All posts for the month January | 1942 |

Thur Jan 15/42 9.30 P.M

Father had “comforts” from C[oast] G[uards] to-day. Grey sea-boot stockings, blue scarf, mittens, helmet. There was a jersey but as it was far too big and there was not one each, he left it for one of the others. Have answered Mrs Leivers letter to-night. Fa went to Sk this morning and saw Mr Beard, re sal. ramp. Got another pair pants 3/6 3 coup. Ordered 2 more photos of Ron 1/6 with post this time. Perhaps they made a mistake.

Mr Beard was a Coastguard official based in Skegness.

‘Sal. ramp’ was almost certainly a reference to the disputed settlement for salvaged rubber. The word which appeared as ‘ramp’ probably meant ‘commotion or ‘fuss’ and may have been intended to represent ‘rumpus’, ‘rampage’ or ‘rawp’. The latter was a local word (verb) for ‘shout’ or ‘make a noise’. (See ‘A Glossary or Collection of Words, Phrases, Place Names, Superstitions Current in East Lincolnshire’, Jabez Good, Long Sutton, c1900.)

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

Jan 12 Mon [1942]

Father took J. Kirk and his mother to Cumberworth this morning and fetched them back this afternoon. Father Kirk will pay! In this case I think he will, as Father wants Peter and the dray to bring the hut home. Still Joe owes him 6/0 without that, balance from doing a watch for him.

We have got our bacon home and hung to-day it looks very nice. The new rate-collector called, he has to walk with 2 sticks. Paid him £3.12.0 half years rates. Hastings is his name, he strews his aitches, thickly before all his vowels. Once some years ago when Rene was at Flints he called to put her on the voting list and asked how to spell her name and repeated it as Hi har, he, hen, he. Even Mrs F was convulsed and when he had gone she and Rene laughed until they nearly cried. Ken and Eff [Raynor] came tonight. Hallg. came to-night to bring the Postal Drafts, the wages come as P.Ds. Father was very tickled because Hallg. brought him a receipt to sign for Bailey’s. Fa is drawing B’s at P.O. and sending it on to him with Labour Cards when they come.

It was a big frost this morning and the air was almost a fog. I washed, Rene helped me finish and as she hung them out they froze stiff, but a breeze got up after dinner and the sun came out, and they dried. I had got the clothes-horse down from bath-room but shan’t need it. Have folded them. Father is on watch until 2. a.m. then holiday. Baked a loaf and some cobs to-day and we had a flat bread-cake for pudding with Gol[den] Syrup. Bread doesn’t rise very well this cold weather. Jean finished ank. socks Sat and started a scarf double wool like the gloves I knitted her. Wrote to Ron yesterday, expecting him home Wed. for day. Wind came S.E. after dinner and keeps getting up in gusts, feels like a change.

Mr Hastings was the ‘new’ rate-collector.

Mr and Mrs Flint, in Anchor Lane, Ingoldmells, had employed Rene as a nanny for their son, soon after she had returned from working in Nottingham for Mr and Mrs Lees and before commencing housekeeping work with Mr and Mrs A.

Labour Cards may have been for registration for war work.

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

Sun Jan. 11. ‘42 8 P.M.

It has been a perfect winter day. Sharp frost, everything white since this morning. Brilliant sunshine all day and a sun that set like a ball of fire in the west, already some degrees more west than it set last month. Jean and I walked with Rene as far as the New bridge when she went back this afternoon. The setting sun shone straight down the road from Grandma’s bridge making a golden street with a rosy haze above it, it was worth the walk, tho’ it was an effort, the frosty air caught my breath. [Aside: The sun was like a ruby set in silver on a golden ring.] On the way back Jean and I gathered sycamore twigs, their green buds already showing signs of swelling. We have put them in water in the old brown vase in the hall having no flowers now except one blue anemone and a stray primrose or two in the garden. Jean said there were no flowers in chapel to-day. She took Flora Hall to S. School to-day. Flora tried walking with her eyes shut on the way home but fell. Up she got and remarked “That’s with trying to be clever”. When Jean and I got home from our walk “Percy” was out of his hutch passing the time of day with his mother. He had pushed on his door until the fastener had come off and let himself out. I retrieved him to his great disgust and shut him up again. Rene had been filling in an A.R.P paper for decontaminating work, part time. We met Miss Moore and she gave it to her. If ever she is needed it will be a terrible time.

