Joan Layne's diary covering the period her husband Wally was a prisoner of war

YLayneAJ[Ser#-DoB]v1.pdf

Title

Joan Layne's diary covering the period her husband Wally was a prisoner of war

Description

Starts with a letter to him after she finds out he is a prisoner telling how she felt when he was missing and how happy she was with the news that he was a prisoner. After a day by day diary of her feelings, activities, news of friends and acquaintances, correspondence. Dairy goes from 9 November 1943 until 9 May 1945 when she hears that he is in England, Includes some war news and comments on VE day.

Additional information about this item was kindly provided by the donor.

Creator

Date

1943-11-09
1944
1945-01
1945-02
1945-03
1945-04
1945-05
1945-05-09
1943-11
1943-12

Language

Format

Multipage handwritten document

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Contributor

Identifier

YLayneAJ[Ser#-DoB]v1

Transcription

TUESDAY. NOVEMBER 9 TH 1943.

My dear husband – Today I received your postcard stating that you are a prisoner of war. I cant tell you just how I do feel – after the agony of the last forty six days I can really begin to live again. God has answered my prayers and He knows how grateful I am.

The news that you were missing came as a dreadful shock. I got the wire at 1.15p.m. At the shop, Friday September 24th. I had listened to the 1-0 pm. news, heard that our 'planes had raided Mannheim and that thirty two were missing, but not for a second did I think that yours could be one of them. Never for a moment even at my blackest hours did I believe that you were gone from me – there were times when I had to fight hard – but thank God my faith remained unbroken.

You would be surprised at the sympathy I was shown, it helped such a lot. I have kept all the letters

[page break]

for you, they will explain themselves.

On Thursday October 21st, the news came via Frank, through the press, that you had been awarded the D.F.C. I was, and of course am terribly proud. I am wondering if I have to go to receive the 'gong', or if it will be left until you can fetch it yourself.

I shall keep a diary day by day for you darling – there will be so much that I shall be unable to tell you in the letters I can send.

I haven't been to the pictures since August, so tomorrow, by way of celebration for my grand news I am going to see your favourite – Betty Grable in 'Springtime in the Rockies'

I have written fifteen letters today – does my arm ache? I know I shan't sleep tonight, but who cares. I think I must be one of the happiest beings in the world.

Wrote my first P.O.W. Letter.

[page break]

WEDNESDAY. NOVEMBER 10th 1943.

I feel awfully sick today dear, I think its re-action. I haven't done much work – Ive had a series of 'phone calls and visitors all day. I didnt realise we had so very many friends. Its just grand.
No particular war news today.

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 11th 43.
Heard from Lois – wrote her and Chalky White, still feeling hilarious. Had a hair set, and saw Betty Grable in 'Springtime in the Rockies'. Have been stopped countless times by people who have heard the good news. Bought a wizard maternity dress.

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 12th 1943
Awfully cold today. Heard from numerous folk. Wrote to the McGregors. RAF depository wrote regarding your personal effects. Hope to get them before long.

[page break]

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 13th 43.
Received a letter and cheque to the value of £6-2-6 from the club of the Earl of Derby. Cannot tell you how touched I was by this truly grand gesture. One of my customers brought in a cyclamen plant – feel as if I'm married to public hero No 1. Have been feted and congratulated until I feel in a whirl.

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 14th 43.
A really dreadful day with snow, wind and rain. Had a celebration at the report centre in thanksgiving for your safety. Mary took a bottle of port – I took jelly, blancmange and cake. Comforted in a sense by peoples good wishes etc. but, my own boy, my heart is so full when I think of you. I miss you terribly – miss your letters 'phone calls – everything. May God help us both to endure the separation until you return.

Wrote to you.

[page break]

MONDAY NOVEMBER 15th 43.
Heard from Betty Caygill. Stan Packard has been repatriated. I am writing this at Stoneleigh, and know that I shall never be happy here again. I think I should have finished altogether – it was a mistake to come back. Its almost more than I can bear when I think of the joy we have known here together. I must think hard tonight, definitely shant stay.

TUESDAY. NOVEMBER 16th 43.
Received a very much less frightening priority telegram confirming that you are a P.O.W. Horribly cold. Feel a little less miserable than yesterday. Packed up a large amount of glass and linen, and tidied drawers in anticipation of leaving here before long. Americans are at Bottesford, St Vincents, and numerous other camps. See more going around than our own boys. No mail today.

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 17th 43
Heard from Air Ministry Casualty Branch confirming telegram of yesterday, also from Bib Brocklesby and Mrs McKinan she is still without news of her husband and I feel reluctant to tell her of my good news. Very little to tell you dear. Shall be so glad when I hear from you again. I do think of you. Came across Tom Pullen’s home address and wrote telling him of your whereabouts.

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 18th 43.
News came from the squadron that you were commissioned to the rank of Pilot Officer with effect from September 13th 43. Feel terribly proud, you have done so well. Heard from Chalky and Mrs Nelson. Wrote to you, also Air Ministry Accounts regarding pay. Our bombers raided Ludwigshafen – lost one. There have been very few large scale raids of late. Finished reading of all books ‘Night life of the Gods’ don’t know whether I liked it or not.

[page break]

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 19th 43.
Heard from the McGregors and Lois. Our planes bombed Berlin and Ludwigshafen – we lost thirty two. According to radio the biggest force ever sent. I am really awfully glad about you having a commission. Have read the letter over and over again.

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 20th 43.
Very busy day in the shop, I get tired easily now. Our bombers raided Leverkusen north of Cologne – lost five. Went to the report centre, slept at Harlaxton Road. Romany died.

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 21st 43.
Spent the day at Harlaxton Road. Did not turn out, horrible fog and rain. Wrote to you, also Mrs McKinna. Am reading ‘Pilots Wife’s Tale’ by Esther Terry Wright. No particular war news.

[page break]
MONDAY NOVEMBER 22nd 43
Have an awful crop of chilblains. No mail today, in fact an altogether very uneventful day. Nothing happened worth recording. Might mention that Mr Apps called to see me and make the usual remarks about my good news.

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 23rd 43.
Berlin received its heaviest raid of the war last night – we lost twenty six air craft. No mail. Wrote to Lois, Bib Brocklesby, Miss Elliott and Cecil Franklin. Stuffed the teddy bear nightdress case you gave me for junior. Reading ‘Late and Soon’ by E.M. Delafield.

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 24th 43.
Berlin raided again – twenty aircraft lost. Dreadful windy day, turned to rain. Mrs Ford gone to London to buy. [sic] Had a letter from Bill Bridgewater. Shall be glad to leave Stoneleigh. Wrote to you.

[page break]

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 25th 43
Received a letter from Mrs McKinna to tell me that she and Mrs Foster have received a wire stating that from information received their husbands are believed to have lost their lives. Feel very very sorry. Wrote her and Chalky. Mosquitoes attacked Berlin – one lost.

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 26th
Our bombers attacked Frankfort – thirteen lost. Went to the report centre, slept at Harlaxton Road.

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 27th
All Lancaster force bombed Berlin – Halifaxes bombed Stuttgart. Thirty two aircraft lost. Dorothy and I went to see Tyrone Power in ‘The Black Swan’.

[page break]

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 28th
Spent a very lazy day. Great fuss going on owing to the release of Mosley. Wrote to you.

MONDAY NOVEMBER 29th
Felling off colour. Nothing of particular importance to relate. Spent the evening at Thorneydene. Very cold and windy.

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 30th
Heard from RAF at Slough who are releasing a parcel of your clothing. Spent the evening and night with Aileen and George Challard, who have been surprisingly kind to me during the past weeks.

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1st
Told them at Stoneleigh that I am leaving – they were very kind and quite understood my position. Shirley paid me a visit. Still feeling rotten.

[page break]

THURSDAY DECEMBER 2nd 43.
Simply awful news today. Vic was killed in an aircraft accident, on 1st Dec. Went to see poor little Shirley – she is heart broken. Feel absolutely terrible about it.

FRIDAY DECEMBER 2nd 43.
Vic would have been thirty three today. Went along to Shirley again. I’m afraid she will be many years getting over the shock. Our planes raided Berlin forty one lost – more sorrow for someone.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 4th 43.
Packed up a lot of my things at Stoneleigh. I received a parcel of your clothing from the central depository yesterday. Our bombers raided Leipzig – twenty three lost.

[page break]

SUNDAY YOUR BIRTHDAY 1943
Wore a new dress in your honour. Mother and I went to see Shirley. Started packing up at Stoneleigh.

MONDAY 6-12-43
An uneventful day. Did a great deal of packing. Mick visited us.

TUESDAY 7-12-43
Had my first letter from you – did me a lot of good too. Wrote to you, also Robbie, whose mother sent me a letter. Went along to see Shirley. Your letter dated 25th Oct.

WEDNESDAY 8-12-43.
Sent you 200 cigarettes. Preparing a red cross parcel. Received a P.O.W. magazine. Spent my last night at Stoneleigh. Horrible foggy weather. Vic was buried today.

[page break]

THURSDAY 9-12-43
Moved from Stoneleigh. Feel awfully weary – a very tiring business.

FRIDAY 10-12-43.
Despatched your red cross parcel. Faired very well at the red + centre. Not feeling too good.

