All posts for the month October | 1942 |

Sun. Oct. 25. 6 p.m. [1942]

After tea Sunday night. Father has just gone on patrol. It is so stormy I don’t suppose he’ll be very long. Jean is “blacking out” upstairs before settling down to finish her homework. It is rather early but so dull we have the small light (40 watt) on. Cook is writing a letter, he came after breakfast and stayed all day in spite of an invitation out to tea with one of the gunners whose wife is at Hallgarth’s.

I did not get up until 2.30 as I am in the grip of my old enemy. Am just beginning to hope it is not bronchitis too, have had enough of that. I kept off it tho’ until after the wedding for a good thing. It went off very nicely on Wed (Oct. 21st) and incidentally Father’s birthday. Rene looked very nice in her deep red satin crepe dress with navy hat and shoes and cream gauntlets with bouquet of roses, lovely ones too from G. Young’s. Jean’s pale blue dress with net frills and net cap with coloured flower petals was quite a success worn with long gloves and the white shoes she had for Ron’s wedding. Her bouquet was cream and bronze chrysanthemums. Also from G.Y’s. The cake was excellent and in spite of being short of icing sugar looked very bridal. Mr Lamb lent his own vase of flowers for the top. It was gorgeous and almost too much for the cake. Emmie lent her bells and H[orse]-shoes and she also sent camera complete with film which was greatly appreciated as there were no official photographs. It was bright and sunny so hope they turn out well. Mr. Hillsdon the best man was very pleasant but had to return on 2.15 bus as they were “flitting” on Thursday. Wedding was at 11 o’ clock.

Rene and Tom on Wedding Day with  May and Bertram John Hillsdon

Rene and Tom on Wedding Day with May and Bertram John Hillsdon

There were a lot of people at the church. We were a little late as Evison was late calling for me. No confetti until we got out of the churchyard and then Mrs Short was waiting with a bagful which made it seem more weddingy. We had no one but the best man to the breakfast. Had ham and tongue cooked at home and a very nice trifle. Pineapple, sp[onge] cakes pt [port] wine jelly and egg custard. Then B[rides] cake with orange wine and coffee, but Jean and I had tea as we don’t like coffee. Afterwards Mr Hillsdon sang and Jean played as Mr H bluntly informed Tom that he could not sing to his playing by ear. They sang various things, amongst them “Lord of all being”. Ron could not get after all, to our great disappointment. To-day we have had a telegram to say he is going to Yeadon on Thursday night. Hope there is a letter to-morrow. I wonder if it’s his draft leave. John Meldrum is on draft. I said I would go to Y[eadon] if he [Ron] did not get home but I shall have to improve a bit if I do. Will wait and see if he is getting home at all.

Poor Rose has had two operations and they are afraid there is no hope of her recovery. Tom goes back to work tomorrow. Rene came and cooked dinner today. She will be here as usual tomorrow I expect. Hope I am better, am weak as I was pretty bad from Thursday dinner to last night but my breathing is easier. Lot of planes last night. We just got in bed last night when bombs shook the house. We got up but no more fell near. They were at Sk[egness] and we hear there were several casualties but don’t know anything definite. We sent Ron some B. cake on Wed. and regist[ered] it as Jean sent choc. some time ago which he never got, so she said she would register cake if she had to pay for it. He got it Thurs. morning. Had a letter from Vic yesterday and also one from Sybil. Frank [Adams] is on land somewhere, she does not know where.


George Aaron Young, ex sub-postmaster, in Hogsthorpe, almost certainly supplied the wedding flowers from his beautiful garden which was especially renowned for its roses. He was a member of the Home Guard.

Mr Bertram John Hillsdon was Tom’s work colleague, at accountants Mountain and Jessop, in Skegness.

Mrs Short, here, was probably of the family who lived in one half of ‘Ashleigh Villa’ (following Mrs Mason and Miss Riggall – see 21 Apr. 1941), although there were others in the village.

John Meldrum, a friend of Ron, was serving in the RAF. The family house had been near Ashleys’ bungalows, accessed off Anderby Road, and was later the home of Walter and Eva Banks (see 21 Oct. 1941) following their marriage.

Rose, here, was May’s sister-in-law, George Hill’s widow (see 2 Feb. 1941).

The next Diary entry (1 Nov. 1942) contains more detailed reporting of the Skegness bombing on 24th October.

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

Thurs Oct. 15/42 9.30. p.m.

Father got all the potatoes home and to’s yesterday, a good thing too as there were heavy showers in the night. It was very stormy when Jean went to school, after 3 weeks holiday, but cleared later and was fine and sunny all day but very windy. Heard from Ron. He hopes to get home on Tue night and go back Wed from Sk[egness] at 5.30 pm. Emmie has gone back to Yeadon and doesn’t expect to get to the wedding as she has had so much time off. We had our photos taken on Tues. so hope they turn out well. Phyllis F came to us in Sk. and we brought her case home but could not bring her as Mrs Balding sen[ior] and George were with us. Jean went to Joyce’s for tea and came home on 6.15. bus’. Ph[yllis] came for tea yesterday, her baby John 17 months now is a lovely boy, not shy and very friendly. Before we finished tea, Keith and Marian came and Colin after them. Rene had made a sponge sandwich and I got a new scone from Blanchard and we ate the small cake made off Rene’s wedding cake. What a job it is finding something to eat. Some days we should have no cake at all so it was rather fortunate. Mary sent Ron’s wedding present a glass salad bowl and servers, glass too. I shall be pleased when Emmie has got it, the servers look so very breakable. Miss Brown came on Tues. morning and brought two blue and white plates and 2 soup plates very old at least 150 years. They are for Rene and Ron so they will make the choice when Ron is here tho’ Miss B. said Rene was to have first choice. Have made Jean’s old gym dress into a skirt, as it was so short. It is very fragile. Am getting on fairly well with her B.M. [bridesmaid's] dress. Rene has given her the butterfly wing ring to her great delight. Rene’s ring has come. It is heavy 18 ct. gold with diamond chips in a claw setting. T’s mother values it at £12. I am pleased she has it.

