All posts for the month August | 1942 |

August 1942.
“Saturday. July 25. 1942” or
The White-Robed Bride

Softly goes the white-robed bride,
Down the sunlit aisle.
Her hand clasped in her Father’s arm,
To meet her bridegroom’s smile.

The organ peals its joyous notes,
The bridesmaids blithe and gay,
Follow behind, in love to give,
Their service, on this day.

The bridegroom waits with happy pride,
Before the altar steps.
Erect, his comrade by his side
Attends him, calm and grave.

Her Mother’s thoughts bring smiles and tears
Together, on her face.
Her greatest treasure now bestowed,
With love and fond embrace.

Lord thro’ their lives look on these two
With favour and Thy Grace,
And with Thy Goodness follow them,
Thro’ peaceful happy days.

The bride and groom in the poem are Emmie and Ron, whose wedding date is in the heading. In her Diary entry of 1st August 1942 (with accompanying photograph) May gave an account of the day of the wedding which took place in Yorkshire. It is not certain when May wrote the poem, which was simply dated ‘August 1942’. However during the rest of the month she made no further entries in her Diary but the wedding visit must have remained very much in mind and she had much more to write about it in the early part of September.

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’?

Aug 1 Sat. 8.30. to 11 p.m. [1942]

Well, our visit and the wedding is over. It will be a green oasis in this desert of war. The Russells are exceedingly nice people, and the relations and friends all so kind and homely. We felt at home at once tho’ their furnishings make ours look old and shabby I’m afraid. Yet I don’t think I should be afraid to have any of them here, they are so unaffected and nice. They went out of their way to give us a good time after the wedding. It was a fine day after early rain and the sun shone on the bride and everyone else. Also the wind was very slight. Vic and Ron arrived on the Friday night, Vic about 7 and Ron about 8 o’clock. Ron in his hurry left his attaché case in bus’ so had to phone to Leeds about it. He recovered it from there Sat. morn. so we did not see him again until in church. Vic and he were seated at the right side and Vic glanced carefully round, then Ron turned and smiled very happily at us. Mrs R, Father and I sat together in front regardless of etiquette. She thought it would be nicer and indeed it was. Father and I would have felt lost by ourselves on one side of the Chapel and all the Russell clique on the other (their numbers are legion) tho’ Emmie being the only child there was no one in the immediate family to sit with her. Joan, the chief bridesmaid was a lovely girl and Rene, she and Jean looked very nice in their green dresses. Jean walked behind the bride as the other two were older and taller. Vic turned out to be a very nice fellow, not shy, but not at all forward. I think everyone liked him. I should think he would be tired the way he ran about and looked after Ron and entered into all that was going. It is 11 p.m. now so more another day.

Wedding of Ron & Emmie
Wedding of Ron Hill and Emmie Russell,
July 1942
May, Will, Rene, Jean, Vic Morrall (Best Man), Ron and Emmie, Joan Smithurst (Chief Bridesmaid), James Russell, Emily Russell
Photograph © Lawrence A Pickles, Otley

[The following note was written at the head of the next available page, presumably before the next dated entry was written:]

“False. The type so well named by the French as fausse because it meant, not false to any love or ideal, but quite simply and fundamentally incapable of any verity or truth.”

That was the word or expression old Mrs Wilson (Cootes housekeeper) was wont to use. “Fausse as a cat” she would say, and it was meant to imply exactly what the French meant. I recognised the word at once when I read it in Time of Gold by Diana Patrick. I knew her meaning was not the English false but she always pronounced it fawse and I thought she meant to say false. I wonder how she came by it.

Vic Morrall was Ron’s best-man at the wedding.

Joan Smithhurst was Emmie’s chief bridesmaid.

Permission for publication of the wedding photograph was given by Donald Pickles on behalf of photographer Lawrence Pickles’ family.

Diana Patrick was the pseudonym of British author Desemea Wilson née Newman (1878-1964) whose books were published between 1919 and 1943. The Time of Gold was published by EP Dutton, 1932.

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