Jan 27 Tue 8.30 P.M. [1942]

Father thinks explosion I heard last night at 7.30 was one of our planes which crashed at Ludboro’. Rumour that one crashed at 5.30 too at Binbrook. The planes we heard were our own coming and going. So I might as well have gone to bed early. Jean did not go to school again to-day, she was very seedy and it was bitterly cold. I think the severest frost we have had. Father says coldest night on box. A starling fluttered into the W[atch] Bx thro’ open scuttle, in the night after pattering about on roof. It stayed a little while and then went out again. He has taken two coats to-night.

Will Hill in Coastguard greatcoat

Rene cycled to-day but left cycle and walked back as it drizzled and froze first and then snowed this afternoon and froze the roads into sheets of ice. If Jean goes to sch. in morn she will have to walk to bus’ unless it thaws. Rene has finished one of Jean’s ankle socks and taken the one I started. I have renovated another old wool jumper. Wish it would come a nice wash-day, I am getting quite a pile of woollies that want washing.

The birds were ravenous this morning tho’ I think I have seen them more starved than they are this winter. “Snippet” is very ambitious, she stalks the sea-gulls very perseveringly. She might find she had caught a tartar if she came up to one. They are very vicious with other birds, but I saw a rook with his claw on a rabbit’s carcase to-day keeping off a cloud of sea-gulls that fluttered above him. One sea-gull floated down on the snow on his breast. Think he mistook it for water. Father saw Miss Lister this morning, she said Ciss was ill in bed, also Mrs Brown. He took his battery to Evison’s to be charged as he covered car up Sat. night with lights on. He got me another tin of Pork Sausage Meat from Stow’s like the last but they charged him 2/9 instead of 2/6. Had the other tin from Hall’s.

News on now. Dominions are to have representatives in War Cabinet. Churchill seems confident of winning war but prophesies more hardship yet, more blood and tears, toil and sweat but sees the light broadening behind clouds. Vote of confidence in P.M.

Ludborough village is between Louth and Grimsby (see East Lincolnshire Map). No reports of an aircraft incident there have been discovered, although a Hampden bomber crashed near Pinchbeck (40 miles away) in the early morning and the incident at Binbrook was when part of the bomb-load of a Wellington bomber fell out and exploded immediately following takeoff (see Incident Logs, Bomber County Aviation Resource).

Miss Lister, here, was the elderly aunt of Veda Lister, the village schoolmistress who had taught Rene (and Murial who had attended the school and was believed to be Veda’s younger sister). She lived at ‘Ivy House’ on Sea Road (see Village Map).

Claude Evison’s garage (also used as a wartime fire station) and taxi service were based in Hogsthorpe. His wife, Ethel, was, like Rene, a member of the Red Cross.

Winston Churchill concluded a lengthy address to the House of Commons: “I stand by my original programme, blood, toil, tears and sweat, which is all I have ever offered, to which I added, five months later, “many shortcomings, mistakes and disappointments.” But it is because I see the light gleaming behind the clouds and broadening on our path, that I make so bold now as to demand a declaration of confidence of the House of Commons as an additional weapon in the armoury of the united nations.” (See Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons Official Report, Jan. 27, 1942.) The vote of confidence in the Government was passed with an overwhelming majority (only one against) on January 29th1942.

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

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