All posts for the month July | 1942 |

July Sun. 19th 8 p.m. [1942]

Have written to Ron and Amy before I got up this morning, humouring my asthma as I want to be well at the end of the week. Rose about 11 o’ clock. We only cooked potatoes as we were having cold ham for dinner, some from Stow’s (cooked) and some Swifts chopped ham from a tin, very nice but not like a Sunday dinner. However I have salted our very small joint of beef and shall cook it to take on Fri. as I can’t depend on getting anything more in time. Must take bacon too and eggs if possible. Shall get a lot of things together tomorrow and see how to pack them. I have written too to Emily since I got up and we have had supper and Father is “away” (as the Scottie cook says) to the WBx. Amy sent me 1lb tea yesterday she had promised to let me have, by Edie Crow. She also sent £1 for Ron and Auntie J[et] sent 10/0. Rene got a lovely little coffee set (by Wedgwood) yesterday. We are giving it to Ron and Emmie. Shall give them another present later. Hope we can take coffee set (deep orange and cream with flower sprays, a bargain at 12/6 in these times). I think coffee pot is worth 7/6. If we can’t take all we shall take a piece to show them. I really think I am beginning to look forward to our visit a little tho’ I don’t like meeting strangers much. I think we shall like the Russells tho’.

Wedgewood Coffee Set - Wedding Present

Wedgwood Coffee Set - Wedding Present

Ted Brown called this afternoon with Bessie and Eric. Bessie was not in uniform. She looks older somehow this time and not so lively but she had been meeting a strong wind so was tired perhaps. Is still at Coventry. Mrs B not too well.

Rene came home on Jean’s cycle. She took it last night, it was too rough to cycle here but wind was behind her going back. We hoped to have peas for dinner to-day but they fill so slowly. Rene says the black-currants are ripening fast. We shall have a busy week but hope not too heavy. We have tried to plan not to have too much left to do. Have not had fire in room to-day nor been in. It was too chilly without and I did not want more work than necessary this week. It has turned dull again tonight hope it does not mean more rain, bottle half up.

Mrs Fletcher came in for a few minutes on Thursday. She had come for the day, and had dinner in Skeg[ness]. She had been to churchyard and was going back on 2.15 bus. She is so plump and grey, almost white with little curls all round. She looks quite 60 tho’ she is only 52 or 53. Says she is ready to come back to Chapel but don’t think she will want to while her mother lives. It poured with rain but she had umbrella and mac and did not seem to mind. Oh dear! I dread the thought of “flitting” again, but one is never sure in someone else’s house. Still it is too soon to worry about that at present. Should think we are alright until the war is over.

Went to Sk. on Fri, hope we shall not have to go again before going away. Got Father wht. shirt, socks and tie, Jean a vest. Also I got a tin of Grate PolishD paste only one tin each. Rene had lent me her tin of liquid polish this week as I had none for so long. Father has soled and heeled Ron’s shoes ready for the wedding and blacked my walking shoes so I can wear them with my costume and save my best black ones a bit.

Father told Cookie we would give him a few new potatoes for himself today so he said would we cook them and he’d fetch them! There is a Jew amongst the R.A.s. He is a hairdresser. He has brought scissors and comb and cuts the fellows hair 6 D a time and now makes up hair cream 1/0 a bottle. He offered Cookie h. cream at 9D a bottle but Cookie is a Scot. He had some of his own and said “Anyway if I had it at 9D he’d always be round the cookhouse for something.” When Jew meets Scot, nothing doing! He has just been round to fill his lighter with Father’s petrol and to beg old papers for the fire, also to bring stale bread for pigs. Jean has gone to bed, I shall wait a bit as my breathing is pretty bad tonight.

The wedding present coffee set was made by Wedgwood & Co and not by Josiah Wedgewood. The Company was founded by a distant relative of Josiah but not as noteworthy.

Mrs Fletcher was the owner of May and Will’s rented home ‘Lenton Lodge’ (see 16 Dec. 1940).

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

Tue. July 14 10 pm. [1942]

Jean has gone to bed. She has been busy with home lessons, revision she calls it. It is exams. She is 5th in term work again. Father is up on watch until 2 a.m. Wages are raised 4/0 per week as from March, so the back money will be useful. Wish it would come this week. It would be handy as we shan’t get next week’s money until we get back from the holidays. Hope Mrs Lee sends her £3 too, otherwise I shall have to take more out of bank. I have paid £2.15 car licence this week and £3.16. rates. Father did not want Rate Collector to call and see new shed so we posted it. Rates are enough without paying for it. J Jackson sent £1 for Ron, a w[edding] present from them all. Ron will be pleased, not so much with the money as the thought that he is remembered. Father took Parrish’s to Louth yesterday to take Pa’s father home, a fine old man over 80. He got a tin kettle in Louth. 3/0. It is like we used to pay 6D for but we are pleased to have it at that price. Emmie sent 2lb icing sugar yesterday so we are well away. Rene has sent some material to see if she can get button moulds covered as Miss B[aker] can’t get any. Rene says dresses will look very nice. Jean’s petticoat looks nice too. It is lovely silky stuff. Have made white top so can make green top later when she has it and dress cut down.

