep hearing a plane now and then. Jean asleep on couch. Shall soon go to bed if all keeps quiet. Started a sock for Jean this morning. Rene got ½ one done. Have been sorting out old wool to finish them with as don’t want to give coupon for odd oz neither do I want to pay 8½D more, it is such poor stuff. Have done a nice little bit of my rug border Greek key pattern. Jean very pleased with herself, she has finished her scarf to match gloves I knitted her. Gers have recovered a lot of land in Libya. American Ex[peditionary] Force landed in N. Ireland to-day. I am afraid Gers will try at least, to invade us before this terrible struggle ends. Aus[tralia] is threatened with invasion by Japs. Another plane going humming past. We do not tremble now tho’ we know Gers. are about. It is marvellous how one grows inured to it, tho’ if a bomb was dropped near (it must be a wuffer) we should be afraid. It seems to be hovering about, I hate when they do. Not so sure I do not tremble now. Will have a cup of tea I think and stay up a little longer. Got C. Parish to post my letters when he brought papers as Hall’s close at 1 o’clock to-day.

The Expeditionary Force which landed in Belfast on January 26th 1942 comprised the first American soldiers to arrive in Britain for the war in Europe.

The greater American involvement in the war globally was one aspect of the escalation which followed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. This may have been on May’s mind when she wrote the poem ‘The Vale That Lies Between’, bearing the same date as this Diary entry.

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

Jan 26. 1942.
The Vale that Lies Between.

We travel slow along a road,
That leads us thro’ a dread mysterious vale;
The vale that lies betwixt that far off time,
We call, “in peace time”.
Meaning those far off days of Peace,
Before these dreadful days of war.
Beyond us, far in front, and veiled from sight,
Lies the unknown, future “peace time”,
That comes when war shall cease.
How far our feet shall travel on this road,
We know not; Nor yet can weigh the loss and gain,
That comes thro’ strife and bloodshed.
We know that all mankind doth change,
When fighting ’gainst his brother man.
Great deeds are done, and fearful ones, no less.
We rise to higher heights and sink to deeper depths
Than ere before. The brains of man expand and plan
Faster by far than in the quiet days of peace.
Developments in new control of air and ether,
That used for good of man instead of ill,
Would bring millennium here and now, and usher in
The thousand years of Peace.
Alas! When shall we climb out of this gloomy vale of war,
Up to the sunlit mountain-top, of Peace-time yet to be?

It was a time of great uncertainty when May wrote ‘The Vale that Lies Between’. The war had entered a new phase in December 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour in the USA and soon afterwards began to overrun Allied territories in the Far East as reported in many of the Diary entries. May’s reference, in the poem, to faster ‘developments in control of air and ether’ will be illustrated in various Diary entries which will appear later. The poem has been added to the poems collection on this site. It also appears in the book The Casualties Were Small which contains over twenty of May’s poems as well as selected diary extracts, including those which suggest the background to each poem, accompanied by many nostalgic photographs.

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

Sun Jan 25 4.30 p.m. [1942]

Thursday and Friday the bitter piercing cold continued until a thaw set in in the afternoon. I thought I was going to have a return of pleurisy but strange to say when the thaw started the pain began to get easier and tho’ short of breath I am much better again. It rained and froze Fri morning, Father took Mrs P[arish] and uncle to Alford and the roads were like glass. However it started to thaw and poured with rain and by Sat. morning was comparatively mild, all snow gone and rather misty. Ron came for day, he is thinner but cold is better. Jeff is posted overseas, they put six names in a hat and drew one out. Ron’s name was in too. We are pleased it was not his name but so sorry it is Jeff who has to go. He is only 18 and the one real pal Ron has. Ron has his photo, it is a fine face. They call him the “Judge”. I did not go to the station with Ron. (G. P[aul] did two hrs for Father) because of my troublesome chest. He went off in good spirits, goes to Yeadon next week-end if all is well.