SATURDAY 11-12-43.
Have to return my allotment book until you make necessary arrangements regarding my allowance. Horribly cold. Still feeling rotten. Purchased a few Christmas gifts.

SUNDAY 12-12-43.
Stayed in all day – wrote to you, and various RAF departments, also Charlie, the McGregors and Percy.

[page break]

MONDAY 13th DEC 43.
Had a letter and postcard from you, dated 14th October. Awful cold weather. Went to report centre.

TUESDAY 14th DEC 43.
Fog all day. Went to bed at 7-45 pm. No mail. Nothing to report.

WEDNESDAY 15th DEC 43.
No mail. Wrote to numerous people – also yourself.

THURSDAY 16th DEC 43.
Heard from Mrs Pugh – Mrs McGregor and Helen, also Lloyds regarding your RAF pay.

FRIDAY 17th DEC 43.
An uneventful day. Nothing worth recording. Very serious ‘flu epidemic sweeping the country. Our planes raided Berlin. Thirty missing.

[page break]
SATURDAY 18th DEC 43.
A very busy day at the shop. Mr Churchill is in Africa suffering from pneumonia, but is recovering.

SUNDAY 19th DEC 43.
Awfully cold. Wrote to you – also Mrs McGregor – Helen and Lois. Made Derek some dungarees.

MONDAY 20th DEC 43.
This is becoming a boring narrative. ‘Fraid I lead a very uneventful life.

TUESDAY 21st DEC 43.
Our bombers raided Frankfurt and Mannheim we lost forty two. Awful Christmas for some poor things.

WEDNESDAY 22nd DEC 43.
Very busy at the shop. Mrs F. not well. Sent you 200 cigarettes.

[page break]

THURSDAY DEC. 23rd 43.
Had a hair set. Open all day at the shop. Not feeling too good. Raided Berlin Seventeen planes lost.

FRIDAY DEC 24th 43.
Queer day. I can’t work up an interest in Christmas. Mrs Howard left after an argument regarding time off with her husband. Phil & Fred came at night – toasted your health and consequently almost finished myself off. Listened to Scrooge on the wireless. Missing you terribly Dorothy and I attended midnight communion.

SATURDAY CHRISTMAS DAY 1943.
The quietest Christmas day I have ever experienced. Didn’t get dressed at all. Lazed around in my housecoat. Still feeling not so good. Dorothy and I went to bed at 9 -30 p.m. Thought of you all day and wondered what you were doing. Very mild weather.

[page break]

SUNDAY 26th DEC. 43.
Wrote to you – Had a most unexpected visit from Chalky white and his girl friend. Thought it grand of them to come. Had a bit of a party. The folks from Newark came also Mr & Mrs Christopher and Shirley.

MONDAY 27th DEC. 43.
Spent the afternoon and evening at Thorneydene, enjoyed it very much. Mr F. suggests chartering a plane to fetch you home after the war. Is also saving some cigars for you.

TUESDAY 28th DEC. 43.
Had a letter from Mrs Silver. Mooched around during the morning. Dorothy and I had a walk during the afternoon. Went to bed early. Very glad Christmas is over. Must report that the home fleet sank the Scharnhorst on Saturday night, sorry Sunday the 26th. Wrote to you.

[page break]

WEDNESDAY DEC 29th. 43.
Went back to work. Wrote to Mrs Pugh and Bib Brocklesby. Coastal command and naval forces sank three axis destroyers and a blockade runner in the Bay of Biscay. Considerably colder.

THURSDAY DEC 30th 43.
Our bombers raided Berlin, we lost twenty aircraft. The staff were guests of Mr & Mrs Forth at a tea given at the Picture House, and afterwards to the cinema show, which was Leslie Howard in ‘Stand In’ and a supporting film ‘The fugitive lady’ which I liked best. Altogether very enjoyable.

FRIDAY DEC 31st 43.
Very cold. Started stock taking. The last day of a very sad year on the whole. Dorothy’s trouble, Shirley’s loss, and my anxiety. As I write this, I wonder dear one if I shall see you in 1944 – pray God that I do.

[page break]

SATURDAY JANUARY 1st 44
Sent your letters and cards to Frank. A mild uneventful day. Reading ‘Polonaise’ by Doris Leslie. Received ‘Captain Moonlight’ by Ethel Mannin from the book club.

SUNDAY JANUARY 2nd 44
Didn’t turn out all day. Our planes raided Berlin and Hamburg, twenty eight lost. Wrote to you, also Chalky.

MONDAY JANUARY 3rd 44.
Not feeling so good. Our planes raided Berlin again, twenty seven lost. Got your personal belongings back from Air Ministry.

TUESDAY JANUARY 4th 44
Came back from work in the middle of the morning. Have a rotten cold, Dorothy too. Heard from Mrs McGregor yesterday.

[page break]

WEDNESDAY JAN 5th 44.
Still off work. Heard from Tom Pullen – he is now a P/O just about to start a second tour.

THURSDAY JAN 6th 44.
Went to see the doctor for an examination. Still feeling rather seedy but went to the shop. Our bombers raided Stettin – fifteen lost. Mr & Mrs Forth gone to Brigg. Mr Hyslop left money for 200 cigarettes for you. Wrote to you.

FRIDAY JAN 7th 44.
Wrote to Mr Hyslop, Tom Pullen and Betty Caygill. Received my second P. of W. magazine. Sent you 200 cigarettes. Russians fighting ten miles inside Poland. Eva Johnson tells me that young Prouten is missing.

[page break]

SATURDAY JAN 8th 44.
Paid income tax totalling £10-6-0. Heard from Ruth.

SUNDAY JAN 9th 44.
A Horrible wet day. Went to tea at Shirley’s.

MONDAY JAN 10th 44.
Still feeling not so good. Went to bed early. Busy taking stock.

TUESDAY JAN 11th 44.
Germans shot Ciano. Bern Twilley called in the shop to see me. Is now F/O. Wrote to Ruth. Feel rotten. Heard from Mrs Bowley.

WEDNESDAY JAN 12th 44.
A very uneventful day. Feel I shall go mad if I don’t soon have news of you. I am missing you terribly - wrote to you.

[page break]

THURSDAY JAN 13th 44.
Feeling simply awful. Went to bed after dinner. Missing you horribly.

FRIDAY JAN 14th 44.
Feel a bit better. Our bombers went out for the first time for ages. Americans doing a lot of day raiding.

SATURDAY JAN 15th 44.
We raided Brunswick – lost thirty eight Bombers. Heard from Chalky. Bill came to spend leave. Shirley brought two of Vic’s friends down. I went to bed at 7.0 P.M.

SUNDAY JAN 16th 44.
Got up at 9.15 AM. A lovely rest – feel much better. Spent a pleasant day. Took D.J. for a walk in the afternoon. Played cards, read, and wrote to you at night. A lovely frosty sunny day.

[page break]

MONDAY JAN 17th 44.
Feeling much more cheerful – received letters from you dated Nov 7th and 20th. Wrote to Lois. Damp, dirty weather.

TUESDAY JAN 18th 44.
Shirley’s birthday – Mum, Dorothy and Bill went along at night. Feeling not so good again. Wrote to Mrs McGregor.

WEDNESDAY JAN 19th 44.
Had the doctor to see me – advised me to give up my work. Had a letter and a pink matinee coat from Bib Brocklesby. Wrote to you.

THURSDAY JAN 20th 44.
A day in bed – feeling weak, fed up, and missing you terribly.

FRIDAY JAN 21st 44.
Our bombers raided Berlin – thirty five missing. Still taking things quietly. Joan McKelvey had a son.

[page break]

SATURDAY JAN 22/44.
Our bombers raided Magdeburg and Berlin – 55 missing. Had a walk to the shop in the afternoon. Mum and I went to see Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour in ‘They got me covered’. A grand film. 9-0 pm news revealed that 52 planes were lost.

SUNDAY JAN 23/44
Wrote to you dear. Four months ago today you went missing. Shirley came at night.

MONDAY JAN 24/44
Finished altogether at the shop – glad of the rest. Miserable day, rain etc. No particular news.

TUESDAY JAN 25/44
Had a good rest. Took Derek out. Bill went back. Beginning to feel very tired.

[page break]

WEDNESDAY JAN 26/44.
Wrote to you. Heard from Effie. Leading an uneventful life.

THURSDAY JAN 27/44.
Took D.J. out morning and afternoon, tired myself out. A rotten nights rest despite that.

FRIDAY JAN 28/44.
Went to Thorneydene to clear out your chest of drawers. Lancaster force raided Berlin – 34 lost. Phil & Fred came.

SATURDAY JAN 29/44.
Berlin again raided – 47 bombers lost. Strong American daylight force raided Frankfurt. Called at the shop.

SUNDAY JAN 30/44
A glorious day. Took D.J. out in the morning. Rested during the afternoon. Wrote to you.

[page break]

MONDAY JAN31/44.
Received a P.C. from you dated Nov 15th. Betty Scothern had a baby boy. Wrote to Robbie. Called at the report centre at night to collect local gossip. Our planes raided Berlin again – 33 lost.

TUESDAY FEB 1st 44.
Took D.J. out during the morning and afternoon – otherwise a very uneventful day. No mail – no particular war news.

