9th March 1943

Another lovely morning.  Slight frost.  The land all seems alive now.  This morning saw two teams drilling, and heard the noise of tractors all round.  Saw trolley loaded with seed potatoes going into one of Edward’s fields at Ardleigh. 

Disturbed morning, an official in again from Writtle, being a great nuisance, talking about unpaid accounts.  It is now regarded as the District Officer’s business to get in all bad debts, and Capt. Folkard refuses to do this.  He was phoning Writtle this morning about a farm labourer at Messing who was in danger of being called-up at 37.  

After lunch, a man from the Air Ministry came in, about taking another 40 acres at Langham, mostly on Park Farm, for a bomb store.  The Americans say they want this area, and it seems that the British Air Ministry have to give them exactly what they want.  This official did not like the Americans at all.

Out at 5.30.  Called at Library, and then to post.  Evening paper placards – “Germans Still Retreating”.  Cycled out by Crockleford.  Lovely evening.  Saw several teams drilling and harrowing on the way.  Huge bomber going over Bromley, towards the N.E., the fuselage glistening in the evening sun.  Small boys playing near Ardleigh Park pretended to be an AA battery, one of them shouting “Dont shoot until I say!”  And another “Look!  Look!  Friend or Foe?”

An old man and an old woman were talking over a garden fence near the Trowel and Hammer, a very ancient man with a beard sat in the sun at his cottage door, other men dug their gardens, and children played in the road.  A lovely peaceful evening.  All round the Settlement, children were rushing about the lanes on ramshackle bicycles.

Went in by the buildings and saw Robin.  He looks wonderfully fit.  Not much hay left.  I don't know what to do about getting any more.  Seems to be plenty of straw.

Fred’s cottage silent and deserted.  How strange that I shall never see Dorothy come out with her gay scarf over her head, carrying her milk can down to the farm.

Lovely sunset reflections in the pond, moorhens swimming across making wide ripples.  Joy was shutting up the hens.  Stopped to see the new calf.

Poulter called me down today to see four Bronze Age bronze bracelets, found at Navestock.  One is quite perfect, the others broken.  The complete one is about 3” across, and one of the broken ones is ornamented, the marks being lightly engraved.  All are made of heavy bronze, but of different thicknesses.

Benton came in while I was there, and saw them.  He then told the long story of the Berden beaker find, and how it was said that the skeleton had a bronze bracelet on its arm.  The men who found it were all in the army in the last war, and B. said “I prayed that they would all come back alive, so that I might question them about the find!”  He then went on to describe how he eventually interviewed each man seperately, and that their stories all agreed.  The bronze bracelet was never seen again.

This Navestock find is of course of great importance but I don't think Hull will take any notice of it.

Lovely night.  Heard some bombers going out.  When will this wicked war cease?  There is no sign of the end, in spite of all this talk of “post-war planning”.


Anonymous said...


Can you remind us who Dorothy was? She's not in your list of people, I remember a couple of references to her - or is it just another case of ER commenting on an attractive woman!


Mike Dennis

E J Rudsdale said...

Hi Mike,
Just for clarification, Dorothy was the wife of Fred Nunn who was a farmhand on the Parrington's farm at Sherebourne Mill, Lawford. A terrible tragedy that the poor lady died so young.
Thanks, CP