To-day we hear the Japs have landed in Borneo, Dut. E. Ind [Dutch East Indies]. In Malaya we are still withdrawing nearer and nearer to Singapore. In war we withdraw, the enemy retreats or is driven back! In Russia the enemy is being driven back to some purpose also in Libya. We expect Malta, brave little Malta, to be attacked by air, sea and land any time now. It is likely the Finns and Russians will have an armistice soon now, this will release the Russians for the front against the Gers. Father has been out with preachers to-day, and has gone on watch until 2 p.m. He is on again at 8 pm tomorrow night then 6 days holiday from 8 am Tues. so he hopes to get hut down and re-erected if weather is fit.

[Aside: Rubber Rains ?] In the late Autumn bales of rubber were washed up, and 50 were collected by C[oast] G[uard]s and carted up by S. Kirk. At that time C.Gs could not claim salvage and civilians were not allowed to collect on beach, except for C.Gs. As there is a good price paid for salvaged rubber naturally they all thought they ought to be able to get it. So S. Kirk had it put thro’ in his name with the assistance of a superior C.G at Sk. Father was out with preachers on Sunday so said he would take a day’s pay less than the others at the share out. A day’s pay on box is 10/0. (Since then the law on C.Gs getting salvage has been altered.) This week S.K. received a cheque for £62.10. being 25/0 a bale. (They are about 2 cwt [hundredweight] bales.) Friday night Hallgarth coolly gave Father £4.16.8 saying the 6 others including SK were taking about £9 odd and giving Father half a share, the others thought that would be alright. Father was not even told the money had come. He refused the money and has told them he will either take £1 less than the others or “blue” the whole affair. The shares work out at £9.1.5 each for the 6 and £8.1.5 for the one, leaving 1D. So now we are like Mr Asquith we must “wait and see”. I think Father is most upset as to why they should try to do him down, he feels he is not wanted on the box. They are a rotten lot, and know he is straight but he has done his best for all of them and put in scores of 15 and 30 mins for some of them Hallg. included who are often late. Also they most of them play “nap” up there. It is not possible for anyone to work all day and watch all night. Whether he gets the money or not now they have taken away all pleasure in it. I wish Hallg. the joy of collecting the 10/ or 12/ from each of them if he decides to comply. It will be like getting butter from a dog’s throat.

John Kirk on leave, says John Smith is still near him, he had seen him lately. JK is corporal now.

The ‘New Bridge’ from Ancaster Avenue to St Leonards Drive crossed the drain close to the ‘basin’. It was also known as ‘Beltons’ Bridge’ due to its proximity to Beltons’ garage. (See Village Map.)

“Percy” the rabbit, which resembled a Persian cat, was Jean’s pet and was not for eating.

Miss Kathleen Moore was a leader in the local Red Cross branch, of which Rene was a member, and also a leader of the Girl Guides whose meetings were held above Lily’s café. Her home was ‘Windy Ridge’ off Anderby Road, towards ‘The Marsh’ area.

The Japanese had begun the invasion of Borneo in mid-December 1941, entering part of the British Crown Colonies. British North Borneo and the Dutch East Indies (later, Indonesia), also part of Borneo, fell to the Japanese in January 1942.

British and Allied forces in Malaya were being driven towards the Causeway which linked it to Singapore.

German forces had been driven back to between 50 and 150 miles of Moscow by early January 1942 and the plan to occupy the city had failed.

Malta, as a strategically important island in the Mediterranean, had been effectively under siege since June 1940 when Italy had declared war on Britain. Following a decrease in attacks during 1941, Germany resumed intensive bombing of the heavily defended island early in 1942.

There was no armistice between Finland and Russia in 1942 in spite of speculation (and not until 1944).

Sampson Kirk, brother of Joe (coastguard), had a small-holding, at ‘Nelson Villa’, accessible from upper Wigg Lane, across fields behind ‘Lenton Lodge’

Herbert Henry Asquith had been the Liberal Prime Minister during the first half of the First World War and had been responsible for positive social changes. However his “Wait and See” approach to political events in Ireland before the war was infamous and his weak leadership in wartime had led to his resignation.

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

Thur Jan 8 42 9.15 P.M.

