Wed Jan 21 8.45 am. [1942]

Very cold and I am afraid another bitter black frost, tho’ there is not so much wind. It is barely daylight yet. The snow has gone and I hope it does not return, tho’ I daresay it would be warmer. Yesterday Japs were only 75 miles from Singapore. Mr Churchill is back from America, think he will have an uneasy time getting things into shape again. Was interested to hear how Lord Addison stuck to his previous views about Popham and Malaya. I think a good many share his views. Russ[ians] have recaptured Mozhaisk. Soldiers here are barb wiring round J. Kirk’s farm, say they are bringing a gun in or near his yard, hope it is not A.A. or we shall be in a war corner, and I do not want to move. I hate “flitting” but that is a small matter, when we think of all the homes ravaged and blitzed and burned. Sometimes when I think how well fed we are and the extra luxuries with our “pink points” from abroad, I feel like David when he poured out the water before the Lord and cried “Is not this the blood of men, who went in jeopardy of their lives.” Not yet have we plumbed the depth of Mr Churchill’s prophesy of toil and sweat and tears and sacrifice, but we may do yet. I hope not. C Parish just brought milk. Says it is colder than ever, but I don’t think it can be, at least that icy wind doesn’t blow. Snip. [kitten] came in again for new milk tho’ she had porridge and potatoes before.

Father got his £7 sal[vage] money last night. H[allgarth] insisted on receipt. Father annoyed naturally and told him it was not valid without stamp. However he wrote one and with a wicked sense of humour put part of a share of salvage. H. read it and said it was OK. Fa very tickled to have got in last thrust. Hope they all settle down without any friction now. My thrush keeps trying his song again this morning. Rene’s cold seems about better again now. I made 13 lbs jam from D[ried] Ap[ricots] R.As gave me. 2 lbs ap 6 sug 6 pts water. Rene is bringing 2 lbs sug and having a part of it. Finished one of Ron’s gloves last night. Wool very poor.

Lord Addison was the opposition Labour party’s leader in the House of Lords from 1940 (and Leader from 1945). He was personally known to May as he and the second Lady Addison had stayed at ‘Lenton Lodge’ as paying guests in June 1939. He was born in nearby Hogsthorpe where his family owned a farm.

Air Chief Marshall Robert Brooke-Popham, Commander-in-Chief of British Far East Command, had made a decision to hold back on implementing a planned pre-emptive action in anticipation of anticipated Japanese landings in Siam in early December, just before the date of the Pearl Harbour attack. The decision was much criticised subsequently.

Mozhaisk, near Moscow, was recaptured by the Russians on January 19th 1942, removing any immediate threat of ground attack on Moscow by the Germans.

‘AA’ referred to anti-aircraft guns.

‘Flitting’, or moving home, was also mentioned in the context of farm-workers, including May’s sister’s family, moving on to new employment (see notes 16 Apr. 1941).

Charles (‘Charlie’) Parrish was the son of milk supplier and coastguard, Albert (‘Bert’) Parish. The surname spelling had changed when Charles’ birth was registered and was retained by later generations.

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

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