WEDNESDAY FEB 2nd 44
Wrote to you. Took D.J. out.

THURSDAY FEB 3rd 44.
A horrible day – rain and wind. Had a hair set.

FRIDAY FEB 4th 44.
Mrs F. ill. Did some shopping. Very rough weather.

[page break]

SATURDAY FEB 5th 44.
Had a P.C. from Dal dated 7th Nov. Spent a few hours at the shop during the afternoon. Bill arrived unexpectedly – his 21st today.

SUNDAY FEB 6th 44.
Wrote to you, also Dal. Feeling not so good. Had tea at Shirley’s.

MONDAY FEB 7th 44.
Heard from Lois – feeling awful, have a bad chill on the stomach – most painful

TUESDAY FEB 8th 44.
Still feeling awful – Little to relate. Wrote to Frank - made out a list for your second red cross parcel.

WEDNESDAY FEB 9th 44.
Mrs F. went to hospital. The Mitchells, Shirley & Reg came at night. Wrote to you. Saw the doctor for final examination.

[page break]

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 10th 44.
A horrible cold day. Did not go out. Very uneventful day.

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 11th 44.
Went to the hospital to see Mrs. F.

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 12th 44.
Went out during the afternoon. Heard from Pop she had a baby boy on Feb 6th.

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 13th 44.
Wrote to you, also Lois. Didn’t go out all day. No particular news.

MONDAY FEBRUARY 14 h 44.
Alice and I went to see Mrs F. She looks much improved. Sent you 200 cigarettes. Wrote to Frank and Pop. Dick Campling’s [inserted] Pa [/inserted] paid us a short visit.

[page break]

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 15th 44.
Our day darling – my thoughts have been all of you. Mrs Silver sent me a cot cover, toy rabbit and 10/- for cigarettes. Heard from Bib Brocklesby. Took D.J. out. A lovely sunny day with a fullness of treasured memories.

WEDNESDY FEBRUARY 16th 44.
Went to see Mrs. F. again with Alice. Large raid on Berlin- 43 planes lost.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 17th 44.
A horrible wet day, did not turn out at all. Heard from Chalky.

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 18th 44.
Went to see Mrs F. again. Bib sent me a copy of ‘The Briggensian’ Wrote to Chalky.

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 19th 44.
No particular news. Went to see the doctor. Horribly cold. Reading ‘Bombers fly East’ by Bruce Sanders.

[page break]

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 20th 44.
Our planes raided Leipzig in great strength. 79 missing. A very cold day did not go out. Wrote to you also Bib.

MONDAY FEBRUARY 21st 44.
Received a letter from you dated 5th December. Mr Campling wrote. Dick went missing on last Berlin raid. Our planes raided Stuttgart, lost 10. Went to see Mrs F. Wrote to you.

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 22nd 44.
Frank sent £2 – towards your next parcel. Hopkins moved your chest of drawers.

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 23rd 44.
Cleaned and rearranged my bedroom. Wrote to you.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 24th 44.
No particular news. Took D.J. out in the morning. Reading ‘Rain on her face’ by John Paddy Carstairs.

[page break]

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 25th 44.
Mum and Dorothy went to Nottingham to see Derrick. Prepared your red cross parcel sending vests, trunks, pullover, gloves, sox, tie shaving tackle etc. Our planes raided Sikeinfurt – 35 lost.

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 26th 44.
Recorded 29th February. Taken to hospital at 8-0 P.M.

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 27th 44
A terrible day – full of pain.

MONDAY FEBRUARY 28th 44.
Simply awful until baby was born at approx. 5-45 P.M.

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 29th 44
Haven’t been allowed to see our baby yet. Dorothy brought a card from you dated 26th October. Auntie Josie sent David Ian £4.

[page break]

WEDNESDAY MARCH 1st 44
Saw David Ian for the first time at 6-15 P.M. In a sense it was a bitter sweet meeting – he is so ridiculously like you darling. I am missing you more than I dare admit.

THURSDAY MARCH 2nd 44
Saw our son five times today - am trying to feed him. He is cute, looks just like Grand Pa Layne. Miss Johnson gave him a token for 15/- Mum, Alice and Shirley came to see me. Wrote to you.

FRIDAY MARCH 3rd 44
Return of kidney disorder. They are giving me M&B 693 and some medicine.

SATURDAY MARCH 4th 44
Not feeling very good. Mrs F. came in to see me.

[page break]

SUNDAY MARCH 5th 44
Mum and Dorothy came.

MONDAY MARCH 6th 44
Another not so good day.

TUESDAY MARCH 7th 44
Not much change.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 8th
Feeling a little better.

THURSDAY MARCH 9th 44
Heard from Caterpillar Club you are awarded certificate and badge. Red Cross are sending a cable advising you of David Ian’s birth.

FRIDAY MARCH 10th 44
Uneventful day. Feeling rather better. Missing you terribly. David Ian doing well, and getting very pretty.

[page break]

SATURDAY MARCH 11th 44
Usual routine. My leg giving me trouble – very maddening.

SUNDAY MARCH 12th 44
Allowed out of bed. Enjoyed a good hot bath. Mother and Dorothy came to see me. Wrote to you.

MONDAY MARCH 13th 44
Another ‘off’ day, and a dreadful longing for you.

TUESDAY MARCH 14th 44
Feeling much better.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 15th 44
Left hospital at 3.30 P.M. Feel decidedly weak, and wished so much that I was going home to you. Mrs F. left too.

THURSDAY MARCH 16th 44
Not very good. David Ian not feeding very well. Our planes raided Stuttgart – 40 lost.

[page break]

FRIDAY MARCH 17th 44
Things better today. Dr Gray came to see me had a good talk with her and feel less worried.

SATURDAY MARCH 18th 44
Went to St Johns for churching. Sent red cross parcel.

SUNDAY MARCH 19th 44
Took David out. Went as far as Mrs Christopher’s. Felt awfully tired. Bill turned up. Planes raided Frankfurt – 22 lost. The sirens went, but nothing doing.

MONDAY MARCH 20th 44
Feel horribly miserable – missing you terribly. Wrote to you.

TUESDAY MARCH 21st 44
Another not so good day. So wish I could hear from you. Registered David Ian’s birth.

[page break]

WEDNESDAY MARCH 22nd 44
Got a taxi and took David to Thorneydene, spent a most enjoyable afternoon and evening.

THURSDAY MARCH 23rd 44
Our planes raided Frankfurt. 33 lost. Took David to the welfare centre, he weighs 7 lbs – 12 ozs. Wrote to you. Heard from Mrs M Kinna.

FRIDAY MARCH 24th 44
Just six months since you were reported missing my darling. Took our son out in the afternoon Feeling much better.

SATURDAY MARCH 25th 44
Berlin – 73 planes lost. Tony and Paul came for the day. Bill and Jack also here. Went with Shirley to see ‘Dubarry was a lady.’ A shall be so glad when I hear from you. Sent red cross 5/- and have received acknowledgement.

[page break]

SUNDAY MARCH 26th 44
Margaret turned up unexpectedly. Went to Thorneydene. Glorious weather.

MONDAY MARCH 27th 44
Disappointed no letter from you. Took David out in the afternoon. Wrote to you. Essen raided – 9 lost.

TUESDAY MARCH 28th 44
Still no letter. Went to Mrs Christopher’s and stayed tea. Glorious weather.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 29th 44
Much cooler. Stayed in all day.

THURSDAY MARCH 30th 44
David weighs 8 lbs – 7 ozs. Took him for a short walk. Awfully cold.

FRIDAY MARCH 31st 44
Nuremberg – 96 lost. Do wish I could hear from you. Went to the doctor – disappointed at her verdict. Went to see ‘Watch on the Rhine’ with Mum.

[page break]

SATURDAY APRIL 1st 44
Went out with Joan Greetham. Still no word from you darling. Went to bed early. Yesterdays losses corrected on radio to 94.

SUNDAY APRIL 2nd 44
Our baby is adorable. Mum stayed in bed until 6 – 0 P.M. Rained all day. Dorothy and I busy. Wrote to you.

MONDAY APRIL 3rd 44
The Warings came. Went out in the morning and afternoon.

TUESDAY APRIL 4th 44
At last, had a P.C. from you dated January 16th. Heard also from RAF accounts who are making over part of your money to me. Miserable showery day. David just wonderful. Received P.O.W. magazine. Bought from Boots for 3/- each ‘Mad dogs and Englishmen’ by Erick Berry. ‘Escape to fight again’ A.P. Luscombe Whyte.

[page break]

WEDNESDAY APRIL 5th 44
Heard from Betty Caygill. Showery day. Went for a short walk in the afternoon

THURSDAY APRIL 6th 44
Another P.C. dated January 11th. Roger came over. Took David to the Welfare Centre now weights 8 lb
14 ozs. Wrote to you.

FRIDAY APRIL 7th 44
Worked hard all day, didn’t go out.

SATURDAY APRIL 8th 44
A lovely day. Took David out in the afternoon.

EASTER SUNDAY APRIL 9th 44
Chalky White and Margaret visited us, and stayed overnight. Enjoyable days. Had a drink at Macs.

[page break]

MONDAY APRIL 10th 44
Went out in the morning with Chalky, Margaret and David. They went back at 12 – 39 P.M. Dorothy and I went out during the afternoon. Took David to see his Auntie at Miss Ellis’s.

