Wed Feb. 19 [1941]

Tin hats no longer hang in a row at the W. Bx and Father has room to hang up his coat. Mond. was wet early so I did not wash. Just before 12 o’c. Rene came in and we heard a plane. Before she got her things off we heard machine guns and of course went out. It was in Roy. Art direction, was there in fact, then the plane came back right around the village firing his guns and cannons. We ran in as, tho’ we could not see it, we heard it coming. Bullets hit J Kirk’s Wash H[ouse] window and broke tiles in his barn roof. I saw a silver shower of bullets, some aflame, coming in the field, only just over the garden fence. Thought it time to leave the window then. It would have been too late, I am thinking, if they were going to hit us. Were going into the pantry, at least Rene had to drag me there, then we heard it over the hills and I ran to look if he was gunning the W Bx. I could not think whether Father was there or not. It was alright and Father was at home, he left the garage and went in building of Ashley’s close to house wall as garage was no protection. We saw the plane just going over the Point and Cookie and another R.A. [Royal Artillery soldier] coming down the Sand-Hills holding their hats on. M.Gs kept on then we heard the bombs go. It gave us an awful feeling. 3 were dropped on R. Art., one direct hit on Windsor House the rest on beach. One or two were killed and there were some injured but they were mostly in shelters as the machine gunning had given them time to take cover. Evidently the wind was nearly south as neither Jean at school or Mr A. heard the bombs heavy as they were.

12 P.M.
After raining all the morning great blobs of snow are falling now, perhaps it will bring the cold down. Rene just been, she is helping at the W.V.S canteen 12 to 3. Yesterday she baked for them, it doesn’t help my coal-heap much. Father gone egg-collecting, has to be on Wat. at 2 o’clock. Heavy thuds like bombs or gunfire. Am still jumpy. We think Corbie was struck by m.g. bullets, the wall is newly chipped.

Ashleys owned two houses, ‘Jesmond’ and ‘Perlthorpe’, used as billets, in Anderby Road (see village map). Will kept his car in a rented asbestos garage at the back of one, reached via a space between them.
‘Windsor House’ was Butlins’ name for one of their holiday camp buildings which became part of ‘HMS Royal Arthur’.
Egg-collecting was for Grandma’s business – eggs to be taken to Grimsby market on the Friday. (See 6 Dec. 1940)

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

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