Tuesday Dec. 1st. 8.15. p.m. [1942]

A wintry day for Dec. 1st, the darkest month. It has been several showers, one at dinner time very heavy. Rene got home just in time. She had been washing, had got some dry and left some out. It dried during afternoon so hope she found them all dry. We picked most of the chrys[anth] buds yesterday. I have a bucket-full in shed, hope some of them will keep until Xmas, less than a month away. I have a lot in vases and bowls indoors, they have never been so lovely as this year. The weather has been open so long and we have had no gales to lash them to pieces. Had a “fry” and some “scraps” from Mary’s, their pig weighs 26 st. Father fetched ours from Holmes today, that is the little one and Eff’s. [Aside: From Holmes we got 2 black little pigs £1 each.] Father killed 2 young rabbits today as Amy and Ken are coming and Wed. is rather awkward for meat. I shall stew them I think. They are nearly 4 months old. Have made a plum pie from plums bottled at home. I expect I shall make Ken his favourite rice pudding. Then with potatoes and turnip and swede we shall have quite a pre-war dinner. Rene will be selling “flags” for parcels for our war prisoners. Cookie has a cold. I keep telling him not to leave it here, perhaps it’s taken effect as he just looked in for his ink and departed for bed, or he may be taking care of his reputation! as Father is on watch.

I wish Jean would come, she went to Colleen’s for tea and it is very ground dark. Father lent her his torch. Aunt J[essie] was fetching Mavis at 8.30. So will see Jean and Flora on to the road. It is a little after that now so she should be here very soon. She has still some home-work to do. Rene has let her have her plaid dress. I shortened it this afternoon, it looks very nice. She is also bringing her 2 pairs pyjamas, must make her some return. It is very nice for some things being so comfortably fixed, tho’ I expect it is a doubtful blessing to Jean or at least she will think it so as she gets a bit tired of “second-hand” things. If all is well she will be able to earn her own in 2 years time. Still the others have been useful and some of them very good too. Kirks horse knocked another hole in asbestos garage today. It is past a joke. Hallgarth has got a star to wear on his [Coastguard] uniform at least one on each sleeve. He is very fussy and got them sewn on at once. Have just been to the gate to look for Jean. Mr Hall came along from garage and said he had rung thro’ just before he left home and they were still at party. He will bring her home, he is fetching them if they have not got to his shop before him. It is not too dark after being out a bit but I could not find the gate catch when I went out. Think I will have a bit more supper when Jean comes. I get faint in the night if I am awake a lot.


Holmes was probably the farmer at ‘Charity Farm’ in Hogsthorpe. The farm was so-named as it helped to finance ‘Goodwin’s Charity’ which provided grants, e.g. for tools or clothing, to school-leavers starting working life.

The asbestos garage was where Will kept his car, behind one of the nearby houses owned by Ashleys, adjoining Kirks’ land (see 11 Apr. 1942).

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?
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  1. I have commented on your blog before–the Holmes of Charity Farms were my great great great Grandparents, although in 1942 the Holmes you mention was more likely a great-great granduncle. I will be in England in November and hope to visit Hogsthorpe then.


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