TUESDAY APRIL 11th 44
Paid my hospital bill £7-1-0. Shirley came at night. French rail road targets attacked by strong force. 22 missing.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 12th 44
11 planes missing from attack on targets in France. Dorothy and I had a lovely walk during the afternoon. Wrote to you.

THURSDAY APRIL 13th 44
Heard from Frank – he has made you a member of the old boy’s association. Took David to the welfare centre – he now weighs 9 lbs. 7 ozs.

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FRIDAY APRIL 14th 44
Heard from Air Ministry they are paying me £3-18-0 a week with effect from March 1st. Took David out. Wrote to Frank.

SATURDAY APRIL 15th 44
A really glorious day. Took David out, accompanied by Joan Greetham.

SUNDAY APRIL 16th 44
Had tea with Aileen and George Challand. Wrote to you.

MONDAY APRIL 17th 44
Much cooler. Mum and I went to see Betty Grable in ‘Coney Island’ it was wizard. Called down the report centre at night.

TUESDAY APRIL 18th 44
Went for a walk with Betty Sprawson. A lovely day again.

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WEDNESDAY APRIL 19th 44
Received cheque for £10.17.0 from A.M. Awfully rough wind. 13 aircraft lost from raid on rail targets in France.

THURSDAY APRIL 20th 44
Received cheque for £6.8.5 from C. & K’s. Had tea with Mrs Christopher. David weighs 9 lbs 11 ozs. Mrs MKinna sent him two bibs.

FRIDAY APRIL 21st 44
Wrote to Mrs Mkinna and Lois. Took David to the doctor, he has heat rash for which I am giving him medicine and ointment. Miserable weather.

SATURDAY APRIL 22nd 44
Went to Hougham to look at a sewing machine – turned it down. Lovely day. Joan Greetham stayed at night until 10-0 P.m.

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SUNDAY APRIL 23rd 44
Took David up to Thorneydene – called to see the Lee’s and Mrs Kenny. Very enjoyable. 42 aircraft lost after raid on Dusseldorf. Wrote to you.

MONDAY APRIL 24th 44
Received a P.C. from you dated January 22. Bought a blouse.

TUESDAY APRIL 25th 44
29 aircraft lost after raid on Munich and Karlsruhe. Went out during the afternoon with Betty Sprawson. Wrote to Frank.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 26th 44
Essen 29 aircraft lost.

THURSDAY APRIL 27th 44
Received two postcards from you dated Dec 11th & 31st. Windy today. David weighs 10 lbs 6 ozs.

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FRIDAY APRIL 28th 44
Friedrichshafen – 36 planes lost.
A letter I wrote you returned from censor.

SATURDAY APRIL 29th 44
Went for a walk in the afternoon with Joan Greetham. Received parcel from America.

SUNDAY APRIL 30th 44
Took David out in the evening. No particular news. 10 planes lost from raid on French rail targets.

MONDAY MAY 1st 44
Had David photographed. Saw Mr Hyslop.

TUESDAY MAY 2nd 44
Went for a walk with Betty Sprawson. Another letter returned from censor.

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WEDNESDAY MAY 3rd 44
Received cheque for £10.10.0. Had tea with Mrs Christopher.

THURSDAY MAY 4th 44
Military target at Mailly attacked 49 aircraft lost. Received cheque for £8.15.7. David weighs 10 lbs 14 ozs.


FRIDAY MAY 5th 44
Went to a Red Cross next of kin meeting. Purchased some things for your next parcel. Braces, pipe, hair brush, tooth brush, comb, 2 pairs sox, hussif shaving brush.

SATURDAY MAY 6th 44
Start of ‘Salute the Soldier’ week. Bought David a 30/- certificate. Went out with Joan Greetham. Wrote to you.

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SUNDAY MAY 7th 44
Shirley, Dorothy and I took the children down the park. French rail targets attacked, five planes lost.

MONDAY MAY 8th 44
Saw Joan Johnson, she tells me young Prouten is believed killed. Was going to Thorneydene but found Mrs F. at the shop. French rail targets attacked – nine lost.

TUESDAY MAY 9th 44
Went to Thorneydene – a very enjoyable day.

WEDNESDAY MAY 10th 44
Saw a RAF exhibition particularly interested in parachute packing and releasing.

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THURSDAY MAY 11th 44
David weighs 11 lbs 7 ozs. Mum and Dorothy went to Belvoir. Wrote to Chalky. Lovely weather. French rail targets attacked.

FRIDAY MAY 12th 44
French rail targets attacked – 15 lost. David and I photographed at Walter Lee’s. Mum and I went to see ‘King’s Row’ a very good film.

SATURDAY MAY 13th 44
14 planes missing from attacks on French rail targets. Received a letter from you dated 15th February. Am glad to know mail is reaching you okay. Wrote to you.

SUNDAY MAY 14th 44
Took David out during the afternoon. Wrote to Mrs McGregor and Lois.

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MONDAY MAY 15th 44
Had a very nice letter from Mrs Kempshall. Awfully dull weather.

TUESDAY MAY 16th 44
Heard from Lois. Another dull day. Feeling rather fed up with myself.

WEDNESDAY MAY 17th 44
Very dull and wet. Did not get out at all.

THURSDAY MAY 18th 44
David weighs 11 lbs 12 ozs.

FRIDAY MAY 19th 44
Went to Carlton Scroop to stay with Joan Franklin.

SATURDAY MAY 20th 44
Very enjoyable day. Went out in the village. A pleasant change.

SUNDAY MAY 21st 44
Rather cold. Spent another pleasant day. Reports that 47 RAF officers were shot during March at Luft 3 announced.

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MONDAY MAY 22nd 44
Returned home to find 2 letters from you dated February 22nd March 9th and a P.C. dated Feb 1st. Very thrilled. Heard also from Bib Brocklesby and Margaret King. Wrote to you and sent a photograph of David. Dick’s father called still no news, Dick awarded D.S.O. Raid on Duisburg – 30 planes lost.

TUESDAY MAY 23rd 44
Raid on Dortmund – 35 planes lost. Wrote several letters.

WEDNESDAY MAY 24th 44
Lovely weather. Took David out during the afternoon. Called in at the report centre at night. Heard from Mrs McGregor.

THURSDAY MAY 25th 44
Received a P.C. from you dated 10th Feb. 25 planes missing from raid on Aachen. Wrote to you and sent photographs of David and myself. He weighs 12 lbs 3 ozs.

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FRIDAY MAY 26th 44
Went to Babette Land’s home to fetch David’s smock which is exquisite. Phil & Fred came.

SATURDAY MAY 27th 44
a lovely day. Took David out in the afternoon. Knitting him vests.

SUNDAY MAY 28th 44
Antwerp & French rail targets. 27 planes missing from 1,000 force. Had an enjoyable afternoon & evening at Thorneydene. David is wizard & getting very tanned.

MONDY MAY 29th 44
Very hot. A fair in Wyndham fields. Went out in the morning and evening.

TUESDAY MAY 30th 44
Another hot day. David beautifully tanned. Wrote to you.

WEDNESDAY MAY 31st 44
Much cooler. Strong force raided rail targets in France. 8 lost.

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THURSDAY JUNE 1st 44
David weighs 12 lbs 10 ozs. Auntie Emmie & Roger came. Had my fortune told.

FRIDAY JUNE 2nd 44
Received cheques for £10.17.0 and £8.0.11 from A.M. Discover you are a F/O.

SATURDAY JUNE 3rd 44
Heard from Lois & Red Cross. Have to send your football things in a next of kin parcel. Went out in the afternoon with Joan G.

SUNDAY JUNE 4th 44
Miserable weather – did not turn out. Wrote to you. Raid on Leverkusen. 17 planes lost. Sent you enlargement of David.

MONDAY JUNE 5th 44
The allies entered Rome. Osnabruck raided without loss. Wrote and sent photographs to your Pa. Frank, Aunt Ida and Mrs McGregor.

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TUESDAY JUNE 6th 44
[underlined] We invaded Northern France. [/underlined]. News bulletins all day, and everyone on edge. Thinking of you so much. Mum and I went to see ‘The man in Grey’ a very excellent film.

Wednesday June 7th 44
Progressing satisfactorily in France. Preparing your Red Cross parcel.

THURSDAY JUNE 8th 44
Had 3 postcards dated March 17th, 23rd, 30th and a letter April 7th. David weighs 13 lbs. Had tea with Pop Close.

FRIDAY JUNE 9th 44
Had my hair permed. Wrote to you. Miserable weather.

SATURDAY JUNE 10th 44
Doing okay in Normandy. 289 planes lost in air battles and numerous sorties. Had my photograph taken.

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SUNDAY JUNE 11th 44
20 bombers lost over French rail targets. Called down the report centre at night.

MONDAY JUNE 12th 44
Uneventful day. Took David out.

TUESDAY JUNE 13th 44
Miserable weather, did not go out. Lancasters very busy attacking targets in France.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 14th 44
Weather still very cool. No particular news. Aunt Ida sent David 10/-. Wrote you.

THURSDAY JUNE 15th 44
Your father came. Went to Thorneydene and had a very enjoyable time.