Father is on watch until 2 a.m. so we are going to bed. It is getting increasingly difficult to know what to get for dinner. Butcher calls once a week. We finished up mutton on Tue., Wed. Rene brought sausage, and to-day Father and Rene had bacon and ½ a sausage with turnip and pot. and I had a small piece of meat pie, a 4D one. We had a jam pudding and a Quaker oat pudding to make out with. To-night Rene has managed to get a little cooked ham and tinned chopped ham “Spam” so we shall have to do with that tomorrow. Mr Hall sent 1 lb farm butter today also 3 oranges, 11D but large sweet ones, they seem worth the money.


Phyllis, née Faulkner, mother of baby John, was the sister of Ralph, Herbert and Maurice (see 9 Feb. 1942).

Mrs Balding senior was the mother of carpenter Billy Balding (see 21 Apr. 1941) whose eldest son George was a Boys’ Brigade member.

Mary Hill, here, was the wife of Will’s brother Charles. This Mary should be generally assumed unless otherwise stated or obvious from the context.

Miss Mahler Brown, an elderly spinster, lived in ‘Alexander Cottage’, opposite Fairfield Farm access, on Sea Road between the village centre and Tylers Bridge (see Village Map). Her brother was Eardley Brown (see 31 Jan. 1941).

‘T’s mother’ the valuer of Rene’s ring, is a mystery since the mother of ‘Tom’ (Mr A) had died in 1919 but it is possible that May intended to refer to Tom’s first wife, who had died in 1940. Otherwise ‘T’ may not have meant ‘Tom’.

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

Sunday Oct. 11 9 p.m. [1942]

Well, I’ve taken the tonic or most of it and it has given me a good appetite and I feel almost back to full strength again. Must get those capsules when we go to Sk[egness] on Tuesday afternoon. We went last Mon. and Rene chose a deep wine red dress, heavy crepe, satin-lined, and navy hat. She is having navy shoes. I saw a pair of soft cream kid gauntlets on Keightley’s counter and asked the price. Only 8/6 so Rene had them. They look very bridal. Jean’s dress is blue with white net frills. I want to make her a little cap too if I can. I have strained my hand again and it is stiff. I can’t write very easily. I wrote to Ron and Emmie this morning. She is at Wansford. I have written to [sister] Emily tonight. They have moved to Roxholme near Sleaford. May [one of Emily’s daughter] is with them. Her husband is at Lincoln. “Tom” [‘Mr A’] came after tea. He had preached at Ingoldmells this afternoon and been to Mrs Mid[dleton] to tea. He stayed until 8 o’ clock had a cup of tea when we had supper (Father went on watch at 8 ) then went home, so Rene did not have to go back. It has been cold but fine all day and rather windy. Yesterday it blew a gale.

Jean and I went to Trusthorpe Fri. and found summer had gone and it was autumn. The wind was icy, we could easily have done with our winter coats. Aunt Jet gets worse in mind tho’ well in health. Amy seems worn out as if she is just carrying on in a maze. I am wondering if she will keep on without a break-down in health or nerves. Fred is busy money-making. Ken has left school and been working on the farm all summer. He looks all boots and long arms as he has grown taller and come through his coat sleeves about 6 inches. Wonder how long he will be as keen on work. Amy let me have 1lb tea and gave me 1 doz eggs. The flavour is so different when the hens have good corn to feed on. Father has finished digging potatoes but there are a few to pick up yet. He won’t sell many as they are only about £4.10. a ton or 5/0 a bag so we may as well give them to the pigs.


Wansford was the site of the RAF camp near Peterborough.

The Mrs Middleton mentioned was probably one who lived in Addlethorpe, adjoining Ingoldmells. Another Middleton couple lived in South Road, Chapel St Leonards. (See East Lincolnshire and Village Maps.)

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

Fri Oct. 2. 9.25 a.m. [1942]

Dull grey morning again, but as it cleared yesterday, it may do so again today. I have just made a batch of bread the first for some weeks. The yeast smells vile. I made it with white flour but don’t think it is very good. It all powders down on the top when exposed to the air as if it had been sieved. It makes me wonder if it is full of mites or something. Also it is so “rotten” when mixed it won’t bear lifting and my father always said it was poor flour if the dough would not hang together. He was a baker at one time and they had to lift a great binful of dough, out of a bin, close the lid and put the dough on it to make into loaves. It was a tiresome job if it would not hang together then. Dr Menzies just given me a call. Good thing I was up, and not up to the neck in bread making. I have set it to rise. He says my chest can take care of itself now, but I must have a tonic, then I am to take halibut liver oil capsules.

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