Jan. 10. Sun. 7.40. p.m. [1943]
# RADIO HYMN SINGING RECALLS BOER WAR
# VILLAGE MACHINE-GUNNED BY ENEMY AIRCRAFT
# HUTTOFT GRANGE BOMBED
# NEARBY BILLETED SOLDIERS MOVE ON

Sunday in January 1943. Community singing on the wireless and they have just sung the hymn “Oh God of love, oh King of Peace”. More than 40 years ago we sang it at school each day until the Boer War was over. “Beneath the angel-strains have rolled, two thousand years of wrong. Oh hush your strife ye men of blood, and hear the Angels sing.”

About 1.15 pm. a single raider probably a Dornier flew over the coast round by Huttoft and bombed the [Huttoft] Grange flat except the kitchen and did more damage in the village. It shook us and we heard machine gun fire, and (very foolishly) looking out saw the plane coming over S Kirks house-top height. It was so low and near the Swastika or rather cross on the plane was visible. It gave one or two bursts of machine-gun fire, putting a bullet through Mrs Blakely’s window in Landseer Av. No one hurt, then flew off over the sea. If it had dropped its bomb then it might have demolished us or the soldiers billets and killed many of them. Jean did not seem at all afraid and went to S[unday] S[chool]. After it had passed I went outside, and it was really amusing. Outside all the bungalows and houses were people and soldiers returning from dining-hall and there was a chattering of all of them talking at once like a lot of starlings or another burst of M.gunfire. It reminded me most of when we used to have teas in chapel, and when the door was opened to go in, a burst of chatter and clatter of cups used to meet us.

It was snowing fast when we got up at 7.15. this a.m. and there was about 3” of snow. It thawed later and the nervous start I give when it slides down our rather steep roof shows my nerves are still shaky. The infantry billeted near us moved away to-day. Yesterday afternoon 2 of them – young ones, came and asked if I would lend them a saucepan to heat up soup and beans (tinned) which they had got from Halls, “without points” one of them beamed. I asked if they had enough bread, and they grinned and said “Yes, pinched it from the dining hall.” I lent them the pan and they brought it back washed clean later on. Jean went to the door and she asked if it had been alright and they said “Yes, very good”. Poor boys. “Like lambs to the slaughter.” I wonder if we shall have any more near us. Father saw one of the R.As when on patrol today and he says Jock was recalled from leave, and has been posted, but not abroad. He did, however, get married. Poor old gloomy, he would moan. Not without reason tho’ this time. Keith and Marian are home. Roy was recalled from leave, sent to Weston-Super-Mare for a 12 weeks course, when they arrived they found it did not start until 14 Jan so asked for and obtained leave until 13th. Roy arrived back at Joan’s at 7.a.m. Sat morning. Rene came this afternoon but not Tom. He was resting but might meet her. It is not nearly so cold. Hope this thaw doesn’t mean more snow. Father took Jim Coupland to Wil[lough]by Stn. to catch 3.30. train this afternoon as roads too snowy to cycle.

 

Sampson Kirk’s property was ‘Nelson Villa’, west of May’s home ‘Lenton Lodge’. (See 11 Jan. 1942 and Village Map).

Mrs Blakey (corrected spelling), a widow, lived in ‘Alpha’, Landseer Avenue. Her son, Fred, a decorator, who also lived there, was serving in the forces away from home at that time.

May’s nephew Roy, married to Joan, (see 30 Apr. 1942) was attending a boat-building course, related to his RAF post in Air-Sea Rescue.

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