One week gone in this, we expect, historical year. Yesterday a new era in flying was announced and the success of the new jet propelled aeroplane made public. It is gratifying (to our pride I suppose) to know that it is the invention, and patient toil for 12 or 15 years at the expansion of the idea, of an Englishman Frank Whittle by name who has worked at it since he was an R.A.F. Cadet. He is only 36 or 37 now. It will do away with propellers. I have an idea, it is only conjecture, from some of the talks on it, that the Gloster planes are some of them driven by it now. We shall be running out now if we hear a whining plane. Let’s hope it ushers in an era of peace and prosperity. It is of course not exclusive to England. Italy and Germany as well as U.S.A. have been working on same idea, and it is thought it may be one of the “secret weapons” Ger. brags about.
Soldiers in Chapel reported to be staying 2 weeks now and ask for W.V.S. to be opened, and Jessie still away! Still I think she returns to-day. Mrs. Walker was quite excited. She does not look too well, but was very high-brow yesterday when collecting War Sav[ings].
Jean and Father and I went to Sk[egness] yesterday. Jean and I got our spec[tacle] frames adjusted. Father forgot to take his. Got Jean blouse mat. at Croft’s 1/10½ and 1½ cou. yd. 36” wd. Looks alright but lights in Crofts can only be described as dim and the day was dull. My eyes too are not good since the “flu”. Shops pretty well cleared of Xmas presents. Jean got a nice folding wallet for two photos 2/11. I got a little booklet of Rup[ert] Brooke’s poems 20 of them, it was 2/6. There looks nothing for money but still the poems are worth far more and I do not regret getting it. Father got his tunic collars altered, and got his name put down for a fountain pen at Sayers. I find the dyers and cleaners are taking hats again, the quota has been taken off and I can take one next week any day to be cleaned and remoulded and dyed if I wish. Before, they only took 4 a week and only at 9 a.m. Mon. morning. It was like the Pool at Bethesda and was not worth while starting off at 7.45 am to catch a bus as probably one would have been too late or another would have stepped in before me! Father says I can have his best felt [hat]. I think I will. I can give him some of my hat money towards a new one. He does not like this one. Got some more writing-paper and envelopes, the quality gets worse and worse. Still there is a decided change slowly growing up. Clothes I consider are better quality and not quite so limited a choice. We are getting 24 cou. for next 6 months as for last, instead of 20 as expected. Porage Oats come in Quaker or Scotts boxes again instead of loose. In various little ways like this we notice a difference. Tins are not to be saved now except in districts where they have a plant for dealing with them. What a lot of villages will loathe these dumps of tins. I wonder what they will do with them. I think they cannot be of a great deal of use when they are remade or they would be more keen of them. Of course transport is needed more for other things.
Frank Whittle and the announcement of jet propulsion planes: Early ‘Gloster-Whittle’trial flights had taken place in May 1941 when the first official British jet-powered flight was at Cranwell, Lincolnshire. Developments had continued and the firsr twin-engined Gloster Meteor flew in 1943. Several engine variations were involved bfore the first operational Meteor fighters entered squadron service in July 1944.
Rupert Brooke was already an acclaimed English poet before he volunteered as a soldier in World War I and died as a result of insect poisoning during a sea journey to join the military action in Gallipoli.
‘The Pool at Bethesda’ in the Holy Bible was a very busy place for disabled seeking healing: John 5:2.
Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?