12th August 1942
Quiet night last night. Trained from Ardleigh this morning, lovely sunny day. All along the line men were traving corn, most of the cutting is now finished.
Joanna came in early, to say she was finished [with her work as a Women's Land Army Supervisor for the Essex War Agricultural Committee]. Her father saw Bevin’s Secretary, McCorquadale, yesterday, and had a most unpleasant interview. McC. refused to be in any way helpful. His sister-in-law happens to be a best friend of J’s, and it is of course possible that he is afraid things might be said. He practically admitted that the Man Power Board had taken notice of the local gossip in the town [about Joanna's Women's Land Army work]. The result of all this is that the Chairman is enraged and embittered and Joanna does not intend to do any more work. She is particularly hurt because a report sent up from Writtle [the Essex War Agricultural Executive Committee] stated that she did no manual work.
At lunch time today figures were put on the Casualty Board showing that 36 patients were killed at Severalls Hospital, 4 can't be found, and 19 were hurt. Every one women, all patients.
Heavy rain this afternoon. Very bad for harvest. Went out with Mr. Craig to see Maypole Farm.
This evening cycled to Lawford, and got in at 8. Cloudy, and looks like more rain.
Pasted into this page of E.J. Rudsdale's Journal is a handwritten letter which had been sent into Rudsdale's office at the War Agricultural Committee by one of the Committee's farm labourers. In the letter, the labourer informed his employers: 'I am having 2 days off because of loseing my dear young daughter at Severalls.' Rudsdale must have felt the poignancy of this tragic family story to preserve the note in his journal and it still maintains its resonance today. CP