A week since I last wrote in my diary. No letter from Ron this week. I have written to him, and today posted St[andard] and a D[aily] M[ail]. Last night I wrote to Sybil and an airgraph to Frank. He is in IInd HAC [Honourable Artillery Company] regt. I seem to think that is the oldest regt. but not quite certain. Hope he gets the a.g. soon. Had a letter this week from Jock’s wife and Jock’s address. He is in N.A. [North Africa], the only one of the crowd that were here to go abroad. I have written to both of them. Hope he gets plenty of letters or he will be down in “the dumps” I fear.
On Wed. Rene and I cleaned Jean’s bedroom, under difficulties, as Edna, Frank and Mic[hael Harness] came about 11 a.m. of all times and stayed about an hour. They wanted to catch Rene here. Brought her a very nice flower-bowl with flower-holder. Pale green glass very lovely, stand has figure of a lovely lady hanging on to a scanty robe which is totally inadequate to cover her. Still it’s one degree up on Ron’s bronze ash-tray. The lady on it is minus a robe at all.
Jack Stow has arrived in a Scottish Port, his wife very relieved and I think enjoying the anticipation of his leave after many months away.
To resume the account of Wed. S.C. [spring cleaning] we set to with a will after dinner and were nearly finished. I had to put fire in room, and Father was hoping to do a bit more digging when Marshall an R.A. came thro’ the gate. I did not go to door as Rene was there, but she did not know him so I had to go after all. He was cycling to Huttoft from Boston, he was staying with his little girl in B. for leave. As he was passing Chapel he came (at the request of the rest of the R.As still with him) this way to inquire of the Chapel people how they were. Said they (the R.A.s) were all wishing they were at C again. His section are on the A.A. guns and have a lot of A.T.S with them. Says they are very good at their jobs on guns but no cooks. Mary Churchill is with them. Say she is very nice with no side. They were all on leave and expected to move to Wales, Newport, Mon[mouth]. Jones is with them and will be able to spend his days off at home. I am so pleased. His wife was very nice. Jock was very fond of them. Before Marshall had gone, Phoebe [Kirk] came to return clippers which she borrowed last Sun. and she stayed about an hour. Mar. had tea and I opened a tin of pineapple as I had no cake. He ate toast, bread and butter and jam! Still Jean said we could eat the pineapple without help. We finished the bedroom in between times. Oh dash that Hi-de-he and Ho-de-ho. Ever since that ridiculous officer was shown up for his idiotic insistence that men and officers should greet each other thus on meeting, we have had a rash of it in BBC programmes, it is not funny after once or twice.
This has been a very sad week. On Thursday we were all shocked to hear Mr. Faulkner had had a serious accident and been taken to Sk[egness] hospital. A few hours later we heard he had passed away. Mr. Faulkner died Mar. 25th. He fell on a concrete floor on his head and fractured his skull at the back and behind his ear. There was no hope from the first. He just said “My poor head.” Dennis [Raynor] was with him. I think the ladder holding up a plank they were on, slipped. Den. being young jumped clear into a heap of chaff. It was only about 8 feet so there was not time for Mr. Faulkner to turn right over. It cast a gloom over all the village. Poor Mrs F had gone with Ralph who is on leave to Nott. but returned same day but too late to see him. The inquest was this morning (Sat) and he was laid to rest this afternoon. He was greatly liked and respected and crowds of people came, doubtless many more would have been there, but it was not expected to be before Mon. There were many beautiful flowers in spite of short notice.
Mrs. Mason or Miss Riggall, I forget which, summed up all our thoughts I think by saying “He was a man we all feel happy to have known.” He can ill be spared, but no one was more fit to go I am sure. Someone was saying to Com. Storer how sad it was and how sorry they were. He said “So am I, but, no, I think that today he is one of God’s very bright angels in heaven.” Joe Kirk on hearing said “Well he’s gone straight to heaven.” Jean and I gathered all the primroses and violets we could in the garden and made a bunch of them with leaves all round in case there was not time to get a wreath from the Chapel. They had got one however but our bunch was very sweet. It may be he has been “taken from the evil to come” as he has been ill a long time tho’ he did not give up work. Father took him preaching on Sunday. How little anyone thought then that he would be gone before this Sun.
The Honourable Artillery Company was the oldest surviving British Army regiment, as May suggested.
Frank and Edna Harness and their son, Michael, were visiting from Nottingham (see 21 Oct. 1941).
Jack Stow, in the Merchant Navy, was Maisie’s husband (see 12 Mar. 1942).
Marshall was one of the Royal Artillery soldiers who had earlier been based at ‘Corbie’, next door (see 6 Dec. 1940).
Mary Churchill, daughter of the Prime Minister, served in the ATS as did the King’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth (see 6 Jul. 1941).
Mrs Faulkner and Ralph were probably visiting Phyllis, who lived in Nottingham at that time (see 15 Oct. 1942).
Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?