Fri. Jan. 22. 8.30. am. [1943]

A very wet morning after a lovely, breezy winter’s day Thur. with sunshine all day and the birds singing and roads drying. Now the roads will be as bad as ever and Jean foolishly left her Wellingtons at school and came home in her shoes. So she has had to take shoes and stockings to change into. She has a cold too, so hope she gets no more. Father not up yet as he was on watch until two a.m. and is on again at 8 to-night, and a journey to Skegness this afternoon. Our pig is getting fat slowly. There is not enough meal to feed it properly and now the R.As have gone we get no bits from them.

Had another letter from Mrs Jock. She got the tray and slippers safely, they were a perfect fit she says. Jock came back to Sk[egness] but was sent to Suffolk and after a day there went back to Sc[otland] on 4 days emb[arkation] leave. He left there on 13th and she had not heard any more from him when she wrote. He was attached to a Tank corps. Poor old Jock.

I find I am on the last page of my diary, I have another exercise book in the drawer tho’ and Jean owes me one as she decided to keep a diary this year. We had two letters and Air Mail letter card from Ron last week. They were all a month on the way, not too bad. Our Airgraph not been returned so presume it has been sent. I hope he has got it. Keith and Marian have been on leave both looking well and happy, they came for tea on last Thursday 14th and Colin of course. I wrote to Em. Vic and Mrs Jock last night and have several more letters to answer yet. Had a photo of May [niece] and her husband yesterday. May in long white dress and veil. Must really get her tray sent. Harriet came Tue. for a few minutes to fetch a rabbit and Mary called on her way to Belton’s [garage/ shop] and brought a few apples, also half pig’s head. Father likes it but I don’t care much for it. The soup is good tho’. I see one or two snowdrops are pushing up this week. They are late this year in spite of mild winter. There are a few stray primroses. I have no flowers in the house this week.


My book of words is like a chain of beads

Strung by a little child

Some near together when each day is marked

Some large and far apart with days like lengths of string between.

Some bright and gay, “red letter” days

And some of sombre hue.



The following lines from ‘Epitaph on a Jacobite’ by Thomas Babbington Macaulay (1800-1859) were written inside the back cover of the exercise book used for the Diary to January 22nd 1943:


“Beheld each night my home in fevered sleep,

Each morning started from the dream to weep;

Till God, who saw me tried too sorely, gave

The resting place I asked, an early grave.”



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

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