9. 25. p.m. July 4 Sat. [1942]

After a dull day with a hot blustering wind gradually travelling from E to S.W. or W. the wind is dying away and the sun gleaming from under a fringe of heavy cloud above. The wolds have appeared to be bathed in sunshine several hours so the dull belt of clouds is probably along the coast. There have been little scuds of rain now and then, I expect it one that has just settled the wind, I saw the window covered with raindrops just now and the wind is trying to rise again I think. The water in my bottle and jar thermometer or weather gauge has gone half way up the bot. neck tonight, it had not moved before, since I remade it a few days ago with rain-water caught in June. For some reason this never goes foul. Think it must be because there are no veg. spores in it. It is supposed to be good to bathe the eyes in June water. I ought to try it, I have some left and my eyes are very sore. Think I have a cold in them. Expect my glasses want changing too.

Jean has been to Margaret Pickers for the day. She went by train from Sk[egness] to Wainfleet. First time she has ridden in a train. Her new coat came from Miss Baker on Wed. It is very nice. 9/6 for making so it has cost just £2.2. I had buttons for it and found the binding. It is very cheap for these times, also I only had to give 9 coupons for material and should have had to give 18 for ready-made coat. We have about finished our old coupons now. I have got a cheap mac (12/9) to wear over my costume. I sent to Pontings, wanted a fawn one but could only get brown. It is just brown mackintosh material, rubberised inside, not beautiful, but macs aren’t.

Jean - Oatmeal Coat

Jean wearing oatmeal flannel coat. Note bomb-blast protection on neighbour’s windows.

I have made Jean’s school dress (very nice too) and altered the flowered silk crepe one, she had it on today, and commenced to make her long green petticoat to wear under br. maids dress. It is a pretty silky material “Spania” or something like it and drapes well. Would have been alright for dresses I think. 2/6 a yd. and 2 coup. I only got 2 yds so the top is white. I had the material. Jean has gone to bed. She is tired after her day out. They had strawb and cream and chicken, new pot. and green peas for dinner.

Only 3 weeks to-day to Ron’s wedding. We have got the bri[de's] cakes made. They have turned out beautifully. I experimented with fondant icing this week. It was a great success so we hope to ice both cakes in spite of only 1½ lbs. icing sugar. So hope we shall get them nice as there will be such a lot of Russells there. Ron hopes to get there by Friday night. Hope he will or it will be a rush for him and we shall not see him much as it is. We shall look forward to his next leave as we hope he and Emmie will come here for most of the time. He is liking I.O.M. It is a lovely place. His window looks out towards Snae Fell and he says there are avenues of palm trees and lots more scattered about. He is 5 miles from Ramsey at Andreas aerodrome. Ralph Faulkner has not gone abroad after all. He had a rather serious accident, collar bone broken and concussion. Was a week unconscious. Don’t know how it happened yet but he is recovering. Perhaps it will keep him in England a bit longer. Royce Wilkinson has arrived back in England.

I have got a hat at last 14/11. Black with a flower and a veil. Jean says it is quite French. It is very smart. Have got a peach satin blouse so shall have to change either it or the hat flower which is pink. Emmie writes, her mother and I are having pink carnation buttonholes. Now if I wear a peach blouse and hat with peach flowers, not even for Ron will I wear a pink buttonhole. But not a word at present. I think my peach coloured carnations will be out by then, otherwise Father will have to exchange his white one for mine.

Libya is in the German hands and they are well in Egypt, very disturbing, but hear news is a little better tonight. Have had no paper as no Daily Mails come thro’, that is twice this week. Mr A is having two weeks holiday, one is over now so Rene is not here so much. Have made some peach jam, and bottled some gooseberries this week. Rene has finished cleaning. Well my eyes keep aching so I had better stop writing.

Pontings of Kensington was already an established mail-order store.

Royce Clifford Wilkinson’s exploits as an RAF fighter pilot are detailed in ‘Spitfire RCW’ by Kenneth James Nelson, CD (published by the author in association with Western Canadian Distributors Ltd., 1994). His arrival back in England followed his extraordinary escape via Spain and Gibraltar after baling out of his stricken aircraft over France. He was a Yorkshireman whose parents had moved to live in the village, probably after their retirement. He had been based in Lincolnshire between May 1941 and March 1942, at Kirton-in-Lindsey, where he had helped in the establishment of two ‘Eagle Squadrons’ manned by American volunteer pilots.


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

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