Jean asleep on couch. Father gone on watch. Think he is a little better to-day, but still very seedy. Seems full of cold and indigestion. Hope he is better before next week. He expects to commence his holiday on Wed. for 6 days. He had rheumatism and it rained in Aug. when he had his last holiday and he had to stay indoors most of the time. Mr Bailey got a weeks grace from Labour Ex[change] to give him time to sell out and take Mrs B. with him. He offered Father his shed for £2.10. so we are having it. It is sectional and Father says it is a gift. We are not supposed to put up a shed here but are going to risk it. Mr B. told Maddison that he paid 1/0 a week into a fund so that at his death, he could be taken to London for cremation. The Society undertakes to (no pun intended) make all arrangements and carry them thro’. Maddison thinks he is very foolish to pay all that money to be (incriminated). Ron always got on well with Bailey and Father let him know of the W[atch] Bx vacancy and he is not ungrateful.

Jean went back to school to-day, it was a wet morning, and I warned her to be careful as there was still ice on the roads. She came a cropper however against Jessies, her thigh is very bruised. Fortunately she fell away from Colleen or the double crash would have shook things up somewhat. I have lengthened her gym tunic by machining a new piece of material round the bottom and turning it up for a hem, not a false hem but a double piece all round. The material matches and the colour is almost the same shade. She wants a new one and blazer too but it is an expensive time just now, with licence, rates and now the shed. I have drawn £3 from P.O. (on demand). Didn’t like drawing any out but am pleased I had it. It will take a bit replacing tho’ if they stop 2/6 for income tax every week. Have nearly finished a mitten for Ron but don’t feel like knitting any more tonight.

Father brought 3 oranges from Halls yesterday, they will be a treat. Jean has had hers and Father gave Rene his as he did not fancy it with his stomach being upset. Have made more bread to-day, don’t know if it is the flour, but it does not rise very quickly tho’ the yeast is quite good, I try it first with a little sugar and warm water. To-day it seemed quite light, but tho’ I baked it well and it got beautifully brown, it is damp and heavy, not really sad but what we in Lincs. call “clung”. Rene says new marg. containing double quantity of vitamin D is very good. It does not come wrapped now, they weigh it at shop. I have not started of mine yet. Sugar is only 3D lb. now and we get ¾ a head per week now. I have about 7 lbs in hand as we only use about ½ lb each now we have had to do without more so long. I have got a 2/6 tin of sausage meat, want to get one or two more pink points tins to have by me. Our kitten has returned, she is funny, she keeps putting her paw up to her face as if saluting when she is pleased.

I was in the kitchen when Rene went this afternoon. “Bill” [dog] always comes into room to say good-bye and sniff the fire, so although I was not there he ran to the room and would not come back until he had sat by the fire a few seconds, Father watched him, then he came out and ran to me, pretending he was quite surprised to see me there and jumped up to say good-bye in his usual way, tho’ he would not look at me when I said Good-bye Bill before he went in the room.

Ten o’clock. I will have some Horlicks and go to bed. I shall leave the kettle near fire so that Father can get Oxo or Horlicks if he wants a hot drink and refill the hot-water bottle which will be nearly cold by 2 a.m. Had a letter from Ron this morning, they went to G[rims]by on Mon night to ice rink and found they could not hire skates, greatly disappointed. Also a letter from Mrs Wilson, they have just heard that Arthur is getting their letters and parcels after 4 months. He is in the Middle East and writes cheerfully that he is really doing something useful now and is quite happy, but those 4 months must have been very wearisome both for him and his parents. Ron had been polishing floor in sergeants mess and was rather disgusted that he should be wasting his time on such jobs when there is so much necessary work to be done.

Elsie Grantham been up for interview but don’t suppose she will have to join up as her work at home is very necessary. She is 8 months younger than Rene. I wonder when she will have to go to be interviewed. I can’t seem to realise that she may have to join something. I am pleased Jean is still at school. Tide is coming in, I can hear the waves bump-bump as they break nearly up to the bank. It is fair weather to-night. Hope the snow is all off the roof, last night it kept sliding down and it makes such a noise when all is quiet.

P.O. money here was Post Office savings, available without notice.

Mrs Wilson was the absent owner of ‘The Rest’, next door to ‘Lenton Lodge’. (See Village Map and diary 10 Oct. 1941 for photograph of Anderby Road houses.)

Arthur here was Mrs Wilson’s son, referred to elsewhere as her only child. However the name ‘Laurie’ is remembered locally and was presumably an alternative name for the same young man.