FRIDAY JUNE 16th 44
Took David to the car park to see your father off. Cold wet weather.

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SATURDAY JUNE 17th 44
Went out in the afternoon with Joan Greetham. Wrote to you.

SUNDAY JUNE 18th 44
Reading a wonderful book by Axel Munthe called ‘The story of San Michele’. Went out in the afternoon.

MONDAY JUNE 19th 44
The papers full of accounts of pilot less planes used on the south coast and London area.

TUESDAY JUNE 20th 44
Went out with Betty Scothern.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 21st 44
Wrote to you and sent a photograph of myself.

THURSDAY JUNE 22nd 44
Went out with Pop Close.

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FRIDAY JUNE 23rd 44
Phil & Fred came in the evening. Thinking so much of you. 9 months since you went.

SATURDAY JUNE 24th 44
Went to Thorneydene and had a pleasant time. A lovely day. Eva & Joan Johnson, two Americans & Phil & Fred came at night.

SUNDAY JUNE 25th 44
Dull and chilly. Did not go out. Wrote to you.

MONDAY JUNE 26th 44
Went to see Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour in ‘Dixie’. Your father sent David a cheque for £10.

TUESDAY JUNE 27th 44
Received postcards dated April 14th, 29th and am glad to know you know of David’s arrival.

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WEDNESDAY JUNE 28th 44
Wrote to you – also to Bib, Lois, and your father.

THURSDAY JUNE 29th 44
Had tea with Mrs Christopher. David weighs 14 lbs 2 ozs.

FRIDAY JUN 30th 44
Spent the afternoon and evening at Thorneydene. Phil & Fred came at night.

SATURDAY July 1st 44
A dull day. Wrote to you at night.

SUNDAY JULY 2nd 44
Went to see Aileen Cornish whose brother was posted missing June 23. Poured with rain at night. Went to bed early. Dorothy has taken up voluntary help at the American Red Cross.

MONDY JULY 3rd 44
Rained without ceasing. Went to the pictures to see ‘Candle light in Algeria’. Very enjoyable.

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TUESDAY JULY 4th 44
Heard from Bib and Ruth. Received word from Lloyds Bank stating that £17.3.7 had been paid to your account. Have written A.M. as there does not appear to be any payment of family allowance. Have been issued with cheque book from Lloyds. Saw Betty Sprawson in the afternoon. Your pay is 18/2 per day, from which P.O.W. deductions income tax etc. is taken. Cashed cheque for £3 paid Mum £5.

WEDNESDAY JULY 5th 44

Nothing unusual to relate. Am watching the Russian news – they are 100 miles from East Prussia.

THRSDAY JULY 6th 44
Went to tea at Stoneleigh and thoroughly enjoyed it. Called at Thorneydene.

FRIDAY JULY 7th 44
Miserable weather. Phil & Fred came.

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SATURDAY JULY 8th 1944
Miserable weather again. Wrote to you.

SUNDAY JULY 9th 44
Derrick visited us – did not go out. Wet weather.

MONDAY JULY 10th 44
I am getting very interested in the Russian news they are only 60 miles from East Prussia. Did some shopping during the afternoon.

TUESDAY JULY 11th 44
An uneventful day. Knitted at night. Horrible cold showery weather.

WEDNESDAY JULY 12th 44
Bought a set of book shelves for 35/- from Everitt and Barrell’s sale. Took David and Derek out.

THURSDAY JULY 13th 44
David weighs 14 lbs 5 ozs. Horrible weather. Claud Hart missing from raid over France 12 planes lost.

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FRIDAY JULY 14th 44
Took David out in the Afternoon. Air mail service to P.O.W. resumed. Called to see Mr & Mrs Hart, they are taking it badly.

SATURDAY JULY 15th 44
Hear that P.O.W. in East Prussia have been moved. Went to see Carmen Miranda and Alice Faye in ‘The girls he left behind’. Wrote to you. Weaning David.

SUNDAY JULY 16th 44
A really lovely day. Joan Greetham and I took the boys out.

MONDAY JULY 17th 44
Received two letters dated May and a P.C. dated May. Very happy.

TUESDAY JULY 18th 44
Went to see Noel Coward’s ‘This Happy Breed’ an excellent film. Fully weaning David.

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WEDNESDAY JULY 19th 44
Nothing outstanding to report. War news very good from all fronts. Wrote to you.

THURSDAY JULY 20th 44
Hear that Frank Catlin has died in Normandy. Feeling rotten did not go out.

FRIDAY JULY 21st 44
Took David out in the afternoon. Phil & Fred came at night. News of revolt in Germany and an attempt on Hitler’s life reported. So long to see you darling.

SATURDAY JULY 22nd 44
Shopped in the morning. stayed home the rest of the day. Played our records and made myself thoroughly miserable. Wrote to you.

SUNDAY JULY 23rd 44
Ten months darling. Went for a walk with Shirley.

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MONDAY JULY 24th 44
Dorothy friendly with Michael Burn have chummed up with W.O. Workman and his wife Marie. went to Thorneydene. Practically an impossibility to give you reports of air activities as bomber command carries out both day and night offensives. Chief targets at present are the flying bomb sites.

TUESDAY JULY 25th 44
Went for a walk with Betty Scothen and to the pictures at night to see Cary Grant Irenne Dunne in ‘My favourite wife’ with Marie. A rotten film. Heard from Bib.

WEDNESDAY JULY 26th 44
Went to RAF Regiment sports at Belton Park. Heard from Mrs Kemshall. Am hoping to visit her next week.

THURSDAY JULY 27th 44
Did not go out. Wrote to you. Read that East Prussian P.O.W. camps have been moved.

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FRIDAY JULY 28th 44
Called to see Pop. Paddy, Marie, Larry & Mac came at night. Larry a wonderful pianist. Phil & Fred came.

SATURDAY JULY 29th 44
Went out with Joan Greetham.

SUNDAY JULY 30th 44
Wrote to you. Took David and Derek out. Went to see ‘Bombs over Burma’ and ‘Uncensored’ with Marie & Paddy.

MONDAY JULY 31st 44
Had tea with Mrs Kenny and visited Thorneydene. Had a most interesting letter from Ken Twilley.

TUESDAY AUG 1st 44
David weighs 15 lbs 3 ozs.

WEDNESDAY AUG 2 44
Spent a very enjoyable day at Lincoln with the Kemshalls. Saw the Caygills too.

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THURSDAY AUG 3rd 44
Went out in the morning also afternoon. Little of interest to tell you.

FRIDAY AUG 4th 44
Nothing worth recording except David vaccinated. Very Hot.

SATURDAY AUG 5th 44
Went out in the afternoon. Lovely weather.

SUNDAY AUG 6th 44
Went for a walk with Shirley in the afternoon. Marie, Paddy, Laurie & Mac came for tea.

MONDAY AUG 7th 44
Received a letter from you dated April 21st. Had tea at Joan Greethams. A glorious day – altogether very pleasant. Wrote to you

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TUESDAY AUG 8th 44
Nothing of interest to report.

WEDNESDAY AUG 9th 44
Went to see ‘Chinese Bungalow’. Marie went back.

THURSDAY AUG 10th 44
David not well due to vaccination, weighs 15 lbs 6 ozs.

FRIDAY AUG 11th 44
Nothing to say.

SATURDAY AUG 12th 44
Really miserable day. David quite sick.

SUNDAY AUG 13th 44
David’s arm terribly swollen. Took him out in the evening and had a better night. Mum spent the weekend at Newark.

MONDAY AUG 14th 44
David much better. Went to see ‘Now Voyager’ a wizard film, Bette Davis

[page break]

Paul Herreid. Very Hot. (weather)

TUESDAY AUG 15th 44
Wrote to you. Went for a walk in the afternoon. Allied landing at south of France between Nice and Marseille.

WEDNESDAY AUG 16th 44
Air sorties are so numerous I cannot possibly keep an account of losses etc. Lancasters bombing day and night. Pat (Laurie’s wife) came to get a rest from flying bombs.

THURSDAY AUG 17th 44
Shopped in the morning with Pat washed in the afternoon. Wrote to Molly and Frank. Heard from Molly this morning and am going there to stay on Tuesday next. Received a P.C. from you dated June 11th 44.

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FRIDAY AUG 18th
Went to Thorneydene.

SATURDAY AUG 19/44
Rained all day. Went shopping in the afternoon. Margaret came.

SUNDAY AUG 20/44
More rain. Didn’t go out all day. Wrote to you.

MONDAY AUG 21st 44
Heard from Mr Campling. Dick is buried at Hoppenrad Cemetery 27 miles N.W. of Berlin. Busy Packing.

TUESDAY AUG 22/44
Took the 8.0 am train to St Neots arrived 9.33. Received a terrific welcome.

WEDNESDAY AUG 23/44
A thoroughly enjoyable day. Paris liberated. Wrote to you. Thinking of you darling.

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THURSDAY AUG 24/44
Went to Sandon with Molly and Helen. Rained - but very enjoyable day.

FRIDAY AUG 25/44
Lazed around. Went to St Neots to send off your gun, and collect box. Bus didn’t pick us up so hitch hiked back

SATURDAY AUG 26/44
Another enjoyable day. Help collect eggs and pick tomatoes. 27 planes missing from 1400 engaged on various sorties.

