May 19. Wed. 8.10 a.m. [1943]
# POTATO PLANTING BEGUN
# DAMBUSTER RAIDS REPORTED
# POW REPORTS FROM TUNISIA
# RETURNING AIRCRAFT SIGHTED

It is decidedly cooler this morning, wind E or S.S.E. but bright. Yesterday was warm but the wind was cool. Father planted nearly half allotment with potatoes. Today D.O. [District Officer] comes at 11 o’c and Father is on watch at 2. p.m. so will get no more in today. It is very vexing. He is stoop-holing them, as he thinks to plough them in would bring up rough clods again. I am still very shaky and very nervous. I got no sleep until Father came home. He will be at home two nights now so I shall be better I hope before he is out again.

[Aside: Sun. May 16. Ger. Dams Burst]

The bombing and bursting of Mohne and Eder dams was successfully! carried out by RAF on Sunday night. Since then another one has been bombed but I did not get the name on the radio. It is expected to do us a great deal of good in the war effort against Ger. it must be terrible to be there now with day and night bombing and now these burst dams. There must be an appalling loss of life.

This morning it was announced that well over 200,000 prisoners were taken in Tunisia. Think Italy will be given a chance to draw out of the war. I shall be pleased when we hear from Ron again. I am wondering if he will be moved and if so where to, I fear not to England, probably further away. I hope Sybil has heard from Frank since the war ended in N.A. She will be anxious.

Rene washed a few clothes for me yesterday, she had done her own before she came. Has colour washed her bed room but thinks she may give it another coat as this is pale blue and it was cream before. We saw Beauforts and fighters return from bombing a convoy off Dutch Coast Monday 17 afternoon. Ron has had letters from John Meldrum and Jeff [Pearson]. Jeff gets 48 hours leave to Cairo and is expecting 10 days at Alexandria. He seems to be having a high old time. Answered Mrs Leivers letter last night. She has rheumatism badly in her hands and wrists, but seems very happy amongst her grand-children. Jean and I sampled “stuffed chine” at breakfast, very nice too. Jean had 2 helpings. Father not up yet.

‘Stoop-holing’ for planting was stooping, making a hole and dropping seed potatoes in.

The ‘Dambusters’ raid was carried out from RAF Scampton, near Lincoln, by 617 Squadron, flying Lancaster bombers, under Wing Commander Guy Gibson.

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