It was pouring with rain when we went to bed but to our surprise on arising at 8 o’clock Father found the ground well covered with snow, the sky a murky greyish yellow looking as if full of snow. He did not think locals [preachers] would go but started off and did not return. It is nearly 5 o’clock so should soon be here now. It has snowed fast nearly all day but turned to a drizzle now. The sand-hills and trees and bushes are a picture, it is so still, the snow laid on every twig and branch but the last hour it has thawed and a lot has fallen off and it keeps sliding off the roof too with a rumble like thunder. The sky still looks full, am afraid this thaw means more to come. The Toynton little boy is getting better tho’ fairly bad still. A lot of illness about. There goes the car so Father is safe back. Fa had his tea says roads not very bad, it did not snow at Leake until 9.30 and had turned to a drizzle and thaw at 2.30. I finished Ron’s gloves Fri night, he was very pleased with them. He bought a watch at Meadow’s as he broke his wrist-watch and then Father’s which he had lent him, and they are so long getting repaired now. His new one is an Ingersoll (Swiss) £1. It will be useful even if his other is repaired soon. Have written to Kathie and Emily (returned photo) also to Mrs Bailey, Harrison says Mr B. ill in bed. Have also written to Roy in reply to his letter. Must write to Ron. Our pink points have now to cover dry fruits, some cereals such as rice also dry beans lentils and peas. War news from Far East a little more encouraging.

Old Leake is a village near Boston.

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

Wed Jan 21 8.45 am. [1942]

Very cold and I am afraid another bitter black frost, tho’ there is not so much wind. It is barely daylight yet. The snow has gone and I hope it does not return, tho’ I daresay it would be warmer. Yesterday Japs were only 75 miles from Singapore. Mr Churchill is back from America, think he will have an uneasy time getting things into shape again. Was interested to hear how Lord Addison stuck to his previous views about Popham and Malaya. I think a good many share his views. Russ[ians] have recaptured Mozhaisk. Soldiers here are barb wiring round J. Kirk’s farm, say they are bringing a gun in or near his yard, hope it is not A.A. or we shall be in a war corner, and I do not want to move. I hate “flitting” but that is a small matter, when we think of all the homes ravaged and blitzed and burned. Sometimes when I think how well fed we are and the extra luxuries with our “pink points” from abroad, I feel like David when he poured out the water before the Lord and cried “Is not this the blood of men, who went in jeopardy of their lives.” Not yet have we plumbed the depth of Mr Churchill’s prophesy of toil and sweat and tears and sacrifice, but we may do yet. I hope not. C Parish just brought milk. Says it is colder than ever, but I don’t think it can be, at least that icy wind doesn’t blow. Snip. [kitten] came in again for new milk tho’ she had porridge and potatoes before.

Father got his £7 sal[vage] money last night. H[allgarth] insisted on receipt. Father annoyed naturally and told him it was not valid without stamp. However he wrote one and with a wicked sense of humour put part of a share of salvage. H. read it and said it was OK. Fa very tickled to have got in last thrust. Hope they all settle down without any friction now. My thrush keeps trying his song again this morning. Rene’s cold seems about better again now. I made 13 lbs jam from D[ried] Ap[ricots] R.As gave me. 2 lbs ap 6 sug 6 pts water. Rene is bringing 2 lbs sug and having a part of it. Finished one of Ron’s gloves last night. Wool very poor.

Lord Addison was the opposition Labour party’s leader in the House of Lords from 1940 (and Leader from 1945). He was personally known to May as he and the second Lady Addison had stayed at ‘Lenton Lodge’ as paying guests in June 1939. He was born in nearby Hogsthorpe where his family owned a farm.

Air Chief Marshall Robert Brooke-Popham, Commander-in-Chief of British Far East Command, had made a decision to hold back on implementing a planned pre-emptive action in anticipation of anticipated Japanese landings in Siam in early December, just before the date of the Pearl Harbour attack. The decision was much criticised subsequently.

Mozhaisk, near Moscow, was recaptured by the Russians on January 19th 1942, removing any immediate threat of ground attack on Moscow by the Germans.

‘AA’ referred to anti-aircraft guns.

‘Flitting’, or moving home, was also mentioned in the context of farm-workers, including May’s sister’s family, moving on to new employment (see notes 16 Apr. 1941).

Charles (‘Charlie’) Parrish was the son of milk supplier and coastguard, Albert (‘Bert’) Parish. The surname spelling had changed when Charles’ birth was registered and was retained by later generations.

