Thurs 8.30 am Jan 30 [1941]

Jean has gone to school the first time this week. A plane or two have gone over reminding us that today is another of Hitler’s “invasion” dates. Rene said yesterday that the new Coote baby wasn’t taking food well and they fear it may not survive. Don’t know whether it is the soldiers lumbering next door or bombs in the far distance. Yesterday I washed, Rene came and helped and when all the clothes were on the line the chimney next door caught fire. The wind was of course just right (or wrong) and being dampish the smoke just clapped down on the clothes and enveloped them. As they did not appear to have gathered any loose soot I left them out until dark and the smell was all gone off when I fetched them in. I may discover smuts in the daylight tho’. Cookie was most apologetic (the poor boy is a bad talker and shy) he did not know how it had happened as his fire was banked down, but I expect their chimney wants sweeping. Mrs L[eivers] had it done very frequently. Father did not get home from watch until 2.40. Joe K[irk] was late again, woke early and could not keep the light on, as he did not know that the black-out was safe. He had had no hot drink nor had anything to eat, nor had he brought any drink with him (they have no flask). Think with two women in the house, 3 when Phoebe is at home, they might do a bit better for him. Expect [Mr] Paul would give him hot tea but why should he? Mr And[rews] is still away but better than he was. Father starts 5 days holiday (with pay) tomorrow. I only got ¼ lard this week, some people have got none. Taylor hasn’t been since Fri.

No reference has been found to planned ‘invasion dates’ in 1941. It is now generally believed that no further specific plans were made following the ‘Battle of Britain’ and Hitler’s abandonment in September 1940 of the invasion plan named Operation Sea Lion.
Cookie, here, was an Army cook based nearby at that time, probably not the one mentioned by name (Jock Brown) in later Diaries.
Gilbert Paul was a joiner and coastguard.

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

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