Jean has gone off to school this morning after Xmas holidays. I have remade her school bag as it was shabby and too small. I put in fresh side-pieces to bag and pocket, from an old leather coat surviving from last war. Hope it hangs together. If not I shall send it to cobblers to be machine stitched. Yesterday we heard that the Grange at Huttoft was not demolished but windows blown out and serious damage done both to it and other property. Also there were some people killed but I think not Ailsby’s. Edie A’s young man, a soldier, was accidentally killed and now the war has blitzed their property. Once the war machine gets going it spares neither just or unjust but marches on over everything. I always think the tank is typical of war, just keeping on relentlessly over all obstacles crushing and mounting everything in its path leaving a trail of mangled remains behind. So it goes, but with it progress in science and engineering develops in leaps and bounds too. Strange how war inspires so many new ideas in these things, and best of all, perhaps, in surgery and healing. Well, if we are spared to the end of the war, we may see the beginning of this “brave new world” they speak of. Let’s hope it does not prove a “mirage”. It seems to me they don’t allow God his proper place in all these schemes. One day in seven he asks, and the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. I interpret that as meaning that one Day given up to rest and the worship of God is necessary to the bodily and spiritual development of man, and that the omission of this is the root of all our troubles. Only through God is Life and if he is ignored how can we hope for Life Everlasting. All Life must have sustenance to continue and if we neglect the Source of Everlasting Life our souls must surely die of starvation.
Had a letter and wedding? cake from Mrs Jock a very nice letter. She says, on Tues. night Jock had a wire recalling him immediately but he stayed to be married on Wed. and returned on Thursday. He will wire when settled. Yesterday we posted a tray (like Ron’s) and the slippers Jean made, to Mrs Jock, so hope they arrive safely. Rene put a note in and told her I would write later, so will wait until I hear that she has got them. The W. cake was pale and dry with a kind of almond cream on top, very war-time cake. Our people were very fortunate in theirs. The cause of E[lectric] L[ight] failure last week was a runaway balloon and the bombing on Sun. put it out of action again on Sunday for an hour or two, but it did not inconvenience us except for radio, as it was before tea-time. It is wet and stormy again, but so hope Rene will wash to-day, then I can have mine done tomorrow, but not a big wash so late in the week. Father finishes his patrol to-day. I am sorry, as when on patrol he has all his nights at home and I am rather nervous when he is out.
The Ailsbys of Huttoft were farmer Ben (brother of Harold – see 21 Dec. 1940) and wife Ada. Edie Ailsby was their daughter.
‘Mrs Jock’ was Mrs ‘Jock’ Brown, wife of the Army cook (see poem “January 12. 1943 or ‘to J.B. and C.T.’ celebrating their wedding.)
Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?