Rene and I cleaned the room yesterday and finished polishing today. Have made mint sauce for the winter with fresh mint, we have such a quantity. Harriet lent me her mint cutter. It is minced and put in jar with a small quantity of salt sprinkled here and there, packed fairly close but not wedged in then vin[egar] poured over. Hope it keeps well. The “Sprogg”, the kitten has started to lap milk and become very playful. “Snip” caught a wee baby rabbit today and lost it. I heard it in the porch and found it huddled in a corner. Took it to our youngest rabbits until after supper. It was careering round the cage then, so Jean caught it and we took it to the sand-bank. It did not appear hurt. She put it down and it sat a minute then dived under the grass which is very long now no one can get on bank, and we could trace it making its way quickly upwards.

It has been fair to-day though there have been thunder showers about. Tomorrow is St. Swithin’s. Last year we had 8 weeks of wet weather from 15 July and lots of peas were spoilt. J Kirk heaped his hay on Sunday as it has been so showery and has been loading it to-day. Cookie is back from leave and is rather grumpy and fed up. Jean and I went to Chapel Sunday evening and Father met us at’s. Ralph [Faulkner] hopes to be home soon on sick leave. Billy Hallgarth is on embarkation leave. Rene has to see Dr Briggs about her eyes, one eye rather, before she has fresh glasses. Norman is home on his first leave, he is a tank driver after all. Daisy is rather worried about it. Gers seem to be driving towards Caucasus and Gib[ralter] now. Do hope they are soon stemmed. We are getting on a little better in Egypt but real battle not joined yet.

Made strawberry jam with 2lbs str. and 1¾ sugar about 3lbs jam. [Cost:] Str. 1/2 lb, sugar 3D [per lb], 2/9 for 3 lbs [jam]. Have about 1 st jam now [1 stone = 14 lb (pounds) weight]. Do hope I get plums to bottle and jam. Rene will let me have blk. c. [blackcurrants] if any to spare.

Joe Jackson (Coastguard member) had employed Ron as a carpentry and joinery apprentice (see 27 Nov. 1940).

The payment expected from Mrs Lee was for Will’s gardening work

Mr Parish, here, whose father used Will’s car-hire service, was Coastguard ‘Bert’ Parish.

Dr Briggs, believed to have been based in Lincoln, was an ophthalmic specialist.

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

Sun. July 5 10.10. pm. [1942]

Have been writing to Ron and did not notice the time. Must soon follow Jean to bed. Have written a few, very few, lines as a guide to Ron if he has to make a speech at the wed. Have just put the kettle on the fire as I can’t manage without a hot water bottle. It is our only kettle and it has been pest. Mended once and is leaking again. Mr A thinks he can perhaps get us one made at Rowley’s, a tin one, hope he does. He came to look at my Canterbury bells, they really are a picture – 3 or 4 shades of blue and purple from very deep to very pale and some huge cup and saucer creamy white ones like wax. Most are double or cup and sau. It is marvellous the different shapes and shades all out of a packet of seed, all looking identical and all grown in the same soil. “Not God in a garden? Nay, but I have a sign, ‘tis very sure He walks in mine.” Bill came of course, he is rather a nuisance when Mr A is here as he lets him do as he likes, I don’t like him and his hairs in the room. Mr A says I am to go and see his especial delphiniums some day, they were just coming into bloom when I was there last. His garden is lovely.

The war news was a little better Sat. and today, from Egypt. We brought 3 planes down on Fri. two in daylight returning from a raid. Flying low, one over Lincoln to escape AA fire. I think fighters got them. One came down in flames in a farm-yd 2 miles from Linc. All killed, one a boy 18. A Polish plane got that one. The second came down near Will[oughby] and Alford. Later one was brought down at sea almost opposite the C.G. box. [Mr] Paul and Mad[dison] were on watch. Saw and reported the flash and were congratulated by Air Min[istry] for promptness. But in their excitement they omitted to put it through to Mablethorpe so had a reprimand from there. Rather an anti-climax.

I got up at 6.45 this a.m. and made tea as I had asthma and a bad head. Went back to bed until 8.50. It was just beginning a heavy shower at 7 and came another after I got up. It cleared in time for Jean to wear her new coat to chapel, then turned very warm and windy again. Later the sun came out and the air seemed fresher but the mist is rising off the warm wet earth tonight, which does not suit me, lovely as it looks. It has the appearance of being hot tomorrow and the rain will have done a lot of good if it takes up again. Well, the days are shortening now instead of lengthening tho’ it is hardly perceptible yet. I fear the worst winter of the war is creeping towards us now, but we may make a lot of headway before then, but if we are having a “second front” why, why, don’t we start while the weather is good. The icy winter weather aggravates the evils of war more I think than the summer tho’ the heat too is terrible.

Rowley’s were ironmongers in Skegness.