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

Mon Jan 19 9.40 pm. [1942]

Am just drinking cup of Horlicks malted milk before going to bed. Rene brought it for me. It is not always obtainable now. Have also had a slice of plum cake made off the bread batch. Ran out of flour this week and had to get some at Hall’s, also I got a pkt of Pea flour for soup. Father fetched them before going to A[ir] R[aid] lecture. He has not got sal[vage] money yet. Hallg[arth] said again he is collecting it.

Father started duties at 8. p.m. with J[oe] J[ackson]. He cut his left forefinger rather badly with big axe this morning. Rene and I wrapped it with lint after washing it with “Dettol” in water. I re-bandaged it to-night but did not disturb dressing as it was comfortable. Roy passed his trade test, may have to be ac/2 again but pay will not be lessened. Jean had letter from Ron this morning, he is coming home on Sat. this week. Does not think they are moving after all, at least not yet. He has been put in Servicing Flight and was filling oxygen botts. Does not like the work much as the room is so warm and stuffy, expect he misses working with Jeff too. Rene’s cold seems much better, thinks she may wash to-morrow. I shall not if the weather doesn’t improve. It was bitterly cold to-day with thin covering of snow and is windy to-night. Birds very hungry and tame, my thrush did not sing, but came along with a crowd of sparrows and starlings for food. There were blue-tits too and a great tit too, Mr and Mrs Blackbird also the gulls came down in the garden today and the crows came nearer and of course a robin. I managed to dig up a few little carrots for rabbits and the birds were soon on the freshly turned soil, probably seeking grit, I don’t think worms or grubs would be near the surface. Gave the birds some rolled oats as R.As gave Father more. Mav[is] been to school to-day, she was immunised against diphtheria last week, then had a cold and could not go. Jean says Joy. Belton started again, she has had abscess or mastoid and been away some weeks. Rene says Mr Toynton their milkman told her his little boy had a bronical cold. Dinah Kirk has gastric flu. This bitter weather brings a lot of illnesses. We hardly dare think of the wounded in Russia this terrible winter. Such awful things we hear. Japs are within 100 miles of Singapore, they are like a plague of locusts. Shall we ever stay them?

Joyce Belton was the daughter of Harold Belton, the brother of garage-owner Cyril.

Mr Toynton had a dairy farm, ‘The Beeches’, on Trunch Lane and delivered milk locally.

Dinah Kirk, who attended Miss Norah Gardiner’s private school (see 24 Mar. 1941), was the youngest daughter of Joe Kirk (senior).

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

Sun Jan. 18/42 7.10 pm

This morning I heard a thrush try out two notes of his spring song. I wondered could it be? Then it came again, I went outside and once again I heard it, thin and sweet in the frosty air. We have had less snow this year than for the two preceding years, when I started to keep a diary it was the snowy white winter of 1939-40, in Jan. I think. Yesterday Father and Frank and F. Raynor erected the shed, Fa and J. Kirk had brought it on K’s dray. On the way home a shaft which was tied together came apart. However they managed to patch it up and got home with the load. It did not take long to erect. It is a very useful shed 12 ft x 8 feet and I can stand up in it all over tho’ Father can’t at the sides. There are two windows which open, even the curtains were left, and two lamps. Fa gave Frank one. He like the rest of tradesmen affects to despise ready-made sectional huts but owns it could not be bought for £10 now. He says the floor is worth £2. He only charged 6/0.

