All posts tagged Rene

Sun. Mar.5. 7 P.M. [1944]
# WEATHER SUNNY BUT WIND ICY
# RADIO GARDENER’S BOOK OBTAINED
# WILL’S COASTGUARD WATCH TIMES CHANGE
# CLOTHES RECYCLED EARN COUPONS
# ANOTHER VILLAGE LAD ON EMBARKATION LEAVE

Very cold but snow almost gone, sun quite warm out of icy wind. Rene did not come yest. but Jean went to see her. She sent cakes and “Village Memories” of Mr Middleton of Radio gardening fame. Tom had changed my library book at Boots’ for me. Jean went to Chapel this morning, was late for dinner. I gather she and David and Ken exchanged a few compliments re B.B. [Boys’ Brigade] and G.L.B. [Girls’ Life Brigade]. She did not get to Sunday School as she had a lot of home-work to do. It is a bug-bear this homework. Rene came this afternoon and had a cup of tea. Father is on watch at 8.p.m so shall soon have to get his supper.

10.PM. Father had his supper and went on watch at 8 o’ c. This new time arrangement mixes one up. He came off at 8 am, went on at 8 p.m tonight, off at 2 a.m and on again at 12 to 6 p.m to-morrow. I have written to Ron and to Jock. Kettle is nearly boiling for bottles and it is time Jean was in bed. She has washed her hair and set waves with grips. I gave Mrs Hutton her [Jean’s] old house shoes on Fri. She seemed very grateful and said she would give me one or two coupons for them. One has to be very careful in giving things away as people’s pride is easily hurt, but in these days we can always make the shortage of coupons the excuse for passing things on and most people are glad of them. (Glad of them must be a Lincs expression. I’m sure it is not grammatical.) We have had no letter from Ron for a week, hope there is one tomorrow. Chas. Parrish is on leave, Mr P. thinks his Regt. is going abroad as he has 16 days. Expect they will feel it a lot, as he is only boy and not too strong, also both girls are away now. He can hardly be 20 yet I think. Finns have not come to a decision yet. Bulgars feeling for peace but immense difficulties in the way.

Mrs Hutton, here, was probably of the family which had been evacuated from Grimsby, at first to Hogsthorpe, and at that time believed to be living almost next door, in ‘Red Tiles’ no longer used by the Army (see 11 Apr 1941).

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Thur. Mar.2. 44. 8.15. a.m.
# DESPERATE FOR COAL
# STRUGGLE CONTINUES ON MANY FRONTS
# ASTHMA DELAYS SPRING CLEANING

Sharp and cold this morning but we have no more snow. Most of it seems to have gone from wolds tho’ no doubt there is some left in shady hollows in the vales. There was either rain or sleet when we went to bed last night. Think “the Sprogg” must have been fighting as Jean says “he won’t speak” and he sits glumly by the fire. Think he is moulting too and his long hair is a nuisance. I have given him a Tibs. Percy did not come with coal yesterday, if he does not come to-day we shall be quite out. Rene brought me a basket-full or we should have run out yesterday and wood and coke aren’t much good without a little coal at the bottom.

Finns are trying to come to Peace terms with Russia. Russ is in the position to dictate them and I do not think she will err on the side of leniency. It is hard to have to accept terms from a superior power in order to save one’s country from destruction. We ourselves may yet have to accept terms for our neighbours, and be fortunate if we don’t have to give concession to Russia ourselves, that we do not like. But better that humiliation than that either the Gers. or Russ. should conquer England. Our planes were out again last night and Gers over S.E. and London again. Damage and casualties radio says and enemy planes down. There is still a tough struggle going on at Anzio beachhead but Gers. have slackened again and we have more reinforcements. American war against Japs going so well that it has even been prophesied that Tokyo will fall before Berlin but that is not a general belief. We have started third month of this year and do not really seem to have advanced much, but suppose we must have done.