SUNDAY AUG 27/44
Konigsberg raided. 29 missing. Mrs Bowman and her daughter came. Wrote to you.
MONDAY AUG 28/44
Received a letter from you dated 21st July giving new camp address. Collected box from St Neots.

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TUESDAY AUG 29th
Went to Cambridge for a few hours. Made myself known to Mrs Pugh – she was awfully pleased to see me. Dorothy wired, Claud Hart alive and well. Mrs Human died about January time.

WEDNESDAY AUG 30/44
41 planes missing from raids on Stettin and Konigsberg. Thorough enjoying my stay here.

THURSDAY AUG 31/44
A year since I lost my watch and it hurts like anything to think of it.

FRIDAY SEP 1st
Went into Cambridge to see the Pughs. Met various customers who made a terrific fuss of David.

SATURDAY SEP 2nd 44
Five years ago I came to Cambridge. Mrs Pugh sold me [indecipherable words] for £1 yesterday. Allies doing very well in France. Rained all day did not go out.

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SUNDAY SEP 3/44
Allies in Belgium. Awful weather did not turn out all day. Mrs Bowman and Joan came over. Wrote to you.

MONDAY SEP/4/44
Brussels liberated. Received letters from Mr F (Gun arrived safely) and Shirley. Dull weather. Helen and I had a walk after tea.

TUESDY SEP 5th 44
Antwerp reached. Sirens went during the night. Heard a ‘doodle bug’ explode. Still very dull. Didn’t move far.

WEDNESDAY SEP 6th
Helen and I cleaned in the afternoon. Collected eggs and tomatoes at night. Wrote to you.

THURSDAY SEP 7th 44
Rained practically all day. Went for a short walk at night with Helen Read true accounts of murders. Black out to be relaxed.

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FRIDAY SEP 8/44
Another dull day. Picked pears. Heard from Dorothy. A.B. in trouble.

SATURDAY SEP 9/44
Went into Cambridge in the morning with Helen. A lovely day. Heard from Shirley.

SUNDAY SEP 9/44
Mrs and Miss Bowman came. Glorious weather. Wrote to you.

MONDAY SEP 11/44
Cleaned in the afternoon. Matron came and has invited me to tea tomorrow.

TUESDAY SEP 12/44
A year today you came on what was to be your last leave for a while. Had tea at Girton College with the matron. Thoroughly enjoyed the visit.

WEDNESDAY SEP 13/44
Went for a walk in the afternoon. Wrote to you.

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THURSDAY SEP 14/44
Went to Sandon. Lovely weather.

FRIDAY SEP 15/44
Did some shopping in Cambridge with Molly and Helen. Allies Nearing Aachen.

SATURDAY SEP 16/44
Spent most of the day out of doors.

SUNDAY SEP 17/44
Mrs Bowman and her daughter came. Packing to leave and feeling very depressed about it. Holland invaded by the allies.

MONDAY SEP 18/44
Left at 5-49 P.M. after a grand holiday.

TUESDAY SEP 19/44
Thoroughly miserable. Missing you badly. Rang Thorneydene.

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WEDNESDAY SEP 20/44
A year today since you went back from leave. Went to the pictures to see Rita Hayworth in ‘Cover Girl’.

THURSDAY SEP 21/44
David weighs 17 lbs 14 ozs. Shopped in the morning.

FRIDAY SEP 22/44
Spent an enjoyable afternoon at Thorneydene.

SATURDAY SEP 23/44
Shirley took photographs of David and I in the park. A year darling. Shirley had P.C. from Robbie.

SUNDAY SEP 24/44
Thinking of you so much. Tony cycled over. Did not go out. David has a bad cold.

MONDAY SEP 25/44
David quite sick. Feel miserable and unsettled.

[page break]

TUESDAY SEP 26/44
David a little better. Received a letter from you dated 4th June. Feel in the way here – do wish I could get a house. Peter K. came over. Did not go out.

WEDNESDAY SEP 27/44
Went out in the afternoon. Heard from W/O E.L. Morris who was with you at Luft 6.

THURSDAY SEP 28/44
David weighs 18 lb 3 ozs.

FRIDAY SEP 29/44
Took David out.

SATURDAY SEP 30/44
Derek two. Went out with Shirley. Helen came, returning tomorrow.

SUNDAY OCT 1/44
Shirley came for tea. She Helen and I went for a walk. Wrote to you.

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MONDAY 2nd OCT 44
Stayed in miserable weather.

TUESDAY 3rd OCT 44
Had a tooth out

WEDNESDAY 4th OCT 44
Wrote to you. Had my hair set.

THURSDAY 5 OCT
Went to see Jennifer Jones in ‘Song of Bernadette’ a beautiful film.

FRIDAY 6 OCT 44
Poured my troubles out at Thorneydene.

SATURDAY 7 OCT 44
Miserable weather. Heard from Chalky.

SUNDAY 8 OCT 44
Dull weather did not go out. Reading Angela Thirkells ‘Growing Up’ have now had of hers ‘Northbridge Rectory’ ‘Cheerfulness breaks in’ ‘Marling Hall’

[page break]

MONDAY 9 OCT 44
Went to see ‘For whom the bell tolls’ thought it disappointing. Rotten weather. Wrote Molly re. cottage.

TUESDAY 10 OCT 44
Went out in the afternoon.

WEDNESDAY 11 OCT 44
Wrote to you

THURSDAY 12 OCT 44
Horrible weather David weighs 18 lbs 10 ozs.
FRIDAY 13 OCT 44
Went to the shop and had a talk with Mrs F. Flying bomb at North Witham.

SATURDAY 14 OCT 44
Went out with Joan G.

SUNDAY 15 OCT 44
Had tea with Shirley. Phil & Fred came at night. Wrote to you.

[page break]

MONDAY OCT 16/44
Went for a walk with Betty Sprawson.

TUESDAY OCT 17/44
Went to see ‘The Lodger’ Knitting David a beret. ‘Cop’s’ boyfriend missing.

WEDNESDAY OCT 18/44
Received an invitation to Betty Broughton’s wedding. Shopped in the morning. Rainy day. Wrote to Pop. W/O Morris & Chalky.

THURSDAY OCT 19/44
David weighs 19 lbs. Wrote to you.

FRIDAY OCT 20/44
Wet, horrible day.

SATURDAY OCT 21/44
Betty Broughton married Jack Phillips – USAAF. A pretty wedding. I enjoyed it.

[page break]

SUNDAY OCT 22nd 44
Took David out in the afternoon

MONDAY OCT 23rd
Wrote to you. Am miserable waiting for letter from you. Heard from Ken Twilley.

TUESDAY OCT 24/44
Heard from Molly. Went to Belton with Betty S. to get chestnuts.

WEDNESDAY OCT 25/44
Bought David a new blue cloth coat. Met Percy Kemshall unexpectedly in High Street. Still no news from you.

THURSDAY OCT 26/44
Bill came. Went out in the afternoon with Madge Hales and her baby daughter.

FRIDAY OCT 27/44
David had his first haircut.

[page break]

SATURDAY OCT 28/44
Went to see ‘Four Jills in a Jeep’ with Shirley. Mrs Pacey told me her P.O.W. son has passed his final auctioneer’s exam with honours. Still no news.

SUNDAY OCT 29/44
Stayed in all day. Wrote to you.

MONDAY OCT 30/44
David cut a tooth. Went out with Betty S.

TUESDAY OCT 31/44
Heard from Mrs McKinna. Took David out in the afternoon.

WEDNESDAY NOV 1st 44
Had David photographed at Boaz.

THURSDAY NOV 2nd 44
Had tea with Miss Kitchen and enjoyed myself. Bell went back.

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FRIDAY NOV 3rd 44
Took David out. Went to B.M.A.R Co. fun fair at night with Dorothy.

SATURDAY NOV 4th 44
Went shopping in the afternoon.

SUNDAY NOV 5th 44
Stayed in all day Wrote to you.

MONDAY NOV 6th 44
Took David out in the afternoon.

TUESDAY NOV 7th 44
Margaret and Derrick came. Stayed up gossiping until the small hours.

WEDNESDAY NOW 8th 44
Dorothy heard from A.M. Andy commissioned.

THURSDAY NOV 9th 44
A year since I received your first P.O.W. card. Wish I could hear again. M. & D. went back. Dorothy went to Whickford.

[page break]

FRIDAY NOV 10th 44
Spent an enjoyable afternoon at Thorneydene.

SATURDAY NOV 11th 44
Went to see ‘Fanny by Gaslight’ and enjoyed it thoroughly. Shirley took David out.

SUNDAY NOW 12th 44
Dorothy and I took the ‘boys’ out in the morning. Wrote to you also Mrs Kemshall and your Pa. Ben Twilley called – has done 11 trips.

MONDAY NOV 13th 44
Still no news of you. Went for a walk with Betty Sprawson.

TUESDAY NOV 14th 44
Took David out. He is teething and consequently rather fretful.

WEDNESDAY NOV 15th 44
Feel I shall go mad if I don’t soon hear from you. Missing you terribly.

[page break]

Bought David a high chair. Heard from Mrs Layne and Molly.

THURSDAY NOV 16th 44
At last, a letter dated August 6th. Wrote to you.

