On writing the date I remember it is St. Valentine’s Day. Very cold and frosty too it has been but thawed a lot this afternoon, don’t know whether it is freezing tonight. Father’s cold much better, he cleaned all the rabbit-hutches yesterday and mowed them dry grass for beds. To-day he has got some of the boards around hut sides put on. It has never been fit weather before. This afternoon Hallg[arth] called to ask him go help to estimate number of balls in case they found. Hallg. reckoned approx. 10,000. Think he must be wrong but don’t know. A few boxes inside were damaged and the balls crushed.
Ron came Wed. He had finished filing the casting of Well[ington] Bomber and polished it and stand. It is a scale model and a lovely piece of work, solid brass. I thought the underside would be hollow. He has glued a piece of felt (from the inside of an oxygen bott. case) under base of stand to save scratching furniture. Emmie is having it of course but I borrowed it until he comes again. He brought me a Perspex cross for my necklace, nicer than the celluloid one he brought before.
Rene very seedy still with cold. Has not been to-day. Jean went this morning to see if she could help her and did a few little jobs. Went with Ron to station Wed night, had not been for a long time. It should be light after this until we get home again. A Well. Bomber made a forced landing in a field about a mile from here on Friday morning. It was on Patrol and one engine gave out, just over the sea. No one was hurt but the plane undercarriage was damaged. Hallg. sent for Father to investigate and the Sgt. Pilot let him go inside it. C.Gs are not really supposed to bother with anything on land, so he need not have gone. Still he did not mind as he got a look at it. New D[istrict] O[fficer] came in afternoon. Asked a good many questions. Think C.Gs have hardly got him “taped” yet.
Singapore was holding out to counter-attacks this morning. Wed. night the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prince Eugen came out of Brest thro’ E. Channel and Straits of Dover to Heligoland Bight. protected by fighter planes. We lost 42 planes in melee. No warship of any size, of ours, was near enough. They thought Gerry would never dare the D.S. but go round by Scotland. Weather was ideal for his purpose. They say it hindered us! It might have done if we had been there! The country is in an uproar and no wonder. We shall be the laughing-stock of the world. After bombing Brest 66 times, to let them repair these ships so that they sailed under their own steam to where they wanted to be. Our planes and little ships did magnificently what they could, but we were once more caught napping, or worse because we were aware they contemplated a move and never guarded the most obvious place. It is a weary war made worse by bungling and incompetence. Winston must wake up. Gers are fighting near Tobruk now.
The three German naval cruisers had remained in the port of Brest for their safety for almost a year. Their bold ‘Channel Dash’, heading for Norway, along with ten destroyers and numerous smaller craft, was a major humiliation for the Royal Navy and RAF caught off guard.
Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?