July 15 Tuesday 9.45 pm [1941]

St Swithin’s as Emily reminded me in her letter this morning and we have had heavy showers all day. Hope the old saying that if it rains on S.S it rains 40 days more or less won’t be right this year, the rain this week is doing immense good but hope it turns fine now as there is a lot of hay to gather yet. Em says her sweet peas are in full bloom. Mine are late, not one out yet. It has been so close today between showers, just the damp humid weather that disagrees with me, I am very puffed up.

I washed the clothes from the Wakelams beds yesterday 4 sheets 3 PCs [pillow cases] 2 BCs [bolster cases] 2 underblankets and 2 counterpanes and a towel. There is still the table cloth and toilet covers to wash, not much profit out of 15/0. Our own counterpanes and toilet cover last 3 months and these are not so soiled. Mrs Adams is coming again for a week or 10 days, she has received her calling up papers so says the war will soon be over now. She registered in May whilst she was here before. She is 22 on Sunday.

Ron went to Yeadon on Fri night for Sat and had a nice time. He says they had chicken and green peas in camp on Sunday. Thinks they must have bombed a chicken farm! They had had strawberries on the Sat whilst he was away. We had strawbs, and I opened my last but one tin of cream on Sun, 1s 2d lb from Sharps. We had our own peas and potatoes but pots very small.

Went to Sk[egness] yesterday afternoon. Father wanted car licence and petrol. I got a nice pinafore at M and S [Marks and Spencer] for 2/6 and 3 coupons, longer. I filled in my 3 ration books this morning, it took me 1 hour and they are supposed to be simpler this time. To most people they are a complicated muddle as they are not filled in according to their own instructions but to others published on radio and the papers, just as if everyone took papers and I am sure very few would get the correct instructions from “listening in”.

So we have made a “pact” with Red Russia, let’s hope we are not as badly “burned as scalded”. The K.S.L.I.s seem to think the war will soon be over. Poor boys, I hope it will. Oh dear I am gloomy tonight. It is a depressing evening, dull and steamy. Rene came for dinner and did a little baking. I had made myself a gooseberry pie with G.Bs the [Army] cook next door gave me with some cabbages. I gave him a 2lb jar of Black-B[erry] jam. He tucked it under his bag, I bet only a favoured few would get a taste.

Grace brought me a small hen tonight 2/0 said they had more meat than they could get thro! I was very pleased. Sent H[arriet] some young carrots, she likes them so, and told Grace she (H) could have Bimbo (tame rabbit) as Father does not fancy eating him, at least he doesn’t want to kill him. Must be going to rain again as it is getting darker tho’ only just after 10 o’ c. Think I will soon go to bed. Have just finished reading “And Pleasant his Wife” by S.C. Nethersole. A very pleasing book.

The Lees were here Sat. Rosemary on draft leave. Billy Lees has a commission. Joan gone into Boots since her shop was bombed. John Kirk home on leave. “Lights out” just sounding on K.S.L.I.’s bugle.

Mr Arthur Sharpe (spelling corrected), a greengrocer, with a market-garden in Hogsthorpe (across fields west of Harness’s Wigg Lane farmhouse), called on rounds with horse and dray. One of his sons, Ray, was a member of the Home Guard.

KSLI – King’s Shropshire Light Infantry – were locally nicknamed King’s Silly Little Idiots. Frank Adams and colleagues were members.

Rosemary and Joan, sisters of Billy, were daughters of Mr and Mrs Len Lees. The family, former holiday visitors, had been mentioned earlier (see 16 Dec. 1940).


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

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