Tue. Feb. 2. 8.05 pm. [1943]

Jessie has a R.A. [Royal Artillery] officer and wife in her rooms, batman comes to light fire and clean boots. Rumours of 70 soldiers coming on Thurs.

Sunday’s wild morning developed into a gale after dinner. Rene came with Jean’s cycle-lamp which she borrowed Sat. night. She had a cup of tea and was preparing to go when a sudden squall of wind and rain struck the house and the air was filled with paper, leaves, and all sorts of debris, half a hut roof went up and over the sandhills there was a terrific roaring sound and Rene is confident a plane went by just over the S. hills only showing a wing tip now and then. Maddison who was on watch says no plane however. Some damage to roofs was done, Warners garage roof taken completely off, tiles stripped and the whole building collapsed with a foot or two only of bricks left standing. I can see tiles are off another bung[alow] on Landseer Av. Kirk says field between them and Warners strewn with bricks, tiles etc. Arthur Graves is credited with 60 miles an hour on his cycle, coming from work at Butlins’. He stopped and dismounted as soon as a convenient bush broke the force of the wind. If it had struck him broadside it would have blown him off most likely. We were so pleased Rene had not started. It poured torrents of rain for a time then died away to almost a calm. It rained early Monday then turned a fine day, windy in the morning but settling after dinner. Rene went early as I did not wash, and got all her Red + [Cross] 1d a week collecting done. We did a big wash today – mostly dry. I am very tired, have not done any rug so far. Father is on watch until 2.a.m. and there are a lot of planes about. I am still nervous.

H.S. [Harry Simpson?] brought car to show Father tonight, think they’ll make a bargain. It is a little bigger than ours and better. Jean has a lot of homework tonight. It continues mild tho’ a fresh wind today. Several primroses in bloom violets and snowdrops in bud and daffs and tulips and bluebells peeping up. A wee flower showing on my aubrietia near the door which I sowed from seed Rene brought. Anemones growing well but no flowers. Elsie Grantham brought a fowl today. They had 3 killed by a dog. I bought it for 3/0. “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.” Like Charles’ it was a good big one. She was keeping it for a brooder.

Last night Jean dreamed of bananas, said “Joey Sharp gave her 3 off a big bunch, and best of all, she ate one before she woke.” She has always woken first before. I dreamed Ron was home from N.A. [North Africa] but thought he had not long to stop. He was tanned a deep brown all over his face and it looked exactly like him, tho’ he had very brown eyes instead of hazel. I kissed him and then he vanished or else I woke. He looked so well. Father went to Sk[egness] to see if Dr. M would give him another bottle of medicine. He did and some more liniment. Dr. says he has had flu’ which is going about. No temperature but it leaves a lot of people with lumbago and pain in the joints. Hope he will soon be better. He went to Alford St[ation] to fetch Mrs Dandison and Michael Stow. Mi. had a new bicycle. Hope the fresh car will prove a good investment. It is a bit of a worry changing cars, insurance, petrol coupons, and registration book etc. think it will be settled tomorrow. Betty Elston has left school and is at Stow’s post office at present. She is clever so probably won’t be there long.

Mrs Pilgrim is at school now again, but Rene says she gets very tired, has informed Ed[ucation] Authorities that she won’t be able to keep on thro’ the summer. Her heart is not very good I think.

Oh! Dear, planes again. W. Ch. [Winston Churchill] been to Turkey for weekend was in Cairo last night. His arrival home not been announced yet.

Jean made a “pomme de terre au gratin” i.e. potatoes and cheese sauce. Cooked potatoes mixed with sauce and browned. We are not fond of cheese but papers say we ought to eat our ration as it balances our diet in vitamins. I am cooking a second veg. most days as we seem to lack something. Jean’s psoriasis doesn’t clear off and Father’s seems troublesome again too and my skin itches as if my blood was overheated. It certainly isn’t too much heat, think it is fresh fruit and veg we want tho’ we get a good deal of the latter. I cooked young shoots that had grown on stalks of cabbage cut in the autumn and a young savoy. Very good too, with mashed potato, Father likes his whole so saved one or two, hot gravy and slices of cold meat. The beef was so tender and sweet it seemed a shame to heat it. Had a sago pudding after. I had toast, not liking sago and as I had a cup of Horlicks with milk for lunch was alright. How still it is now the gale has gone. If it would keep fair we could do with a little wind to dry things up. Standard bags of flour are being put up in case bread is rationed. I don’t know exactly what that means. Whether we have to make own bread or whether that will be for the puddings, cakes and pastry we make at home. I put a root or two of lilys of the valley in on Sat. I always thought they had bulb but not so, only roots. Mrs Spencer gave Rene them for me, at least she said Rene told her her Grandmother! could not get any to grow. Re thinks she has mixed her with somebody else but knew I wanted some so she did not try to explain, but thanked her. I hope they grow. I have never had any. Mavis says she promised me some and I was to bring some from Yeadon but forgot.

Warners (see 14 Dec. 1941) whose bungalow was the further edge of Kirks’ ‘Point Farm’ (see Village Map) were meant here.

Arthur Graves had been one of the coastguards. His work at ‘Butlins’ must have been as a civilian employee at ‘HMS Royal Arthur’.

H.S. probably refers to Harry Simpson, not related, proprietor of Ingoldmells Garage.

A ‘brooder’, or broody hen, was used to keep eggs (not necessarily her own) warm for hatching, sometimes avoiding the need for heated housing for that purpose.

Cyril (‘Joey’) Sharpe was the son of greengrocer Arthur Sharpe (see 15 Jul. 1941).

Betty Elston was the daughter of Mr Elston of ‘Morfields’ (see 20 Jan. 1941).

Mrs Pilgrim, who was living in South Road near the village centre, had been Jean’s head teacher at the village school.

Mr and Mrs Spence (as later written and believed correct) were probably the couple who lived in a cottage associated with ‘The Sycamores’ on South Road, owned by the Misses Crow (see 2 Jan. 1941), as near neighbours of Rene and Tom.

Mavis Harness, wife of nephew, Tom Harness, Harriet’s son, may have been meant here (see 26 Sep. 1941).


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

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