May 18 Sun 5.45 a.m. [1941]

My diary has been neglected lately. I did not seem to have any opportunity to write whilst Mrs. Adams was here. She has been gone nearly a week now and we miss her. They are a nice pair. She did not smoke, swear or use slang but was most refined and friendly. He still comes in and on Friday brought his friend George [Cutts] who plays the harmonica. They are both good singers too. The sergeant from Ashleys to-day asked about a room for his wife from tomorrow week. I told him to try elsewhere but would not see him stuck. Then he said it would only be for two days and I am sorry I bothered, it is not worth it. In any case I am not taking any more for 10/6 a week as the husbands seem to want to come for all meals and the wear and tear of stair carpet is an item.

Ron came home on Tuesday night this week, walked in at 8.30 p.m. having thumbed it from Louth. Said he was fed up so risked it. It was nice to have him for a long day at home. He went back at 7.20 from Willoughby and got in safely. Expect he will be home again Wed.

Rene and I went to Trusthorpe on Thurs. by bus’. I had been the previous Saturday and found them in a good deal of trouble. Uncle Tom ill with back trouble and Amy almost worn out as she could not get help. Aunt Jet had been ill too but was up again and in an awful state. However she was better on Thursday and May Lewis had arrived to help them on Tuesday so they were more comfortable. May is nearly 17 and strong so can be of great help. Uncle was up when we arrived but went to bed after dinner. The Dr. says he may live some time or may go anytime. He does not seem to get any real nursing. Amy is not used to illness and Auntie is blind but should have thought she would have understood not to give him solid food and that he ought to be propped up in bed when he sits up. She wants him up, she can not bear to think of him going first but she is really in good health so am afraid he will. He has gone thin and looks worn out. Uncle Harry was there on the Saturday. It was a long time since I had seen him. We took a piece of beef steak on Thurs and tho’ Amy scolded us she enjoyed a piece of it, she said it was so long since she had any. Aunt J had mutton heated up and Uncle T had some which was all wrong and he had potatoes too. Fred was very seedy and he had just lost his brother Alf (only 42) so very down.

Father is out with “locals” today, he took ½ lb butter and a little sugar with him. Rene has been home for the day, she and Jean have gone to Chapel. It has been a lovely day but the wind is in the cold quarter again. I have tulips and anemones in bloom and have planted my gladioli bulbs. Rain is wanted badly or there won’t be much corn or hay I’m thinking.

Aosta has asked for terms to surrender in Abyssinia. I have done no more spring cleaning so shall have to buckle to this week. Edens came last Sunday week (4th) for eggs, just Kitty and her Father. Think she grows more like her mother in manner which is not an improvement in my eyes. Norman Swift called this afternoon. Mansell is L[ieutenan]t Col[onel] H[orse] Guards.

George Cutts was a soldier billeted with Frank Adams (see 28 Apr. 1941).
May Lewis, niece, was a daughter of May’s sister Emily (see 16 Apr. 1941).
Harry Simpson, May’s uncle, who lived near Boston, was a younger brother of her father George and of Uncle Tom (see 16 Apr. 1941).
Fred Wadsley Smith, farmer, was May’s cousin Amy’s husband (see 9 Dec. 1940).
Methodist ‘local preachers’ were lay preachers in the local ‘Circuit’. Will provided a regular Sunday ‘taxi’ service (see 16 Dec. 1940).
Italian forces under the Duke of Aosta surrendered to British forces at Amba Alagi in Abyssinia on 16th May 1941.
Edens owned two bungalows in South Road.
Norman Swift was a villager who was serving in the Army (see 12 Jan. 1941).
Mansel (believed spelt as here) Robinson, Malcolm’s elder brother, had attended the village school at the same time as Rene and his sister, Mabel (who was a Girls’ Life Brigade member – see 11 Apr. 1941). The family home was on St Leonards Drive near Tylers Bridge (see Village Map).

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

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