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

Sun Jan 4 8.15 p.m. [1942]

Roy’s 21st Birthday. He is at home on leave. We have sent him 10/0 and suggested if he has not already got them that he buys cuff-links. Ron wears them so presume Roy does. Jean took the note on her way to S[unday] S[chool]. We were at the Brown’s for dinner. We had roast chicken with sprouts and potatoes bread sauce and parsley stuffing, but she forgot the sausage meat stuffing and did not bother to cook bacon with it. The potatoes were not mashed and did not look very nice tho’ they tasted alright. We ate it with new stainless knives (sharp too) and had solid silver forks and spoons, afterwards we had Xmas pudding good, but no better, if as good as ours. She gave us no water with it and did not make tea after dinner. It was a beautiful dinner, but she does not bother with details tho’ we know she knows how things should be done. One feels rather as if she thought “It will do for them”. Father and Mr B. went to sleep after and I got a tickling cough so about 2.30 she made a cup of tea in a beaker and gave me a cup and drank hers out of the beaker. Then she washed up refusing help except that I dried the silver when she brought it to me. After that she washed and changed her dress. She looks very nice when dressed. Mr B. is looking well and appears much better than he was a year ago, but I don’t think she realises that he is an old man.

Rene went to the W.V.S Party and enjoyed it, was only 4 below the highest number at Whist. We have not seen her to-day, at least to speak to. I just caught a glimpse of her going past Ways-Meet in the afternoon, on her way to Wigg Lane probably. Jean enjoyed her S.S. Party last night. She had a Bible for prize. A nice limp cover brown one with very clear print. Also sweets and choc. She brought Flora’s prize and sweets as F had a cold and could not go. She took them this morning. Mrs Brown gave Jean the stool made by a blind woman, that she never uses, for a piano stool. It was a good thing it was dark as Sunday or no Jean carried it home. It will make an excellent little tea table with a tray on or to play cards near the fire as well as a piano stool. Have not seen our little cat to-day. It turned from a wet morning to a sunshiny day which was very cheerful as Mrs B’s room catches all the sun.

Wonder if Ron has had a nice week-end at Yeadon. I wrote to him last night and posted it to-day. Robinson’s have heard from Malcolm this week, a few lines (the first for 8 weeks) written on the sea. He had been very sick, but was better and longing to hear from home. As he was moving about he had missed the last two sent while he was in England. I hope they soon get in touch again, it is a little easier all round when the letters are regular. Some new regulations about “one man, one job” having come into force, Mr Bailey has to cease being relief man at the C.G box. As he is out of work he has to go to Leicester on Tue. to work at his own trade. Not very nice for his wife or for him, as he suffers so with asthma. This wicked war lays ruthless hands on everyone. Our E. light nearly went out then, hope it does not mean “sirens are wailing”. I always wonder, tho’ I don’t really think that is why the light dips. We left B’s at 7.45 as Father went on watch at 8 p.m. Fire had not gone out and soon burnt up. Jean and I had supper when I made tea for flask tho’ not very hungry. Father took Mr Bailey an Ephedrine bottle and 2 tabs as he wants to get some. Dr. had given him a doz. and they had done him good. Don’t think there is any cure in them but they relieve the spasms of asthma and loosen the phlegm. Father has a cold and a bit of bronchitis. Don’t think Chapel is very well blacked-out as chinks and holes in blk-outs let out little rays of light all over the place. Soldiers billets are the worst. At St. Leon. Lodge a hole in the blind let a ray of light thro’ which shone right across the road on to Parrishes garden hedge. The big windows there have huge holes in their panes of glass. It is unnecessary damage I think.

Bardia is in our hands again and about 7000 prisoners 1000 of which are Ger. We have also released over 1000 Brit. prisoners. News from Far East rather more encouraging tonight, tho’ Hong-Kong fell some days ago. Also Manila is in Jap. hands. Wind seems to be rising and sea is almost or quite up to bank, think perhaps the tide is ebbing now tho’ as it does not bump so much.

‘Waysmeet’ was the name of Mrs Dandison’s (see 11 Apr. 1941) boarding-house near the crossroads at Tylers Bridge (see Village Map).

St Leonards Lodge was on St Leonards Drive, not far from ‘The Point’.