Father will be home soon to take Mrs B with baby to Dr M[enzies], Skeg[ness]. Joe K[irk] is doing an hour or two [Watch-box duty] for him. If I can only overset this bout of asthma I shall start S[pring] Cleaning next week. We don’t look like getting another house at present. The strong spring sunshine begins to make things look dusty now and the house is so dry we can start anytime. Lately the cleaning has seemed to drag on so long with me having asthma. I used to be able to work in spite of it or between bouts but it seems to take my strength now for so long. Rene’s rheum. troubling her, this stormy weather.

Mrs B, here, is probably Mrs Vera Balding, wife of Billy (see 15 Oct 1942).

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Mon Feb 21. 8.30 a.m. [1944]
# MASS BOMBING RAIDS ON GERMANY
# NEWS FROM RON IN ITALY
# GIFTS OF CLOTHING RECEIVED

It has continued bitterly cold, too cold to snow some people say. It usually turns a little milder before snow. So far all we have is icy cold sleet showers.

Largest weight of bombs 2,300 tons dropped in Ger. early Sun morning, 79 of our planes were missing. No, the enemy is not conquered yet. 2000 U.S.A. bombers went out in daylight yesterday. Russians have cleared up pocket of trapped Gers, a terrible waste of life there. We are having a stiff fight in Italy, if we can push in where we have made bridge-head at Anzio beach it will have a great effect on German morale, proving their West defences may not be impregnable. Our Gen[eral]s are determined to do it.

Had 2 letters from Ron Thur or Fri. Rene 2 and Jean 2. 6. Mine were the most recent Jan 19 being newest. We think he has moved on as he says he missed writing one week. He is very pleased with African Star and Clasp. Said they had a great sewing-time when they received ribbons. The actual star they will get after the war. He says they have had big frosts but it gets quite hot in the day-time. He had been washing his hair and says it is a treat not to have it full of dust and sand as in summer. Says Italian women aren’t very good laundry women.

Emmie sent Jean’s grey wool all ready knitted into a very nice jumper. She had intended kn[itting] it herself but owing to other work she could not knit at mill so got a woman to do it. Jean was very pleased as it came just right for the B.B. [Boys’ Brigade] social. I am pleased too as I have plenty of work without it. Made a little dog last week from pieces Jean’s blouse. Will do for a pram toy for a baby as it is cream colour. Blouse fits well. Mrs Wilson sent Father 5/0 and a pair of very nice slippers for me. Felt soles and inner soles and very finely knitted uppers in wools of all colours. I took blk-out down before Jean went to school to-day. Eff ‘s hens are laying again, have had 1 doz eggs and can have ½ doz again to-day. Amy coming tomorrow and Ken if all well. We have killed large rabbit (Lady) as they like rabbit and the Sunday joint looks very sick by Tues.

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Tue. Feb. 8. 44. 8.40 a.m.
# COAL FROM BEACH
# WAR NEWS GOOD – CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM

Much lighter this morning, clear and cold and windy. After raining a little yesterday morning it cleared and all the clothes dried. I finished Rene’s gloves at night, being too tired to finish quilt. Washed Jean’s hair, it dries quicker now it has been cut. Father got about 4 st. coal in big lumps yest. morn. and his handkerchief and pockets full at night as he forgot his bag. He wonders if the lighter which was blown up and sunk last year has started to break up. It was loaded with coal.

Russians have trapped several Div[isions] of Gers and all efforts to rescue them seem to have stopped. Pacific war pace increases and in Italy things appear to be going well. Altho’ we are warned not to be too optimistic, nothing can quite subdue the feeling that the end cannot be very far off. Not in a month or two perhaps but this year we hope.

