Sep 15. 9.40. P.M. Wed. [1943]

The fierce fighting round Salerno is still going on after swaying back and forth for 6 days. The casualties must be terrible. Gers. claim to have “released” Muss[olini] from Badoglio.

We had a bad thunderstorm early Mon morning and it poured with rain until 8 a.m or after. Jean went to school and it cleared later and we washed but did not get dry as it kept coming showers. Eff came in evening said she had got ironed altho’ things were rather damp. My clothes dried Tue. and I got folded but still not ironed, at least not many of them. I did iron and put up the curtains in my bed-room which had been washed and dipped gold to match the sitting-room curtains.

In the afternoon (Tue) we went to W.I. Roll Call was “How I would improve the village”. Almost everyone responded, chief improvement was water laid on and sanitary scheme carried out. This was by temporary residents (sailors’ wives etc) who were probably from towns. They did not think of the huge rates it implied. Rene’s suggestion that permanent caravans and wooden shacks and tin huts (summer residences) should all be cleared out, met with general approval as also the suggestion that the sea defence rates should be a national concern and not fall on the coast dwellers alone. New school playgrounds were another improvement, but these would have been built ere now, but for the war. We had a most interesting demonstration of quilting by Mrs Brown of Sutton-on-Sea. She showed us some beautiful examples. She is from North, somewhere where quilting is evidently a usual thing. She told us of other quilts she had but was not able to bring as she came by bus’. Elsie G. thought that as we had not much time for it, the easiest way if we required one was to burgle Mrs B’s house and get one! I liked the Italian shadow quilting very much and would like to attempt it sometime. I have quilted a piece today for a slipper top with a piece of red rep and a bit of Jean’s green petticoat mat[erial] with padding made from a piece of her old checked shawl. It looks very nice but think it’s rather big.

I have been to Rene’s for dinner. Father was going to Skeg[ness] stn so I went in car to village, did a bit of shopping and walked on to Bev[erley]. Father came for dinner on his way back. Rene was finishing washing. It dried well. Kitten has settled down well. Tries to make friends with “Bill” rather to his disgust. Father had a sleep after dinner as he is on watch until 2 am. We returned home at 5 o’clock. He has bought some “Curisones” for rheumatism. They are capsules and are powder in a wee container that looks like celluloid but you take the whole lot so it evidently dissolves. 30 for 5/0 and they only last 6 days. If they are any good tho’, they would be worth it as he seems always to have the pain.

E.L. [electricity] just popped out. I forgot to put 1/0 in, had only 6D last time I put any in. Jean has been up and fetched pyjamas and curlers and is undressed and on couch. I had better get ready for bed I think. Planes are droning about. I hope they are not Gers. Had a letter from Ron to-day but it was not very recent, date 17th Aug. almost a month old. Rene had one too even older, 5. Aug. Hope we soon have more. He writes most cheerfully says he enjoys the sights but there is nowhere to touch England. Heat terrific and flies worse. He finds the fruit a compensation tho’. He was making lemonade from fresh lemons but had no sugar. They had been issued to troops. In my letter he mentioned he had been gathering figs and eating them. He liked them too. Have written him an Air G[raph] to-day for Jean to post in morning as we are advised that they have priority as they take smallest space. Hope he gets our letters even if we don’t get his.

Father got new windscreen put in yesterday. £2.10. It is a great relief and improvement. He also got pair of utility flannel trousers 13/6. and 5 coupons, 2/6 to shorten, they made them into Pa. [pair of turn-up trousers]. Tom had already got a pair. They are nice and thick and look nice now but I doubt they will wear “bald” as they are cotton one way. Oh! dear I don’t like the planes when Father is on watch tho’ I have slept well lately. We have had a lot of quiet nights and our nerves have got quietened down a little.

Marshal Pietro Badoglio had become the Italian prime minister on 25th July when Benito Mussolini was removed from government. Germany prepared to occupy its former ally and Mussolini was ‘rescued’ by the Germans from imprisonment at a hotel in the Gran Sasso Mountains.

Mrs Brown, WI guest demonstrator, of Sutton on Sea, was NOT one of the Browns previously mentioned.

Rep’ is a type of plain-woven fabric with crosswise ribs.

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

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