All posts tagged Bill

Thur. Feb.17. 8.10 am [1944]

Don’t seem to have as much time for diary, now the lighter mornings have come. I have already taken “black outs” down in kitchen, tho’ it is very dull this morning, also rough and cold. Yesterday it rained practically all day. Washed on Tue. and got all dry. Ironed yesterday and did not do much else. Kit[chen] was clean after wash day and we don’t mess the room up much except for sewing bits and as I did not sew, Tue. night there were none of those. I was tired and just knitted and read. Last night I finished Jean’s blouse except for 4 buttonholes. It is very nice material, hope it washes well. It is only costing 4/3 with buttons. Buttons are not peach but look like pot[ato]! Jean’s psoriasis much better, she is looking forward to this summer and wearing sleeveless dresses again. Scars on arm gradually fading but show when she sits by the fire.

Allies have bombed and shelled Ben[edictine] Monastery almost to the ground and are still shelling to remove all cover for Gers. The Anzio beachhead repelled new attack from Gers. yesterday either driving them off or wiping them out. It is a stiff fight there, but leaders say they have no doubts but that we shall conquer, altho’ we have not got on as quickly as we hope. Thousands of oranges are bad owing to delay in distrib[ution] thro’ the finding of bombs. Still the loss of oranges is better than lives. They put them amongst onions later, and the cartoon in paper shows one man saying to another, “but we did not promise not to put them amongst onions”. Those are spiteful tricks as they do nothing towards winning the war and stir up ill feeling between other nations.

I think it is fair weather, but we must not complain about the rain, it has been a comparatively mild, dry winter and rain is needed for “the land”. Letter from [sister] Em. L yesterday and little booklet by Pat[ience] Strong. They are “flitting” on Feb. 28th. They “flit” most years so are used to it. I dread the thought of it. However we haven’t found a suitable house yet so why worry? Rene came in pouring rain yesterday. She said Bill just raised his head to look at the weather, then looked at her as much as to say “Well, if you’re silly enough to go I’m not.” and curled up a bit tighter and went off to sleep. He hates rain. It is coming another shower now. Percy brought my 3 bags coal yesterday to last until 1st Mar. also bag of coke. (12/10½ inc. bag coke 3/6) Must be careful now as we have no reserve and as Father is not on patrol we shan’t get any off the beach I don’t suppose. Stow’s still have no Typhoo Tea and this is nearly the end of sec. period. I don’t find any other go so far. Miners have been told it is impossible to put price of coal up any more so they will have to adjust their earnings otherwise or put up with what they’ve got. I think they are going plenty far enough. Just because they are indispensable miners and farmers seem to think they can have all they want. Perhaps if farmers had to make do with ¼ lb bacon and 1/2 worth of meat a week (no chickens or ducks or “drowned sheep”) and miners had to pay 3/1½ a cwt for coal they might understand better what it cost poor people to live.

Patience Strong was the pen name of Winifred E May (1907 – 1990) who was a British poet, lyricist and author of books on psychology and Christianity. During World War II the Daily Mirror published her poetry each day in a feature ‘The Quiet Corner’.

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

Sun. Jan. 9. 8.30. P.M [1944]

Dull morning, turning to drizzle at dinner-time then to steady rain. Still raining at 8.30. It has been damp and chilly, but not bitterly cold. Saw a bus load of H.Gs [Home Guards] come by this morning. Jean went to Chapel, said about 15 soldiers were there, they are a lot of them Welsh. Some have already gone on leave. Jean said Tom said a few words of welcome to them, he was preaching next Sunday and would have some Welsh tunes for them to sing. Father took Spence to Louth Hos[pital] to-day so Jean (who has a cold and did not go in rain to S.S. [Sunday School]) and I went in car to Rene’s and had tea with her and came home with Father after he had brought Mrs Spence to her house. He had a cup of tea, but came home for his meal as it was so wet and soon dark. We had canned Vic[toria] Plums with egg custard for tea. Very nice. “Bill” was distinctly annoyed because we took up all the hearthrug. The kitten is grown very big and is very playful. Rene let me have ¼ tea as I am quite out. New period starts tomorrow. Tinned Herrings, Pilchards and Mack[erel] need less points. We are not very fond of tinned fish, except salmon and do not care for that very often. It needs too many points to get much of it now. Sprogg still has a cough and Jean is doctoring him with Tibs. Doesn’t seem to ail much but doesn’t wash himself much and looks very grubby. Jean and Father both seem to have a slight return of their colds. I do hope Jean will be able to start school.

