April 2 Wed. 9 p.m. [1941]

The announcer is just asking if we have been carrying our gas masks today. We must really practise wearing our gas masks more. It is just striking 9 on Big Ben. 12 nights London has had no raid. We seem to be doing pretty well against Italy now and Yugoslavia’s gallant stand has cheered all of the allies.

Ron came home for the day last Wed, he hopes to get home most weeks, for a time. It is nice having him so near tho’ we don’t know for how long. Sent his washing today and a bit of cake and chocolate. No more milk chocolate is to be made.

The wind is S.E., a cold drying wind which seems to have shrivelled us up the last few days. Tonight it keeps coming showers of cold rain. I hope it takes the wind and cold down. Hallgarth has not ploughed our allotment yet, doesn’t know if he will have time. Rather a blow as he agreed long ago to do it and has in fact nearly been paid for it. Of course everybody else is busy too now. Joe Kirk has got another horse, think they have sold their car. They won’t be so well off now that he is finishing at the Coastguard box. Still he ought to be able to find a living off his land in war time. Phoebe has started at Royal Arthur today as a Wren. We are having milk from Parishes now as Kirks was not fit to drink. I told them to let me know when another cow calved but she said they might give up taking it out now she was not going to be at home. Also that they might give over keeping cows as they could not sell the calves. The butchers were putting new born calves into sausages! No more sausages for me.

We had a boiled fowl today. Charles [Harness] had a lamb drowned and they had already killed the fowl so Grace brought it to see if I would like it. I would. It was small but only 2/6 and we are making it last 2 days with bacon and the soup and veg, potatoes, swede, carrots and parsnip and shallots to flavour it and the two pork bones from the weekend joint. There are the 4 of us as Jean broke up for a month today and came home for dinner and Rene was here. Jean and Mavis went to look for wild violets this afternoon but there hasn’t been sun enough yet tho’ the garden violets are in full bloom, some almost over.

William Hallgarth, farmer (see 30 Nov. 1940), was meant here.
‘Bert’ Parish (see 2 Jan. 1941) had a milk distribution round.
‘Taking it out’ refers to Kirks’ milk-distribution round.
Charles ‘Chuck’ Harness, nephew, was a son of Will’s sister Harriet and her husband Jack (see 20 Feb. 1941). Charles assisted his father in managing the family farm on Wigg Lane, where several of Charles’ sisters, including Grace, also lived.
Mavis Simpson, Frank and Jessie’s daughter (see 21 Dec. 1940), was meant here.

Rene’s paper from Nat[ional] Dep[osit] has come so she can arrange to go have her teeth out anytime. It is so cold so she is not making a start until next week. Mr. Faulkner came yesterday and swept the kitchen chimney. I white washed ceiling and frieze after and Rene helped me when she arrived to wash paint and polish etc. Still have a bit to do but glad to have “got the dirt out”. Ceiling looks O.K. Was pleased I washed on Monday and got clothes dry. Haven’t ironed yet so expect they are very dry now.

Mr Bailey started work today but had nearly enough by dinner time, not so strong as he thought. I have written to Ron tonight as Rene had written a letter which went in the parcel. We have to count our stamps now they are 2½d. We had a cheque from Commander Vine last Wednesday. What on earth did he want to make all that bother for? Have sold one pig to Charles for £5.0.0 so now want another. Don’t know if it has paid much but anyway we have 5.0.0 which we might not have had without. Father is having his new suit this week, blue with white stripe he says. £3.15, they have gone up a lot already. He is having it from Montague Burtons and it is a ready made one.

‘National Deposit’ is an insurance company.
Thomas Herbert (‘Bert’) Faulkner, father of Maurice, Herbert and Ralph (see 16 Dec. 1940), was meant here. The family home was ‘Sunny View’, on St Leonards Drive, near Chapel Bridge (see Village map).
Mr Bailey (see 6 Feb. 1941), former coastguard, was meant here.
Charles Hill (see 16 Dec. 1940) was probably meant here.

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

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