1st January 1943 - New Year's Day

Up at 7, to find New Year’s Day streaming with rain, which continued with varying violence until 5 o’clock this evening. 

We received notice this morning that my salary has been raised to £4.10.0 per week, making £234 a year.  This is the most I have ever earned, and is 30/- a week more than I was paid at the Museum.  I have over £200 in the Bank, which I firmly refuse to invest in any Government savings schemes, and my superannuation money.  My horse, trap, harness, etc, must be worth quite £100 at present day values, so I must account myself well-off.  My expenses are small.  I expect I spend more on horse-keeping than I do on myself.

I still remain a Special Constable for shelter duties and I am glad to keep my warrant-card and steel-helmet, either of which might be useful in an emergency.  By very great good-luck I have never been conscripted into the Home Guard.

Of all the things which are now done in this country which make honest men squirm with disgust, I think the conscription of young girls into the Forces is the very worst.  One can quite realise that it is very necessary for girls who have never worked before to do so now, otherwise the country will undoubtedly starve, but to take girls of 20 away from their homes, and herd them together under conditions reminiscent of Reformatory Schools, is a public scandal, yet no organised attempt at protest has ever allowed to have been made. 

Today continued wet, but thank goodness there were no alarms.  Out at 5.15, and got back to Lawford in a fine spell, under a lovely wild, turbulent sky, red, orange and blue, with great ragged clouds sailing along behind me.

Telephoned Molly Blomfield tonight.  She told me her sister Joan is getting married next week to Gabriel Turville-Petre, I believe brother or cousin to Lord Petre.  He is a great Icelandic scholar.  I like Molly very much, but can never see her for any length of time, as she is so much engaged with her ambulance work and with the Claytons. 

Some of my agricultural notes printed in the “Standard” tonight.

Joy tells me that she met a woman today who had been to Huddersfield, and who was amazed to find that only one bombing attack had been made there since the war began, and only four people had been killed there.  This seems quite unbelievable.  I was under the impression that every industrial town in the North had been heavily raided, most of them many times.

Tonight the wind is becoming more and more violent, great gusts shaking the house like explosions.  It is warm and cosy up here, with the candle-light and a roaring fire.  


Anonymous said...


To help with the perspective of Rudsdale's life -

£4 10s a week £166.59 now

30s a week £55.53 now

£234 a year £8,662.68 now

£200 saved £7,404.00 now.

Mike Dennis

E J Rudsdale said...

Many thanks for these very useful financial comparisons, Mike. I am grateful to you for providing this information. It does help us to picture the reality of Rudsdale's income and savings in relation to our salaries today. Best wishes, CP