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Mon. Feb. 7. 44. 8.30. a.m.
# JEAN’S BIRTHDAY VISITORS
# COASTGUARDS’ AIRCRAFT RECOGNITION TEST
# ORANGES FOR MARMALADE

It is very dull but not so bitterly cold this morning. We had sleet on Sat and yesterday was icily cold. I did not get to Chapel at night as the cold wind took my breath just to go outside. Rene came in afternoon. Tom was preaching at night so she was going. Jean had a lot of home-work to do as she got none done on Sat. It was her birthday. Joyce, Mavis, Ken [R] and David came for tea. Joy[ce] had to go home on 8.30 bus’ so they all went then. Joy. brought her a bottle of Yard[ley] Lav[ender] scent, very nice. Mav. “The Fluter’s Ball” and Ken two handkerchiefs. Had a letter from Vamplew. Military have his bungalow. Father has an aeroplane test today. He does not like that part of his duties. For one thing the test is not carried out fairly and another is he finds it difficult to remember names and numbers. Also it does not seem to be of any use to them, so long as they know enemy planes from our own it should be enough and leave the rest to the R.O.C. [Royal Observer Corps].

I have got wash-pot on for small wash. (I do not intend to take another house without a copper if I can help it.) We did a large one last week and I don’t intend doing many today as the weather doesn’t look too good. We got 5lb oranges on Sat. I hope to make some marmalade.

David Sparling was the son of a naval petty officer, based at ‘Royal Arthur’, whose family lodged with Herbert and Annie Faulkner (see 9 Feb 1942).

The present of ‘The Fluter’s Ball’ may have been sheet music (for piano) with lyrics from the original ‘Phil the Fluther’s Ball’ by Percy French.

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

Wed Feb 2. 44. 8.30 a.m.
# MORE WARNINGS AGAINST OPTIMISM
# CIVIL DEFENCE DISCUSSED
# SHOPPING IN SKEGNESS

The warning against the wave of optimism, that has been sweeping over the country lately, was repeated in the news again this morning. I think most people have been feeling more hopeful lately and it comes as rather a damper, to be told it is vain optimism. I think tho’ a lot of it has been “wishful thinking” and that always at the bottom of our hearts, or far back in our minds, tucked away with those far off Japs, has been a fear of bitter struggles yet to come before Gers are subdued. I still think they will do their worst on our little isle before they give up. It is only reasonable to think so, I feel that it is exactly what we should do so why not they. I don’t think we should use gas but we should do and are doing terrible things to get the better of them or at least to inflict punishment. I do not think the Civil Def[ence] are serious enough over their work. There ought to be an immediate inspection of gas masks and everyone should be prepared for an attack. If they should come they will not warn us. In this village the decontam[ination] stn. is closed! I think all civilians over twelve should be compelled to receive instruction on the subject or if it comes hundreds of lives will be lost thro’ ignorance.

Enough of war for now, I must get to work. We are going into Sk[egness] with Father to get petrol and I want to take my hat to be dyed and reblocked and Father’s too to be cleaned. Rene wants to do a little shopping. Had 2 letters from Ron yesterday written just after Xmas. They had a good Xmas dinner and enjoyed it. He has got “Mr Chips” and read it and it was then going round room he said. Must send him more books now he can read a bit.

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Tue Feb 1st 8.40. am [1944]
# MAKING SLIPPERS
# GLOOMY PROSPECTS AS WAR CONTINUES
# CONCERNS FOR PRISONERS OF JAPANESE

It did not rain after all but after dinner sun came out and it was fine and cold. Not very light yet but seems clear with breeze getting up. Rene did part of her collecting yest. morning but was so cold she did not finish. Father went to Redcott for an hour. I found some very stiff cardboard and have started on Father’s slippers. Have finished one. Covered board with tweed from Rene’s old coat (good coat that, she has already made a hat and skirt from it and we have had other slipper soles too) for the outside of sole. I have put leather from my old coat. The slipper top is from old railway upholst[ery] bound with silk, no less, from an old dress! Something new out of something old. The first one is quite successful. Its chief fault is that it is too large. I was so afraid of getting it small. However they are only for indoors so think a little kapok in the toes will remedy that. They look quite nice too. I lined them with a bit of sateen.

An ? [as written] says there are no signs of the war being over for a long time and urges people not to be optimistic about an early finish. Says Gers are not whacked yet, and will fight desperately to the finish. Then Japs must be completely conquered. In view of the terrible way they are treating our men and internees we must all agree with that however much we want to see the end. Whenever I feel inclined to fret over Ron, I remember the mothers and wives with boys in the hands of Japs and instead of fretting am thankful he is where he is instead of there. They have reason to fret and cannot help.

