July 10 Thurs 9.30 pm [1941]

We had a heavy thunderstorm on Tues evening with a good rain, tho’ we could do with more rain. Still the gardens are looking much better already, especially the lettuces Jean has planted out. We are eating the carrots I sowed in the autumn, they are ready before those sown this spring. We are hoping to have potatoes for Sun and possibly green beans.

Mrs. Wakelam wanted to stay another week but I don’t fancy striving in the hot kitchen while they have the cool room for 15/s a week and Father likes to rest there when he is on duty at night. We had a very unsettled night after the thunderstorm as there were so many planes, and bombs were dropped a few miles away, then Michael wakes us at intervals with coughing. He is not very bad at present and has not been really sick yet I think but very nearly so, and I am pleased I told them I could not put them up longer than the week agreed upon, as I think they will be best at home in case he gets worse. He is a good little chap and spends heaps of time with the soldiers, she does not seem to worry about where he is.

Rene came this afternoon, it was a lovely day with a cool N.E. breeze to fan the heat. We sat in the garden after dinner. Father hoed some of the allotment on Tues, we may get a crop now it has rained, hope so if they only do for the pigs it will be something.

A big black and white Collie went on the mine-field in the Marsh and was blown up to-day. There was a big explosion about 8.30 to-night, I don’t know whether it was a bomb or not. A soldier next door was convinced it was a bomb dropped by a plane we could still hear, then we heard two shots which he was quite positive were Ack-Ack fire tho’ I think myself that it was someone shooting a double-barrelled gun, probably at rabbits. He is suffering badly with his teeth and is probably very nervy.

I think I am the only one left up tho’ it is only 9.45 yet. Father is on watch and Mrs.Wakelam always seems ready for bed early, tho’ I am not sure they have gone. We shall soon be losing the hour of summer-time now. Ron expects to go to Leeds Friday night unless he happens to be on guard.

Our meat ration is increased by 2d to 1s.2d per head this week but butter ration now only 2oz and marg 8oz. Cheese ration doubled to 2oz and jam to be doubled in August i.e. 1lb per month each. Eggs 3 each a week (perhaps). We are supposed to have double ration of sugar this month but this week I have not got double ration from Stows so far and I got no lard either tho’ it was charged for. Must wake them up a bit. Rene is getting double ration of sugar this week but did not get it last. Hallgarths had no butter for me this week nor next. I do miss it. Russia seems to be holding her own fairly well with Gers up to now. Think a lot of people think it will hasten end of war, but, I hope I am wrong, I have a feeling we have the worst to come yet tho’ it may be short and sharp.

‘Ack-Ack’ was a common expression for Anti-Aircraft (gunfire) – also abbreviated as AA.

Ron would have been going to see Emmie in Yeadon, near Leeds.

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

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