Sun Mar. 14 9.30 pm. [1943]

It is my birthday. Jean gave me chocs and hankies. Rene brought me some Fuller’s pep[permint] lumps but they are not lumps but blobs. She is taking them back to Stow’s. She and T[om] came for tea then walked home with “Bill”. [Aside: We had a tin of grapefruit for tea.] They said they were cycling to Chapel. I did not go as I cycled to Harriet’s this morning. It is her birthday too, she usually comes to see me but I judged she would be too tired this year as she is helping to nurse Gosling. She had been up all night with him so I was pleased I had gone before dinner as she would be resting this afternoon. Betty in bed with flu’.

Jonty Gosling with wife Mary and dog

Jonty Gosling with wife Mary and dog

Father fetched Com. Storer’s from Roy. Art last night at midnight. Went on watch at 2 a.m off at 8 am. Took Cpt. Green’s to W[illough]by Stn at 10. On watch at 8 pm. Off at 2. a.m and takes Com. Storer’s dau[ghter] Lieut. St. to Wby Stn for 6.50 a.m. train. He is on watch again at 8pm Mon. night and D.O. [District Officer] coming at 2 p.m afternoon. I hope he will go to bed when he gets home about 7.30 Mon. morning, but have my doubts. He went to Dr. M[enzies] again yesterday as his neck was no better. Says massage well with liniment as it is rheumatism of muscles.

Jean is putting her hair in curlers, a nightly ritual now. Father has finished digging corners and headland of allot[ment]. Went to W.I. on Tues, very interesting. For Roll Call we had to give a “funny epitaph”. Most of those present did so. Afterwards Mrs Whitehead gave a demonstration on glove-making, skins, felt and bits of cloth. Cloth should be close woven and non-fraying if possible. The felt ones she showed us were really handsome with hand-embroidery, but felt is not obtainable these days. Afterwards in the social half-hour games were played, I was detained speaking to someone and the set was made up so I luckily missed it. I thought it was the height of absurdity, a lot of grown-up women most of them middle-aged and even elderly, prancing about and guessing actions in mid-afternoon of a working day. I thought we might have been better employed, but I suppose the word “social” conveys only the idea of “games” to some minds. Mrs Storer’s [dog] “Chum”, who cannot be left at home because he suffers from nerves since a “blitz”, cried like a baby whilst Mrs S joined the games so I sat beside him and he told me his troubles. Then there was tea which few wanted. I went on to’s while they had it. I think in these times and as the people all live in the village tea ought to be omitted.

Oh! dear, now there’s a plane drumming around just as I am going to prepare for bed, and Jean really ought to be there now. Hope we hear no more. They may be our own, but there is always the fear that they may be hostile. Jean is not nervous but I am.


Jonathan (‘Jonty’) Gosling lived at ‘Keal Cottage’. As an elderly retired policeman he had latterly worked at Dawsons’ farm, ‘The Willows’ (see Village Map). His wife, Mary, who had died earlier, was a close relative of Will’s mother and the couple had been widely known as ‘Aunt and Uncle Gosling’. He was a well-liked character, strikingly tall, broad and upright, with a ginger moustache.

Captain HH Green was the father of Hugh Green who had been lost in action (see 15 Feb. 1943).

Lieutenant Peggy Storer, Commander Storer’s daughter, a friend of Jean, joined in with social activities in the village. She was based at ‘HMS Royal Arthur’.

Mrs Whitehead, who lived on Sea Bank Road, towards ‘The Point’, was well known for her interest in craftwork, including tapestry, and provided guidance at the Girls’ Life Brigade as well as the Women’s Institute.

Chum was Commander and Mrs Storer’s dog.

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

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