Will would have been carrying out lawn maintenance at ‘Redcott’, for absent owners, the Denmans (see 29 May 1945 and Village Map).

Where May wrote ‘An ?’ she may have started to write the first name of Aneurin Bevan and been unsure of the spelling. He was then an outspoken Labour MP and was later architect of the National Health Service as Minister of Health in Attlee’s post-war government.

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

Mon. Jan.31. 8.25 am. [1944]
# RENE COLLECTING FOR RED CROSS
# EMBARGO ON OIL FOR SPAIN
# SYMPATHY FOR GERMAN VICTIMS OF MASS BOMBING

It is much lighter this morning. Jean will soon be able to go without lights now. She and Father have gone and I have cleared breakfast away and put on soft water for washing up. We are not washing to-day as Rene wants to collect Red + [Red Cross] pennies if fine. She was very pleased with slippers and took them home with her, Sunday or no. I hope they wear long enough to pay for the trouble. Father’s are too small since they were resoled. They were good ones and worth it but the cobbler has sprigged them round instead of stitching or sprigging soles and it has taken the tops in. If I can get a pair of soles I will make him some as he can’t spare coupons to buy any. He would not like the soft soles I think. The parades went off successfully, it was a perfect day for the occasion, not enough wind to keep flags from drooping. Jean was very tired last night but did her home-work.

I have just taken down the “black-outs”. It is grey and misty, not at all like yesterday. We cannot expect every day to be like that tho’ in mid-winter. This is the last of Jan and whatever weather we may have now can’t last so long. Now that the short dark days are past, things dry up much more quickly and there is always the feel of spring in the air. This year too in spite of everything, there seems more hope and looking forward we hope it may not prove a “false dawn”.

Last week we stopped (that is America with our full approval) sending oil to Spain. None is to be sent until after Feb. and I suppose by then Spain will have mended her ways or it will not be resumed. Spain, calling herself neutral, is far too friendly with our enemies. In spite of denials that Spanish soldiers were fighting in Russ. they have lately captured some. She has apologised profusely for “orange bombs” and promised to keep a rigorous watch over her exports to England. I hope no more countries will be dragged in and so prolong the war. The Argentine has thrown in her lot with us i.e. the Allies.

The day and night bombing of Germany is terrible, we must be crippling all their factories. I feel somehow that we shall not escape punishment for all this wholesale murder. All is certainly not “fair in war”. Then how can we expect a complete victory over our enemies, we do not seem to try to conquer the “enemy within our gates”, indeed drinking and immorality seem to be encouraged by those who should set a better example. I think, until England repents and mourns for her sins as well as sons, that it is an affront to God to have days of prayer. Perhaps this is treason, but I think if the King was a stronger character and used his power for good, he could do a lot by leading the way. It is of no use in these days to simply be good, it is necessary to do good too. Christ when on earth “went about doing good”, he was not content to set a copy, he lived and taught it. Now I must start to work. It “blows like rain”.

Under General Franco, Spain during World War II was ‘non-belligerent’ but had divided loyalties between the Axis and Allied sides and there were volunteers serving on each side.

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

Sun Jan 30. 8.30 am [1944]
# YOUTH PARADES AT CHAPEL AND CHURCH
# MORNING VIEWS OF SEA BEYOND CHAPEL POINT
# HIGH TIDES CAUSE FLOODING
# MORE ‘MAKE DO AND MEND’

It is almost sunrise but still not very light. I have just taken Jean a cup of tea. She was at G.L.B [Girls' Life Brigade] party last night, and has a head-ache this morning, also her ear seems to be troubling her again, as it did when she had flu. There are two youth parades to-day, Chapel this morning and Church this afternoon. I shall try to persuade her not to go to the second. It is one of Jim Hall’s whims. I took the curtains down from my bedroom window, the window was open as it was not windy, and looked over the Point to the sea as I usually do every morning. It is a lovely morning, the air soft and spring like, no wind but gulls flying west so probably a W. wind later. Birds are trying their notes of spring songs. The patch of sea I can see over the Point has caught the dawn and is white and luminous almost bright. There have been high tides again this week and it has partly flooded the Marsh again. Bomb and sea damage to bungalows will be inextricably mixed I should think.