FRIDAY NOV 17th 44
Horrible weather. Did some shopping. Marie came for tea.

SATURDAY NOV 18th 44
Very dull – went out in the afternoon

SUNDAY NOV 19th 44
Finished a suit for David. Wrote to you. Marie came for tea.

MONDAY NOV 20th 44
Horrible wet day – did not go out. David said ‘Teddy’

TUESDAY 21st 44
Received a P.C. in your writing signed R. Colbeck dated September 26th.

[page break]

Took David out. Started second suit.

WEDNESDAY NOV 22nd 44
Wrote to you.

THURSDAY NOV 23rd 44
Received a letter dated 28th July

FRIDAY NOV 24th 44
Went to Thorneydene

SATURDAY NOV 25th 44
Saw Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman in ‘Murder in Thornton Square’

SUNDAY NOV 27th 44
Did not turn out. Miserable day – wrote to you.

MONDAY NOV 27th 44
Did some Christmas shopping with Dorothy.

TUESDAY NOV 29/44
More Christmas shopping.

[page break]

WEDNESDAY NOV 29/44
Busy all day didn’t get out. Wrote to you.

THURSDAY NOV 30/44
Received a letter dated August 20/44. David weighs 20 lbs 9 ozs.

FRIDAY DEC 1/44
Did some shopping. Terribly cold.

SATURDAY DEC 2/44
Went out in the afternoon.

SUNDAY DEC 3/44
Didn’t get out. Miserable day. Fed up. Wrote to you.

MONDAY DEC 4/44
A letter dated August 30th. Feel very miserable and fed up. Do wish I could get a house.

TUESDAY DEC 5/44
Thinking of you. Had my hair permed.

[page break]

WEDNESDAY DEC 6th 44
Received a letter dated 21st September. Visited the Kemshalls at Lincoln and enjoyable day.

THURSDAY DEC 7 TH 44
Bought a folding pram for David. Wrote to you.

FRIDAY DEC 8th 44
Horrible day – foggy.

SATURDAY DEC 9th 44
Another letter dated 23rd September. Saw Joan G. in the afternoon.

SUNDAY DEC 10/44
Did not go out. Wrote to you.

MONDAY DEC 11/44
Went to see Bing Crosby in Sing you sinners.

[page break]

TUESDAY DEC 12/44
Did some shopping.

WEDNESDAY DEC 13/44
Not much to report. Wrote to you.

THURSDAY DEC 14/44
Very cold – Should have visited Hilda Waring but did not go.

FRIDAY DEC 15/44
Went to Thorneydene. David developed a cold.

SATURDAY DEC 16th
Horrible day. No news.

SUNDAY DEC 17/44
Had tea with Aileen Challand. Wrote to you.

MONDAY DEC 18/44
An unexpected visit from Bib Brocklesby. Went out in the afternoon.

[page break]

TUESDAY DEC 19/44
Bernard Twilley reported missing yesterday. Called to see his mother. David’s cold very bad – war news pretty serious.

WEDNESDAY DEC 20/44
Went out in the morning. David quite a lot better. Wrote to you. Missing you.

THURSDAY DEC 21/44
David not very well. Did not go out.

FRIDAY DEC 22nd 44
David only fair.

SATURDAY DEC 23rd 44
Marie came for Christmas. I went to bed at 6.45. Fed up and miserable.

SUNDAY DEC 24th
Derrick came. We stayed in. M&D went to RAF Reg. Party. Wrote to you. Missing you.

[page break]

MONDAY DEC 25th 44
Little David had quite a number of gifts. I am missing you badly. Very glad of Derrick’s company. Awful fog.

TUESDAY DEC 26th 44
Went to Thorneydene for tea. Auntie Emmie, Uncle Harry, Roger came over. Marie went back.

WEDNESDAY DEC 27th 44
David developed sickness etc. Did not go out. Cold.

THURSDAY DEC 28th 44
David still ill, feel worried and miserable. Wrote to you.

FRIDAY DEC 29th
Took David out but his condition is much the same.

SATURDAY DEC 30/44
Took David to the doctor. He has a chill, gave him medicine.
[page break]

SUNDAY DEC 31/44
David quite a lot better. A harassing day. Please let next year bring you home, and find us a house.

MONDAY JAN 1st 45
A letter from you dated October 15th & a parcel from America containing sleeping suits, bath sachets & soap.

TUESDAY JAN 2/45
Awful damp day. David quite better. Did some shopping. Reading ‘Calamity House’ Ellery Queen. Dispatched parcel containing pyjamas, 4 prs sox, plimsolls, blades, soap, choc, toothbrush etc. also H/chiefs.

WEDNESDAY JAN 3/45
Had a hair set. Knitting David a suit. Dirty weather. Had a letter from Margaret Kemshall.

[page break]

THURSDAY JAN 4th 45
Nothing of much interest

FRIDAY JAN 5th 45
Phil & Fred came at night.

SATURDAY JAN 6th 45
I bought a suit at the shop. Bill came.

SUNDAY JAN 7th 45
I wrote to you – busy knitting for David.

MONDAY JAN 8th 45
Quite a fall of snow.

TUESDAY JAN 9th 45
Took David out – awfully cold.

WEDNESDAY JAN 10th 45
Did not go out. Finished a pullover for David.

THURSDAY JAN 11th 45
David attended his first party. Jennifer Deane aged one.

[page break]

FRIDAY JAN 12/45
Saw ‘Adam had four sons’ awfully good . Phil & Fred Came, Bill here.

SATURDAY JAN 13/45
Derrick came – glad to see him.

SUNDAY JAN 14/45
Feeling not so good. Derrick went back.

MONDAY JAN 15/45
Wrote to you, have a rotten cold, and missing you horribly.

TUESDAY JAN 16/45
Feel ghastly. Stayed in all day miserable with self and everyone else.

WEDNESDAY JAN 17/45
Feel only fair.

[page break]

THURSDAY JAN 18/45
Had my hair set. Sent you tobacco. Wrote to you.

FRIDAY JAN 19/45
Phil & Fred came. Rotten day in every way.

SATURDAY JAN 20/45
News came Bernard Twilley killed 18 Dec 44. Saw ‘Love Story’ Margaret Lockwood- Stewart Grainger. Snowed heavily.

SUNDAY JAN 21/45
Feel awful Wrote to you. Took David out in the afternoon.

MONDAY JAN 22/45
Rotten cold. Awful weather. Rang Mrs F. Bought a wardrobe & chair.

[page break]

TUESDAY JAN 23rd 45
Horribly cold – short of coal too. Letter from you dated 9th Oct 44.

WEDNESDAY JAN 24th 45
Wrote to you. Went to Thorneydene but did not take David who has a cold.

THURSDAY JAN 25th 45
Weather simply artic – Saw Bing Crosby in ‘Going my Way’

FRIDAY JAN 26/45
Terribly cold. Worst for years & years. Did some shopping in the morning.

SATURDAY JAN 27/45
Still icy / Tony & his girlfriend called at night. Did not go out.

SUNDAY JAN 28/45
Watched skating on the canal. Wrote to you also Ken Twilley. Not quite so cold.

[page break]

MONDAY JAN 29th 45
Went to look at a house in Dudley Road – Turned it down.

TUESDAY JAN 30/45
Did not go out Awfully cold.

WEDNESDAY JAN 31/45
Had my hair set. Wrote to you.

THURSDAY FEB 1/45
Weather improving. Did some shopping.

FRIDAY FEB 2/45
Phil & Fred came quite an enjoyable evening. Russian news marvellous.

SATURDAY FEB 3/45
A lovely day. Took David out met Betty Scothern – her husband in India.

SUNDAY FEB 4/45
Took Derek and David out. Wrote to you.

[page break]

MONDAY FEB 5/45
Received letter dated 30 October P. C’s October 18, Nov 24th. Went out in the afternoon with Betty S. Lovely day.

TUESDAY FEB 6/45
Took David out, weather lovely.

WEDNESDAY FEB 7/45
P.C. dated 20 Dec. Wrote to you. Saw ‘Hotel Reserve’ James Mason – very good.

THURSDAY FEB 8/45
David weighs 22 lbs 9 ozs.

FRIDAY FEB 9/45
Took David to Thorneydene where he crawled across the room and pulled himself up by the settee. A lovely Day. Phil & Fred came.

[page break]

SATURDAY FEB 10/45
Took David out. Rather cold. Wrote to you.

SUNDAY FEB 11/45
Stayed in all day. Knitted read etc. David lovely.

MONDAY FEB 12/45
Heard today Barbara Parr drowned on Friday last. Heard from Ken Twilley. Horrible weather.

TUESDAY FEB 13/45
Wireless announcement numerous camps including Luft 3 over run by the Russians or moved. Feel rather worried and depressed. Hate this suspense.

WEDNES DAY FEB 14/45
Stayed in all day – wrote to you. Spent an hour with Pop Munson at night.

[page break]

THURSDAY FEB 15/45
Our day again. Took David out. News still very good.

FRIDAY FEB 16/45
Phil & Fred came down. Busy knitting David a beret.

SATURDAY FEB 17/45
Did some shopping during the morning. Phil & Fred came again.

SUNDAY FEB 18/45
Took David and Derek out. Andy turned up unexpectedly. He is at Ossington. Wrote to you.

