Sep 4. 42 Friday 8 pm [1942]

More than a month since I wrote in my diary. I had just written this one line and then in came Cook to sit and smoke a cig. He sat down and found he’d left them in his billet upstairs. In a joke he asked Jean to fetch them but her “No I won’t” was quite decisive. He thinks he’ll “away to bed” as Father is on watch until 2 am. He never stays long if Father isn’t here. He is most careful of his reputation! Jean has been to Life Brigade, Sprogg is wandering round so Jean has taken him out, to go to bed. I was changing into my slippers to-night and put my stockinged foot on the mat and got a sting from a wasp. Have applied the blue bag and it is easier. Jean was stung on the leg this morning. It is cool tonight, won’t be too hot on top of the Point on C.G. duty to-night. The W.Bx is in a state of transition from the original site to the Point and in the meantime the C.G.’s share the telephone with the military in a bungalow and watch on the bank from a beach hut. Hope the weather is not very stormy until it is up again.

After the wedding ceremony we had the breakfast in the school-room or hall belonging to the New Scarboro’ Chapel. Everyone admired the cake. It was a very nice breakfast, they were fortunate enough to get a caterer to undertake it. Ron said a little speech and Emmie too. Vic was quite serene when he made his, and spoke very nicely and Joan did well too. All the Yorkshire people were very nice but we hardly saw Ron as they went to catch 6 [p.m.] train at Leeds. He and Emmie too looked very happy and Ron seems to be very popular with them all. When they had gone we went back to Copt Royd St and lots of the others came too. They are all so friendly and we enjoyed the evening. I helped Mrs Russell pack Vic some sandwiches as he had to go back Sat. night and also some cake for the boys in Ron’s old billet at Binbrook. We slept at Mrs Russell’s on Sat night and Rene and Jean went to her sister’s, Mrs Emsley’s. Father and I went to The Park with Mr R. on Sunday morning. It was a bit drizzly but lovely when the sun came out. In the afternoon Rene and Jean went a walk with some girls on Otley Chevin moors. It was hot and they were tired but enjoyed it. I think Fa and I and Mr R had a nap but Mrs. R was busy getting a lovely tea ready. We had one of her famous Yorkshire puddings for dinner. They are delicious. In the evening we all walked in the Park again.

When we were dressing on Monday morning the siren blew. It is a weird and eerie sound. It was the first time I had heard it except in the far distance. We hurried down but soon the “all clear” went. When we got home we found Sk[egness] had had its severest raid with several people killed at the time we heard the siren at Yeadon between 8 and 9 Mon morning Jul 26 [actually 27th], 42. It sounded again in the night but we did not have to get up. Rene heard it and called to Mrs Emsley to ask if they were getting up and she said in her soft friendly voice, “No, love, that’s the “all clear”. Jean never heard either. On Monday Mr. R went to work and Mrs R took us to the mill. It was most interesting, and they were very kind in the mill and one man took us nearly all over it. Even Mrs R had not been in some of the rooms. After dinner we went by bus’ to Ilkley. Mrs R Mrs E and Addie came too and walked up the hill out of the town on to Ilkley Moor. I was able to walk quite a long way and the air was so pure and lovely quite a different smell coming over the moors, to our sea air. Mrs R and [Mrs] E and I sat on the moors not far from White Wells where we could see across to the Hydro and from there, there were lovely views all round right across the valley with Ilkley straggling down into it, to another range of hills or moors opposite and a slight mist rolling in and out amongst them. Father, Rene and Jean went with Addie right to the top and round the “Cow and Calf” rocks, they picked some heather which was just beginning to bloom and also some bilberries which they ate, then Addie (who ate them too) remarked that the sheep walked on them. I never imagined them growing so near the ground. I thought they grew on bushes! I gathered some heather too. We found no white heather. Mr R says most of the white is bleached by covering where it is coming in bloom, but I expect there are a few odd bits that grow naturally. It is easy to realise how people can be lost on the moors now I have seen them, and to realise also how a plane can crash into the hillsides in the mist if it gets too low in the valleys as the Sunderland did in Scotland last month when the Duke of Kent was killed and all the rest save one, who may recover.


The original site of the Coastguard  ‘watch box’ was north of ‘Lenton Lodge’. It was being moved southerly to ‘The Point’ (see Village Map).

The Russell family home was in Copt Royd Street, Yeadon, near Leeds.

Mrs Clara Emsley was the sister of Emmie’s mother, Mrs Russell.

Mrs Addie Russell was the wife of Dick Russell, Emmie’s cousin.

The severe bombing raid on Skegness, on Monday 27th July 1942, is referred to more fully in the next Diary entry, dated 5th September 1942.

Prince George, Duke of Kent was killed when an RAF Short Sunderland crashed in poor visibility near Dunbeath, Scotland, on August 25th 1942.

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

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