The Japanese had invaded Hong Kong after first attacking it on 8th December 1941 (hours after ‘Pearl Harbour’) and the British-Canadian garrison surrendered on 25th December1941. This day is known in Hong Kong as ‘Black Christmas’.

The Philippines (a Commonwealth, formerly US territory) had been invaded by the Japanese in early December 1941 and Manila, the capital, was occupied on 1st January 1942 when US defence forces retreated to defensive positions elsewhere in the territory.

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

Thur Jan. 1st 1942 9.20 P.M.

New Years Day. I wonder what this year will bring of good or ill. We cannot tell. I feel that we must just go a step at a time, no looking forward months ahead. As I sat in the car at W[illough]by St[ation] last night  taking leave of Ron, I said “If anything happens and we have to go away and we all get separated, we will all go back to the old home, and whoever gets there first wait for the others.” It just came to me without premeditation. Let’s hope we may never have to go away, as so many have already had to do.

We did not expect Ron this week as he has a week-end this week and is going to Yeadon, but as he says, yesterday was “this year, Sat. next year”. It was so nice to have him tho’ as Em. was here for the bit of leave he had at home. He was in high spirits as he had got his L.A.C. Mr A enquired if he was L.A.C 1 now. He had painstakingly tacked his prop[eller]s on his overcoat and tunic and said he was fed up with them when he got the 4th fixed and tacked. He is very particular to get them exactly in place. Rene and I sewed them on securely and showed him how to sew the others, he had used a sort of stabbing stitch in and out, so no wonder he was a long time. He was fussing because he had scratched his new ring, the one Em. gave him, they were engaged at Xmas. He gave her a very nice dainty one with 3 dia[mond] chips. which must have cost the earth. His is rather nice and cost £5.5. It isn’t a case of all take and no give with Em. She is very generous. I think it was exceedingly extravagant in war time, but it is their own money, so must spend it as they like. He is looking very fit now. They had plenty of good food Xmas Day and a good Entertainment at night. Dinner at 6 o’ clock as they were at work earlier. The officers waited on them.

The plans of the W.V.S. for the two nights entertainment for the troops, having come to nothing, they (the W.V.S.) are having a party at the Central Hall tonight presumably to consume the perishable edibles. Rene has gone, at least such was her intention when she left here. It has been damp, raw, and cold to-day but not frosty. The frost was giving as we came back from Wby. last night. Also very dull, not been really light in the house all day. Father has gone on duty at 8 p.m. instead of 2 a.m. as Paul wanted to go to the W.V.S. Party. Father says they are deducting 2/6 a week from wages for income tax this year. Think we are supposed to have it returned after the war. “I wonder, I wonder if anyone knows”. Have started to make a mat tonight on the principle of a wool rug. It is on canvas with very narrow strips of cloth put thro’ with a rug wool hook and knotted. I hope it will be a success, the cloth will have to be very smooth and closely woven so that it does not fray, the little bit (very little) I have done appears quite a success. Am afraid it will take a long time. It is time Jean and I went to bed. Jean doesn’t seem quite up to the mark yet.

We had a rabbit for dinner yesterday as a change from pork, one of our young ones, it was very good indeed. We are going to Browns’ for dinner on Sunday, Father, Jean and I. Hope it is not cold, they are not very good at keeping a good fire. I shall go in warm clothes. Father has been digging a bit of the garden to-day. The S[unday] S[chool] Prize giving is on Sat with tea at 4.30. Don’t think I shall go. It is a long cold walk home. Father will be on box, but perhaps Rene will bring Jean home. Don’t like her being out alone, as these Soldiers (the South Staffs) have not a very savoury reputation, tho’ those billeted near us seem very decent. Had a letter from Em. L. this morning, they have got the organ at last, but Jess had to fetch it on Xmas Eve. They (Jaines’) charged 7/0, I should not have paid it, as they promised to deliver it, and must have had it 3 weeks or a month. They seem very pleased with it. I do hope they take good care of it.

LAC – Leading Aircraftman was the first non-commissioned rank above Aircraftman in the RAF. LAC 1 was ‘First Class’.

The insignia for the rank of LAC was a twin-blade propeller (horizontal) worn on the upper arm of the RAF uniform.

The South Staffordshire Regiment was meant here.

Jesse Lewis, May’s sister Emily’s husband, was meant here (see 16 Apr. 1941).

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