Jan 26 9.30 PM. Mon [1942]

It was so windy and dark at ¼ to 8 am that I did not let Jean go to school. Her cycle was still at Jessies from Friday. She fetched it this afternoon but did not ride as tyre was flat and roads icy. Rene walked here to-day. It snowed several hours tho’ it had been a fair night. Wind changed from S.E. to N.N.E about 7. a.m. Very cold still but not so biting as last week. More snow than last night and I think a frost. Father has gone on watch. Heard a lot of planes after tea also (7.30) explosion a long way off, bombs or gunfire. Searchlights out all round. Keep hearing a plane now and then. Jean asleep on couch. Shall soon go to bed if all keeps quiet. Started a sock for Jean this morning. Rene got ½ one done. Have been sorting out old wool to finish them with as don’t want to give coupon for odd oz neither do I want to pay 8½D more, it is such poor stuff. Have done a nice little bit of my rug border Greek key pattern. Jean very pleased with herself, she has finished her scarf to match gloves I knitted her. Gers have recovered a lot of land in Libya. American Ex[peditionary] Force landed in N. Ireland to-day. I am afraid Gers will try at least, to invade us before this terrible struggle ends. Aus[tralia] is threatened with invasion by Japs. Another plane going humming past. We do not tremble now tho’ we know Gers. are about. It is marvellous how one grows inured to it, tho’ if a bomb was dropped near (it must be a wuffer) we should be afraid. It seems to be hovering about, I hate when they do. Not so sure I do not tremble now. Will have a cup of tea I think and stay up a little longer. Got C. Parish to post my letters when he brought papers as Hall’s close at 1 o’clock to-day.

The Expeditionary Force which landed in Belfast on January 26th 1942 comprised the first American soldiers to arrive in Britain for the war in Europe.

The greater American involvement in the war globally was one aspect of the escalation which followed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. This may have been on May’s mind when she wrote the poem ‘The Vale That Lies Between’, bearing the same date as this Diary entry.

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

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