Feb 19. Thursday 9.30. P.M. [1942]

I almost dread looking at the paper these gloomy days. Now that Singapore has fallen we wonder where next the blow will fall. Am afraid Malta will eventually be taken. She has stood up to Air Raids a long time, but the bald statement (as if we knew all about it) of Churchill’s that the Med. is closed to us now makes us wonder whether we have any Navy or Air Force about that can aid them. There must be some tho’ as the sinking of Axis supply vessels for Rommel is still going on. There is an article from Neg. [?] Faison in D.M. to-day in which he says we can believe all the Russ. say about the atroc. practised by the Gers. He has been to the villages and seen and heard at first hand the terrible things they have done. It is no war this time, not as I visualise war, a fair fight between the armed forces of both sides. This time it is just wanton destruction of civilians and property and defenceless non-combatants, as much as fighting. Even the war between armed men is terrible with death rained down from the skies. …..less [Helpless?] cannot stand against bombs. When will it end? Not till W. Ch has renounced his fat cigars or the supply is ended? I wonder. Not yet have we got down to sacrifice, but I feel that surely it will come to us all, as it has come to part of the country already one way or another.

Took flock bed to Kathie yesterday at Croft Marsh. Father went Burgh way to Croft village as Clough Farm Croft is the address. It was miles beyond that over Haven House Station. Everyone we asked kept saying, oh some miles further on. It was finally run to earth right down the farm grounds. Fortunately the roads are built up high above the marsh so were dry, but rough owing to use by military. They were at the end of the road and we had to go back some distance on our tracks to get on to the road for Sk[egness] then came on to Drumm[ond] Rd. We ought to have gone that way, much nearer. Doris’s house very nice, Kathie going to live at next house but we had not time to go. She has got some nice furniture at Ds ready for going. Shirley at school, Barbara very bonnie and good. Kathie a very pretty girl. Doris says she doesn’t take care of herself running in and out this bitter weather, she is young and doesn’t understand. Doris is of the mature age of 25 with a huge family of two. D. says she would not live in an out-of-the-way place like her mother has this year. It must be bad if it’s as far out as Clough (some call it Clow, some Cluff) Farm, but I think they get snowed up as it’s on the Wolds, and of course it is very flat where D. is. Heard from Em[ily] this morning, they are going to live in Louth Park, J[esse] going to drive tractor, so it sounds more civilised. Em had burned her thumb badly thro’ a box of matches going off. Very painful and what a waste of matches in these scarce times! Rene had been away to school to do the work. She is nearly 14 and will soon be leaving.

So Roy and Joan are going to be married at Easter if all is well. Rene had calf/ank badly to-day. Ron was home Tuesday, it will be 3 weeks before he comes again. Father went seafaring this morning but only got a bit of wood. Not cigs (Craven A), which he really went to look for. Hallgarth got 2 tins this morning, Father stayed about ½ hour on box while he went, he got a batch and 2 tins of 60 cigs, gave Father 21 out of one tin. He also took 2/6 full pay for 2 hours he did for Father last Sat. week tho’ Father has relieved him 3 times for a little while, since then, at least 2 hours altogether, mean hound. No wonder Father says anything he can get he will keep and not share!

The surrender of Allied forces in Singapore, under Lieutenant General Percival, to the Japanese, took place on February 15th 1942.

Faison (or similar name) was presumably a Daily Mail war correspondent – but this has not been verified.

Haven House Station was a railway halt between Skegness and Wainfleet (see East Lincolnshire Map).

Doris, née Lewis, Ashwell was May’s sister Emily’s eldest daughter and sister of Kathie. Shirley and Barbara were Doris’s daughters.

The Lincolnshire Wolds – an area of gentle scenic rolling hills, in what is sometimes mistakenly thought of as an entirely flat county.

Rene Lewis was Emily’s youngest daughter. The elder of the six daughters have been mentioned earlier (Doris, Gladys, Kathie, May) with the exception of Joyce who was second to youngest.

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

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