Incidents were noted in Lincolnshire Air War 1939-1945, Books One and Two (S. Finn, ‘Aero Litho Company’, 1973, ‘Control Column’ Publications, 1980) and in the Skegness Standard (Wednesday July 8th 1942) – also listed online in the ‘Bomber County Aviation Resource’ Incident Log: Spitfires of a Polish squadron brought down two Junkers 88 aircraft on farms near the Wolds villages of Aswardby and Baumber. The two crew members of one were uninjured and taken prisoner. However no specific record of the incident near Chapel St Leonards has been located.

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

9. 25. p.m. July 4 Sat. [1942]

After a dull day with a hot blustering wind gradually travelling from E to S.W. or W. the wind is dying away and the sun gleaming from under a fringe of heavy cloud above. The wolds have appeared to be bathed in sunshine several hours so the dull belt of clouds is probably along the coast. There have been little scuds of rain now and then, I expect it one that has just settled the wind, I saw the window covered with raindrops just now and the wind is trying to rise again I think. The water in my bottle and jar thermometer or weather gauge has gone half way up the bot. neck tonight, it had not moved before, since I remade it a few days ago with rain-water caught in June. For some reason this never goes foul. Think it must be because there are no veg. spores in it. It is supposed to be good to bathe the eyes in June water. I ought to try it, I have some left and my eyes are very sore. Think I have a cold in them. Expect my glasses want changing too.

Jean has been to Margaret Pickers for the day. She went by train from Sk[egness] to Wainfleet. First time she has ridden in a train. Her new coat came from Miss Baker on Wed. It is very nice. 9/6 for making so it has cost just £2.2. I had buttons for it and found the binding. It is very cheap for these times, also I only had to give 9 coupons for material and should have had to give 18 for ready-made coat. We have about finished our old coupons now. I have got a cheap mac (12/9) to wear over my costume. I sent to Pontings, wanted a fawn one but could only get brown. It is just brown mackintosh material, rubberised inside, not beautiful, but macs aren’t.

Jean - Oatmeal Coat

Jean wearing oatmeal flannel coat. Note bomb-blast protection on neighbour’s windows.

I have made Jean’s school dress (very nice too) and altered the flowered silk crepe one, she had it on today, and commenced to make her long green petticoat to wear under br. maids dress. It is a pretty silky material “Spania” or something like it and drapes well. Would have been alright for dresses I think. 2/6 a yd. and 2 coup. I only got 2 yds so the top is white. I had the material. Jean has gone to bed. She is tired after her day out. They had strawb and cream and chicken, new pot. and green peas for dinner.

Only 3 weeks to-day to Ron’s wedding. We have got the bri[de's] cakes made. They have turned out beautifully. I experimented with fondant icing this week. It was a great success so we hope to ice both cakes in spite of only 1½ lbs. icing sugar. So hope we shall get them nice as there will be such a lot of Russells there. Ron hopes to get there by Friday night. Hope he will or it will be a rush for him and we shall not see him much as it is. We shall look forward to his next leave as we hope he and Emmie will come here for most of the time. He is liking I.O.M. It is a lovely place. His window looks out towards Snae Fell and he says there are avenues of palm trees and lots more scattered about. He is 5 miles from Ramsey at Andreas aerodrome. Ralph Faulkner has not gone abroad after all. He had a rather serious accident, collar bone broken and concussion. Was a week unconscious. Don’t know how it happened yet but he is recovering. Perhaps it will keep him in England a bit longer. Royce Wilkinson has arrived back in England.

I have got a hat at last 14/11. Black with a flower and a veil. Jean says it is quite French. It is very smart. Have got a peach satin blouse so shall have to change either it or the hat flower which is pink. Emmie writes, her mother and I are having pink carnation buttonholes. Now if I wear a peach blouse and hat with peach flowers, not even for Ron will I wear a pink buttonhole. But not a word at present. I think my peach coloured carnations will be out by then, otherwise Father will have to exchange his white one for mine.

Libya is in the German hands and they are well in Egypt, very disturbing, but hear news is a little better tonight. Have had no paper as no Daily Mails come thro’, that is twice this week. Mr A is having two weeks holiday, one is over now so Rene is not here so much. Have made some peach jam, and bottled some gooseberries this week. Rene has finished cleaning. Well my eyes keep aching so I had better stop writing.

Pontings of Kensington was already an established mail-order store.

Royce Clifford Wilkinson’s exploits as an RAF fighter pilot are detailed in ‘Spitfire RCW’ by Kenneth James Nelson, CD (published by the author in association with Western Canadian Distributors Ltd., 1994). His arrival back in England followed his extraordinary escape via Spain and Gibraltar after baling out of his stricken aircraft over France. He was a Yorkshireman whose parents had moved to live in the village, probably after their retirement. He had been based in Lincolnshire between May 1941 and March 1942, at Kirton-in-Lindsey, where he had helped in the establishment of two ‘Eagle Squadrons’ manned by American volunteer pilots.


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