Sun Jan 4 8.15 p.m. [1942]

Roy’s 21st Birthday. He is at home on leave. We have sent him 10/0 and suggested if he has not already got them that he buys cuff-links. Ron wears them so presume Roy does. Jean took the note on her way to S[unday] S[chool]. We were at the Brown’s for dinner. We had roast chicken with sprouts and potatoes bread sauce and parsley stuffing, but she forgot the sausage meat stuffing and did not bother to cook bacon with it. The potatoes were not mashed and did not look very nice tho’ they tasted alright. We ate it with new stainless knives (sharp too) and had solid silver forks and spoons, afterwards we had Xmas pudding good, but no better, if as good as ours. She gave us no water with it and did not make tea after dinner. It was a beautiful dinner, but she does not bother with details tho’ we know she knows how things should be done. One feels rather as if she thought “It will do for them”. Father and Mr B. went to sleep after and I got a tickling cough so about 2.30 she made a cup of tea in a beaker and gave me a cup and drank hers out of the beaker. Then she washed up refusing help except that I dried the silver when she brought it to me. After that she washed and changed her dress. She looks very nice when dressed. Mr B. is looking well and appears much better than he was a year ago, but I don’t think she realises that he is an old man.

Rene went to the W.V.S Party and enjoyed it, was only 4 below the highest number at Whist. We have not seen her to-day, at least to speak to. I just caught a glimpse of her going past Ways-Meet in the afternoon, on her way to Wigg Lane probably. Jean enjoyed her S.S. Party last night. She had a Bible for prize. A nice limp cover brown one with very clear print. Also sweets and choc. She brought Flora’s prize and sweets as F had a cold and could not go. She took them this morning. Mrs Brown gave Jean the stool made by a blind woman, that she never uses, for a piano stool. It was a good thing it was dark as Sunday or no Jean carried it home. It will make an excellent little tea table with a tray on or to play cards near the fire as well as a piano stool. Have not seen our little cat to-day. It turned from a wet morning to a sunshiny day which was very cheerful as Mrs B’s room catches all the sun.

Wonder if Ron has had a nice week-end at Yeadon. I wrote to him last night and posted it to-day. Robinson’s have heard from Malcolm this week, a few lines (the first for 8 weeks) written on the sea. He had been very sick, but was better and longing to hear from home. As he was moving about he had missed the last two sent while he was in England. I hope they soon get in touch again, it is a little easier all round when the letters are regular. Some new regulations about “one man, one job” having come into force, Mr Bailey has to cease being relief man at the C.G box. As he is out of work he has to go to Leicester on Tue. to work at his own trade. Not very nice for his wife or for him, as he suffers so with asthma. This wicked war lays ruthless hands on everyone. Our E. light nearly went out then, hope it does not mean “sirens are wailing”. I always wonder, tho’ I don’t really think that is why the light dips. We left B’s at 7.45 as Father went on watch at 8 p.m. Fire had not gone out and soon burnt up. Jean and I had supper when I made tea for flask tho’ not very hungry. Father took Mr Bailey an Ephedrine bottle and 2 tabs as he wants to get some. Dr. had given him a doz. and they had done him good. Don’t think there is any cure in them but they relieve the spasms of asthma and loosen the phlegm. Father has a cold and a bit of bronchitis. Don’t think Chapel is very well blacked-out as chinks and holes in blk-outs let out little rays of light all over the place. Soldiers billets are the worst. At St. Leon. Lodge a hole in the blind let a ray of light thro’ which shone right across the road on to Parrishes garden hedge. The big windows there have huge holes in their panes of glass. It is unnecessary damage I think.

Bardia is in our hands again and about 7000 prisoners 1000 of which are Ger. We have also released over 1000 Brit. prisoners. News from Far East rather more encouraging tonight, tho’ Hong-Kong fell some days ago. Also Manila is in Jap. hands. Wind seems to be rising and sea is almost or quite up to bank, think perhaps the tide is ebbing now tho’ as it does not bump so much.

‘Waysmeet’ was the name of Mrs Dandison’s (see 11 Apr. 1941) boarding-house near the crossroads at Tylers Bridge (see Village Map).

St Leonards Lodge was on St Leonards Drive, not far from ‘The Point’.

The Japanese had invaded Hong Kong after first attacking it on 8th December 1941 (hours after ‘Pearl Harbour’) and the British-Canadian garrison surrendered on 25th December1941. This day is known in Hong Kong as ‘Black Christmas’.

The Philippines (a Commonwealth, formerly US territory) had been invaded by the Japanese in early December 1941 and Manila, the capital, was occupied on 1st January 1942 when US defence forces retreated to defensive positions elsewhere in the territory.

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

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