Charles came yesterday to see if Father could fetch Ke[ith] and Ma[rion] from Sk[egness] Stn. at 8 p.m. but he has not enough light and was on watch too. C[laude] Evison could not either so don’t know what they would do, take a taxi I expect. They had just sent a telegram in the morning. It is early for another. I do hope he [Keith] is not on Draft Leave so soon after losing Raymond. I am afraid there will be a lot have to go soon now. Russians are 10 miles over Polish border now and pushing on. Tonight Stuart Hibbert [Hibberd] reminded us that the end of the German War did not mean the end of the war as a whole and that we should still have a tough job to conquer the Japs. Somehow we seem to push this distant war out of our minds as much as we can, forgetting that covering it up does not alter the fact of its serious existence. I hope Ron does not have to go out there, but then I don’t want him to come home just now either. We do not know what to wish for them. It is best to leave it, and live from day to day, thankful that so far he is spared. Oh, if it were only all over, and no more “wars or rumours of war”.

‘Spence’ was believed to be Mr Spence whose wife was previously mentioned (see 2 Feb 1943).

Stuart Hibberd was a well known BBC radio announcer.

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

Sep 15. 9.40. P.M. Wed. [1943]

The fierce fighting round Salerno is still going on after swaying back and forth for 6 days. The casualties must be terrible. Gers. claim to have “released” Muss[olini] from Badoglio.

We had a bad thunderstorm early Mon morning and it poured with rain until 8 a.m or after. Jean went to school and it cleared later and we washed but did not get dry as it kept coming showers. Eff came in evening said she had got ironed altho’ things were rather damp. My clothes dried Tue. and I got folded but still not ironed, at least not many of them. I did iron and put up the curtains in my bed-room which had been washed and dipped gold to match the sitting-room curtains.

In the afternoon (Tue) we went to W.I. Roll Call was “How I would improve the village”. Almost everyone responded, chief improvement was water laid on and sanitary scheme carried out. This was by temporary residents (sailors’ wives etc) who were probably from towns. They did not think of the huge rates it implied. Rene’s suggestion that permanent caravans and wooden shacks and tin huts (summer residences) should all be cleared out, met with general approval as also the suggestion that the sea defence rates should be a national concern and not fall on the coast dwellers alone. New school playgrounds were another improvement, but these would have been built ere now, but for the war. We had a most interesting demonstration of quilting by Mrs Brown of Sutton-on-Sea. She showed us some beautiful examples. She is from North, somewhere where quilting is evidently a usual thing. She told us of other quilts she had but was not able to bring as she came by bus’. Elsie G. thought that as we had not much time for it, the easiest way if we required one was to burgle Mrs B’s house and get one! I liked the Italian shadow quilting very much and would like to attempt it sometime. I have quilted a piece today for a slipper top with a piece of red rep and a bit of Jean’s green petticoat mat[erial] with padding made from a piece of her old checked shawl. It looks very nice but think it’s rather big.

I have been to Rene’s for dinner. Father was going to Skeg[ness] stn so I went in car to village, did a bit of shopping and walked on to Bev[erley]. Father came for dinner on his way back. Rene was finishing washing. It dried well. Kitten has settled down well. Tries to make friends with “Bill” rather to his disgust. Father had a sleep after dinner as he is on watch until 2 am. We returned home at 5 o’clock. He has bought some “Curisones” for rheumatism. They are capsules and are powder in a wee container that looks like celluloid but you take the whole lot so it evidently dissolves. 30 for 5/0 and they only last 6 days. If they are any good tho’, they would be worth it as he seems always to have the pain.

E.L. [electricity] just popped out. I forgot to put 1/0 in, had only 6D last time I put any in. Jean has been up and fetched pyjamas and curlers and is undressed and on couch. I had better get ready for bed I think. Planes are droning about. I hope they are not Gers. Had a letter from Ron to-day but it was not very recent, date 17th Aug. almost a month old. Rene had one too even older, 5. Aug. Hope we soon have more. He writes most cheerfully says he enjoys the sights but there is nowhere to touch England. Heat terrific and flies worse. He finds the fruit a compensation tho’. He was making lemonade from fresh lemons but had no sugar. They had been issued to troops. In my letter he mentioned he had been gathering figs and eating them. He liked them too. Have written him an Air G[raph] to-day for Jean to post in morning as we are advised that they have priority as they take smallest space. Hope he gets our letters even if we don’t get his.

Father got new windscreen put in yesterday. £2.10. It is a great relief and improvement. He also got pair of utility flannel trousers 13/6. and 5 coupons, 2/6 to shorten, they made them into Pa. [pair of turn-up trousers]. Tom had already got a pair. They are nice and thick and look nice now but I doubt they will wear “bald” as they are cotton one way. Oh! dear I don’t like the planes when Father is on watch tho’ I have slept well lately. We have had a lot of quiet nights and our nerves have got quietened down a little.

Marshal Pietro Badoglio had become the Italian prime minister on 25th July when Benito Mussolini was removed from government. Germany prepared to occupy its former ally and Mussolini was ‘rescued’ by the Germans from imprisonment at a hotel in the Gran Sasso Mountains.

Mrs Brown, WI guest demonstrator, of Sutton on Sea, was NOT one of the Browns previously mentioned.

Rep’ is a type of plain-woven fabric with crosswise ribs.

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