MONDAY FEB 19/45
Saw Betty Scothern and had a lovely walk. Parcels are off again.

TUESDAY FEB 20/45
Took David out. He has a cold.

[page break]

WEDNESDAY FEB 21/45
Took David and Derek up the road. Lovely day. Wrote to you. Feel awfully worried and unsettled.

THURSDAY FEB 22/45
Lovely weather. Took David out. Wireless report 2661 P.O.W.s liberated by the Russians.

FRIDAY FEB 23/45
Rained, so did not get to Thorneydene. Phil & Fred came – Andy also.

SATURDAY FEB 24/45
Andy went back. I took David out – he has a cold.

SUNDAY FEB 25/45
Very dull – cycled to Thorneydene in the A.M. Wrote to you. Reading ‘For them that Trespass’ by R. Raymond.

[page break]

MONDAY FEB 26/45
Took David and Derek out. Uneventful day.

TUESDAY FEB 27/45
Received a P.C. dated 25 October – Did some shopping but did not take David.

WEDNESDAY FEB 28/45
David had quite a number of gifts and eleven birthday cards. Had photographs taken. Shirley came round. Wrote to you.

THURSDAY MAR 1st 45
Monchengladbach captured.

FRIDAY MAR 2/45
Took David for a walk.

SATURDAY MAR 3/45
Ada Parker sent a cardigan and helmet for David. Andy came. Reconciliation.

[page break]

SUNDAY MAR 4/45
Dull day – did not go out. Wrote numerous letters.

MONDAY MAR 5/45
Went for a long walk with Betty Sprawson. Knitting myself a pullover.

TUESDAY MAR 6/45
Andy at Ossington – failed B.O.A. awaiting posting.

WEDNESDAY MAR 7/45
Went to see Phyl Mitchell. Wrote to you. Cologne has fallen.

THURSDAY MAR 8/45
Busy day, did not go out.

FRIDAY MAR 9/45
Margaret and Derrick came – Andy here also.

[page break]

SATURDAY MAR 10/45
Went to the doctor, trouble with eye etc. Awful Cold.

SUNDAY MAR 11/45
David has troublesome cough. Did not go out, still feeling ‘not so good’

MONDAY MAR 12/45
M. & D. returned. Went for a walk with Betty Sprawson. Had a letter from Effie. Saw ‘Fantasia’

TUESDAY MAR 13/45
David not well – took him out during the morning.

WEDNESDAY MAR 14/45
Took David to the doctor – got medicine but already he is much better. Had my hair set. Andy still her.

[page break]

THURSDAY MAR 15/45
David greatly improved. Took he and Derek out in the afternoon. Went to see Pop at night.

FRIDAY MAR 16/45
Uneventful day. David fine.

SATURDAY MAR 17/45
Did not go out. Received parcel from Effie. Rompers – building blocks – H/chiefs etc.

SUNDAY MAR 18/45
Same as yesterday.

MONDAY MAR 19/45
Took David out – the fair here.

TUESDAYMAR 20/45
A cold day. Wrote to Effie.

WEDNESDAY MAR 21/45
Heard from Lois & Constance. Saw a wonderful film – Madonna of Seven Moons’ Stewart Grainger, Phyllis Calvert.

[page break]

THURSDAY MAR 22/45
Your father and Mrs L. here. Took David to Thorneydene and spent a very pleasant afternoon.

FRIDAY MAR 23/45
Dorothy, D.J. and I went to Leicester express purpose of buying shoes. Glorious weather.

SATURDAY MAR 24/45
Letter dated 22 Jan 45. Saw your people off on the bus. Big Allied air - bourne landing beyond the Rhine.

SUNDAY MAR 25/45
Lovely day – took David out. Derek and Dorothy came too. Spent the evening with Pop.

MONDAY MAR 26/45
Went for a walk with Betty. A lovely day.

[page break]

TUESDAY MAR 27/45
Our armies well beyond the Rhine. Surely the war must end soon. Do worry about you and wonder where you are. Took David out. Lovely weather.

WEDNESDAY MAR 28th 45
Feeling rather flat. Wish I knew more about you.

THURSDAY MAR 29/45
Took Derek and David to have tea at Pop’s.

FRIDAY MAR 30/45
Wrote to you. Went to see ‘The Man in the Iron Mask’.

Saturday mar 31/45
Saw Joan Johnson married. Horribly windy.

[page break]

EASTER SUNDAY APRIL 1/45
Still cold and windy. Margaret and Derrick came, returning tomorrow.

MONDAY APRIL 2/45
Took David to Thorneydene.

TUESDAY APRIL 3/45
News of liberated P.O.Ws keeps coming through. I feel so unsettled.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 4/45
Took David out. Cold weather.

THURSDAY APRIL 5/45
Went to Madge Broughton’s wedding – she married Pat Arsanault an American.

FRIDAY APRIL 6/45
The allies doing remarkably well. Keeping my fingers crossed.

[page break]

SATURDAY APRIL 7/45
Went out in the afternoon with Dorothy.

SUNDAY APRIL 8/45
Had an enjoyable walk after tea, all of us. Eat a big supper and went to bed early. Sent you photographs.

MONDAY APRIL 9/45
Had a walk with Betty Sprawson. Konigsberg fallen.

TUESDAY APRIL 10/45
Took Derek and David out. Wrote to your Pa and Ada Parker.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 11/45
Vienna, Hanover various other places fallen. Took Derek & David out. Lovely day.

[page break]

THURSDAY APRIL 12/45
60 miles from Berlin. Took David for a walk – lovely day. Wrote to Lois, Constance, Mrs MKinna & Chalky. Wish I could hear from you.

FRIDAY APRIL 13/45
Brunswick, Magdeburg threatened fallen. Lovely day. David had his first injections against diphtheria and whooping cough. Took him to Thorneydene, Aunt Ida sent lovely toys. [underlined] President Roosevelt died last night. [/underlined]

SATURDAY APRIL 14/45
Received toy bear from America. Oflag 79 liberated – so anxious about you. Spent the evening with Pop.

SUNDAY APRIL 15/45
Busy all day did not go out. Gorgeous weather.

[page break]

MONDAY APRIL 16/45
Stalag 357 11B liberated. Cannot rest – no sleep – just wondering. Took David down the park with Betty and John.

TUESDAY APRIL 17/45
Nuremberg entered.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 18/45
A lovely day. Magdeburg fallen. Thinking of you – very worried.

THURSDAY APRIL 19/45
Took Derek and David out in the morning. Leipzig fallen.

FRIDAY APRIL 20/45
My last red cross parcel returned. Took David to Thorneydene. Anxious for news.

SATURDAY APRIL 21/45
Russians shelling Berlin. Feel miserable. Cold today. Nuremberg fallen.

[page break]

SUNDAY 22 APRIL 45
15,000 P.O.Ws liberated, anxious about you. Went over to see Pop at night.

MONDAY 23-4-45
Shirley’s cousin home from 357. Had David photographed. Cold.

TUESDAY 24-4-45
Russians attacking immediate outskirts of Berlin. David not well.

WEDNESDAY 25-4-45
Took David out but he is only fair. Met Ken Twilley home from overseas.

THURSDAY 26-4-45
Took David to Thorneydene. Walter Lee took snaps. Berlin cut off. Bremen fallen.

[page break]

FRIDAY 27-4-45
Ken Twilley came in. I went to see ‘A song to remember’

SATURDAY 28-4-45
Marlag Milag Nord released. Hitler reported ill and Himmler offered unconditional surrender to ourselves and America – not Russia.

SUNDAY 29-4-45
27,000 P.O.Ws liberated at Moosburg. Munich captured. Terribly cold weather – snow etc.

MONDAY 30-4-45
V.E. day expected at any time. Saw ‘Sunday dinner for soldier’

TUESDAY 1-5-45
Hitler reported killed in Berlin. Admiral Doenitz taken his place.

WEDNESDAY 2-5-45
Unconditional surrender of Germans in Italy. Berlin captured by the Russians

[page break]

THURSDAY MAY 3/45
Andy came on leave. Goebbels reported to have committed suicide. Anxiously awaiting news.
FRIDAY MAY 4/45
Unconditional surrender of North Germany, Holland and Denmark signed at 6-20 p.m. With effect from 8-0 am DB summer time tomorrow – Camps 3A and 4B. liberated.

SATURDAY MAY 5/45
I keep wondering about you, do wish I could get some news.

SUNDAY MAY 6/45
V.E. day imminent.

MONDAY MAY 7/45
The prime minister to broadcast tomorrow. 1800 P.O.W’s brought home.

[page break]

TUESDAY MAY 8th 45
[underlined] V. E. Day. [/underlined] Unconditional surrender of Germany to ourselves, America & Russia. Prime Minister (Winston Churchill) spoke at 3.0 p.m. the king at 9.0 p.m. Lancasters landed in Germany – brought back 4,500 P.O.W’s. Everywhere decorated and looking very gay and festive.

WEDNESDAY MAY 9/45
Tonight J & W. came to tell me [underlined] you are in England [/underlined] Won’t attempt to express what it means.

[page break]

[list of finances and recipes]


Collection

Citation

J Layne, “Joan Layne's diary covering the period her husband Wally was a prisoner of war,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 8, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/30842.

Item Relations

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