July 6 Sun 10 p.m. [1941]

How my diary has been neglected lately. Since last I wrote in it Uncle Tom has passed away (June 18) and Aunt Jet has been to stay. She only stayed from Mon to Fri. She is a handful, I am sure her brain can not be normal. I don’t know how Amy will endure it, if she lives long. She certainly seems as strong as a woman of 76 can be, but has had one or two nasty turns which may have been slight strokes. She gave Will Dad’s gun which Uncle Tom had seldom used.

Ron was home on Sat for the day, he is working hard now but looks well. He gave me 3 new 2/0 pieces. I could not go to Willoughby as I was expecting a soldier’s wife (one of Frank Adams’ pals). She did not arrive until after Father’s return so I might have gone. Rene went, Jean was at Margaret Picker’s party. Mrs.Wakelam and little boy 2½ arrived 8.30. Michael has whooping cough. She says he never whooped until last night but he has had a bad cough for two weeks so think she ought to have made sure. Jean hasn’t had it so have told Mrs. W she must keep him out of the kitchen and of course Jean will not go in the room. It has been so hot in the kit. today having dinner and tea cooking. I will not be bothered with children any more. She had given him cod liver oil tonight and he came messing in the kitchen (Jean had retired) with his face and hands all oily and rubbed them on settee and chairs and I loathe the smell. Shall be pleased when the week is up. She is going to Skegness tomorrow. I don’t think Mr. W. ought to sleep here tonight, he might spread it amongst the soldiers. I bet my sheets will be a bit greasy. It is very hot tonight. The SW wind has dropped and of course it is really only 8 o’c by the sun. W’s have gone to bed but Father is on duty and the boy keeps coughing so I am not in a tremendous hurry. Rene came this afternoon. Mr. A is having a week’s holiday so she won’t get to dinners this week. Expect she will get sometime during the day tho’. I want to wash tomorrow if Mrs.W goes out.

Ron and Re have a camera now. The first lot of films have gone to be developed so we are looking forward to seeing them. I don’t like myself in the snaps Emmie took. Ron expects to go to Yeadon next Saturday. Emmie is thinking of joining the A.T.S. as otherwise she will have to go in munitions. Sybil Adams hopes to get in G.P.O at Shrewsbury. I have had 2 letters from her, they are most amusing.

Frank, George and Bill W went to the S.S. [Sunday School] anniversary at night and helped with the singing then came in to supper. George is on leave this week, he is not married. I do not like B.W. as much as the other two. Frank has everyone’s good word. He and George neither drink, smoke or swear and yet are popular with their mates and respected too. They are only 21 too but it shows there are a few strong characters left yet. I am pleased to think Ron is another. Am pleased too that he has a decent pal now.

Must try and keep my diary more up to date. Our dairy business has gone with egg rationing I am afraid. The £3.10s from C.G. box is alright whilst the war lasts, I hope, but of course it will finish then and we may have a very lean time. We are licensing the car this quarter but don’t know after that. Well it is 10.30 so think I will go to bed. I am reading a book “And Pleasant his Wife” by S.C. Nethersole which is very interesting. Have just read “Quinneys” by H. Vachell.


‘Dad’ refers to May’s father (brother of Uncle Tom), who had owned the gun.

Margaret Picker was Jean’s school-friend. They continued to be long-term close friends.

Mrs Wakelam, wife of soldier Bill, and son Michael were temporary ‘boarders’.

‘Expect she will get sometime…’ (colloquial in Lincolnshire) meant ‘Expect she will come here sometime…’

ATS was the (Women’s) Auxiliary Territorial Service. Princess Elizabeth, the King’s elder daughter (later Queen Elizabeth II), joined in 1945 and was famously photographed, dressed in dungarees, changing a wheel on a military vehicle.

Susie Colyer Nethersole was an author whose best known book ‘Wilsam: A Romance’, published by Macmillan in 1913, included descriptions of farm life in her home area near Sandwich in Kent.

Lord Horace Annesley Vachell was earlier mentioned, as author of ‘The Face of Clay’ – See 8 Jan. 1941. ‘Quinneys’ was published by George H Doran, New York, in 1914.


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

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