A R[oyal] A[rtillery] corporal gave us more oats, some haricot beans and about 2 lbs of apricots (dried), they will make lovely jam. Should think they have had a few Xmas parcels and got a store left. Oats we can’t use will feed rabbits. Jean’s cycle is in the shed already, shall be able to put baths and wringer in making more room in our scullery (ex coal-house). Hallgarth brought wages draft last night and said he would bring salvage money when collected. I don’t envy him his job. Father is going to the Air-craft recognition lecture tomorrow morning so will probably get it then. Sollum and Halfaya surrendered and we appear to be keeping upper hand of Luftwaffe the other side of Libya. It has been a cold quiet day looking like snow, thawed a little at midday. Rene came this afternoon and had tea. I stewed a few dried prunes, pears and apricots which were mixed with apricots, they were excellent, we had them just warm, as the weather is so cold. Jean went to the delves to skate yesterday afternoon. A few boys were there but only Dennis [Raynor] and Chris [Lammiman] on skates. D skates well but Chris after a bump or two gave up. Jean skates alright and would do well with a little practise, but the ice was rough and she fell forward heavily once and shook herself, not to mention the ice, so after a couple more bumps she left, after about 1½ hours. She is rather stiff and bruised, it is a pity she can’t get a pal and do a little every day while it lasts. Ron took his skates back with him and a pair for Vic. They want to go to G[rims]by again to the ice rink. Last time they went they found they could not hire skates. We are listening to Community singing in the Forces programme, from S. Wales, very good. So far no In[come] Tax money has been deducted from Father’s wages tho’ he pays 9D a week more H. Insurance ie 2/0. H and L. I think benefits are increased. He has a bit of Rheum. this week-end. Rene’s cold seems a little better, it is not in her head so much as limbs and stomach. Father feels better for weeks leave.

Sollum and Halfaya Pass in were close to the border between Egypt and Libya. There is now a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the area.

Dennis Raynor, nephew, Ken’s brother, was the elder son of Eff and Frank (see 9 Dec. 1940).

‘H & L’ may have meant Health and Labour (Insurance) which presumably provided some cover for sickness or loss of employment income.

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

Fri Jan 16 9.30 pm. [1942]

Went to bed fairly early last night, I have had gatherings in my nose, still have in fact, and they made me feel seedy. Ron was home Wed. has another cold, and a great hole in his sock heel. Oh dear, poor boys they get tired of sewing and the rubber boots are hard on socks and socks aren’t so good now. He took the mitts I had knitted him, they can’t work in gloves and need something this cold weather. Said he and Vic went to Chapel Sunday night and out to supper. Father took him to Wil[lough]by for 5 train as roads were icy, instead of 7.20. He would be better too for getting back early with his cold, tho’ we hated to take him back so soon. I did not go to Stn. as Jean was not home. She was very disappointed at not seeing him, and wrote to him after tea. Hallg went to Sk. to see Beard to-night so we shall see what comes of it now. B. wants it settled as he has only 2 years before pension and as it was a “twist” naturally does not want it to come out. Very cold today with icy wind but thawing slowly. Father started to take hut down but has to get Frank to help him tomorrow as it has been nailed, Ron thought we would find a few nails. Have started a pair of gloves for Ron. Am making a rug too. Paul Robeson is on wireless (record) singing a song from “Sanders of the River”.

Duke of Connaught died to-day. 91. 3rd son of Queen Victoria. Godson of Duke of Wellington. Rene came today tho’ not too well and the weather icy. I baked bread and she made pastry, the last of mincemeat, and some Peach Jam Tarts. Had a 1 lb tin of P. Jam for my ration 1S/1D. It is Chivers make and excellent. Ck [cook] next door gave us sauce and tin of herrings in Tom[ato]. Also oats. Rene took him a B[lack]Berry Jam Tart plate size. Have bought a tin of Dried Skim milk! 9D. It is to be mixed with hot water and make 4 pts I think. No need to use all at once, so handy to have by us. Japs 130 miles from Singapore, I wonder if they will be stopped. Gers seem to be strengthening Luftwaffe in Libya. Surely we shall not mess that up. We hung bacon on Mon. looks nice and lean. Posted Bailey’s money £3/6/5D also Labour Card and new Health Card yesterday. Gave Harrison his old one to-day. Keep thinking I hear bumps.

“Gathering in the nose” referred to an infection or small abscess.

“Twist” meant ‘something unofficial’.

‘Sanders of the River’ was a British film, released in 1935, in which Paul Robeson, a renowned Afro-American singer, had a leading role. Subsequently he reportedly disowned the film which glorified British colonial rule.

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, had served as a colonial administrator. He had been admired by Robert Baden-Powell for his sympathetic people-skills and had given active support to the Scout Movement.

Mr George Harrison, father of Ena and Aileen (see 16 Dec. 1940), was probably the official at the Labour Exchange in Skegness, referred to here.

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