Last night I put the soles on Rene’s quilted slippers. They are quite satisfactory so long as the stitches don’t pull thro’ the rubber soles, they are very warm and comfortable. I have had them about a long time and am glad to get them done. I think that is one of my New Year Resolutions, to finish off all of my odd jobs which I have started. I prefer not to publish it tho’, knowing my failings in that direction! Have heated soft water for Jean to wash in, she has just fetched it and shown me a huge bruise on her hip which she acquired last night in a fall at the Party. It went off well I think and Jean enjoyed it. I made some raspberry tarts and Jean took a dozen of them. They had plenty of food and sold surplus for G.L.B funds. Boys were requested not to smoke in Hall and dutifully went outside, tho’ B.B [Boys' Brigade] boys are not supposed to smoke.

Jim Hall (of Hall’s Stores) was captain of the local Boys’ Brigade (see 19 Dec 1942).

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Fri Jan. 28. 8.30 a.m. [1944]
# MEN’S UTILITY SUITS UNPOPULAR
# AIRCRAFT ACTIVITY AND EXPLOSION
# GERMAN RADIO SILENCED BY BOMBING
# CHURCHILL REASSURES AUSTRALIA ON JAPANESE
# SHORT DIARY BOOK COMPLETED

Probably most of the utility suits will have to be kept and exported after the war. It seems utility suits can be made by government orders, but they can’t make the men buy them. Indeed they can’t buy many suits at all as by the time socks and underclothes and boots are provided it would be difficult to find 26 cou[pon]s for a suit. It must be a problem where there are growing boys of from 14 to 17 wanting suits as big as their father’s and growing out of them and wearing them out much quicker.

We heard our planes going out again around 6 o’c last night. They began to return before ten o’c and seemed to be droning around for hours. Once there was an explosion which rattled doors and windows. On the 9 o’c news we were informed that several Ger. Stations were off the air, and that before going off they had warned the listeners that the enemy planes reported earlier, were travelling in a S.E. direction. How quickly news travels now. Father has started patrol to-day. It was so dark he did not start until 8.15. It still blows the soft warm wind like yesterday, but not so strong yet tho’ it keeps freshening. It still sounds like rain. We thought it would have rained yesterday.

I went to meet Jean at Cooper’s last night when she left school. Got her pair of navy shoes with suede inset 17/9. The heels are rather high as she has only had flat heels before, except her white ones for weddings. I hope she will be able to wear them. I also bought myself a pair like Rene bought this week but black. Had only 3D left out of 25/0 Xmas money which I had saved for them. Still 24/9 is not very much for these days and I would have paid that for Jean’s. Hers had been in stock some time and were much better than some higher-priced ones we saw. Have finished one of Rene’s gloves and my quilt is progressing steadily. Had a letter from Emmie yesterday, she has got Jean’s wool, so I must get my cardigan finished ready to start Jean’s jumper when it comes. We have a nice pattern.

Fierce fighting is going on now in Italy and Gers are turning attention to the allied landing party between them and Rome. Should think the next two months will do a lot at them. Churchill has given the Australians an assurance that we shall fight until Japs are beaten. We are apt to forget the war with Japs when we talk of the war being over soon or rather, I think we hide from the thought of it, but it is there none the less and will have to be gone thro’. If Ron is sent out there instead of coming home it will be a bitter disappointment for all of us. But it may well happen I am afraid. He has got African Star and Clasp, Emmie says. We are so pleased. Well here’s the end of this attenuated book. Am pleased the next is larger. This has lasted just two weeks, so no great amount of history made.

A little scrap in the warring years
To be read some day with smiles or tears
When we add up the sums of loss and gain
That emerge from this time of toil and pain.

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