Jan 1st 1943 8. pm

Yesterday we had a letter from Emmie. She found 4 letters at home. Mr R[ussell] was much amused at Ron’s Irish statement that he was “quite happy but very fed up”. She found her father not very well, at least he arrived home soon after her, from work hardly able to hobble. She thought he must have sprained his ankle, but as he is 75 I would not be surprised if it was gout or rheumatism. Had another letter today, I hardly knew how to open it, I wondered if anything was wrong. However, it was to say she had had an air mail letter-card from Ron and as he could not send two he asked her to write to us. He was moving I think. It was written Dec. 6 and he said we were not to be looking for more letters just now as he had not sent any for two weeks. He will send us an air mail letter as soon as he can, but they are not always able to write. It is chiefly rain and mud where he has been so far. I believe it is the rainy season there until end of Jan. It is nice to hear from him, he does not seem so far away. Grace [Hill] heard last week that Ken was missing so it has made her Xmas a very troubled one and cast a damper on us all. I wrote a little note to let her know we sympathised with her and received a very nice one in return. Let’s hope she soon has better news. This “posted as missing” is almost as hard to hear as the certainty of a loss, except for the little gleam of hope and still the chance that they may turn up again. Em said her father was a little better and getting up yesterday. Mrs R said our Xmas cake was better than the one she had bought. They enjoyed the fish we sent. It was part of a cod caught here by Hallgarth and Paul. They are beautiful because so fresh, and after the so-called fish we get now are a feast. It has rained most of today but little patches of snow still linger as if waiting for more.

It is New Year’s Day. Father fetched in the usual green “for luck”. It was polyanthus leaves, as it was dark and pouring with rain at 7 a.m. Fa was on watch at 8.a.m. He also let Sprogg in so we ought to be having things coming in all the year. However, I am not a great believer in “luck”. Sprogg’s thick coat was so wet, Fa dried him on a duster, he appeared quite pleased. Rene came in spite of the weather. I had done most of baking as I thought she might not come. We had a beef pie from “resurrected” beef, crust made with dripping. Very good. A date pudding too. I made an apple-pie for Rene and used my last bottled plums for a pie for us. I still have blk currants and gooseberries. They are keeping well. Then treacle tarts, Rene made those, and jam tarts. Jean made ginger biscuits and semolina biscuits very good too and useful as they do not need points as the bought ones do. Have done a bit more of my rug, hope to finish it soon now, perhaps next week. A lot of infantry have come, but none near us so far. There is only a guard of R.As at the Ammunition Stores now. Mrs W[alker] came for War Savings. She had a heavy load of silver and 3D bits. Fa fetched Mr Whitehead from Sk[egness] Hos[pital] today. He [Fa] starts patrol tomorrow. Expect he will have proper breakfast before he goes as he won’t start before 8 o’clock.

Grace Hill was Ken’s mother (see 1 Mar. 1942).

Mrs Walker, here, was probably NOT Captain John Walker’s wife (see 1 Nov. 1942), as she did not live in the village at that time. Another Mrs Walker, more likely meant here, was the sister of coastguard Gilbert Paul’s wife (see photo 7 Jun. 1942).

Mr Whitehead was probably the husband of Women’s Institute speaker, Mrs Whitehead (mentioned at a later date).

A full-length foot patrol, carrying rifle and gas-mask, was along the beach from ‘The Point’ to Skegness within sight of the Coastguard point, on the end of the pier, from which a signal would be given to turn around.

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

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