13th May 1944

Fine and warm.  Cuckoos in the plantation.  About 10 o’clock Poulter telephoned to say that Sir Gurney Benham had died last night.   This is the end of the great days of the Colchester Museum, and it is strange that Gurney, who was born before the Museum opened, has outlived all the others – Henry Laver, Wilson Marriage, Jarmin, Dr Laver, all gone, and now he has gone to join them. 
Slipped out just before 11 to go down to St. Mary Magdalen [for Annie Ralling's funeral].  Sat right at the back.  Quite a lot of people there.  Bright sunshine outside, and coalcarts and ponies going by, the bell tolling all the time.  They had the choir, four men and two girls, and the Revd. Spray took the service.  When the body was brought in, Mary and Dick Ralling walked just behind, then Dick’s wife with her little daughter Jane, looking strained and rather pale.  Joan and the son were not there.

The service did not take very long, and all the time aeroplanes were roaring over, and I could see the traffic going by in Magdalen Street.  Quite soon Annie’s little coffin came down the aisle again, and they were all away to the cemetery.  I followed on my cycle, leaving it a few hundred yards from the grave.  In just a few minutes the coffin had vanished from sight and the little group had looked their last look into the grave.  Mary looked terribly drawn.  Found myself wondering what will happen to the old black cat which I gave to Annie. 

Mary looked at me and smiled before I moved away.

This afternoon to the Library.  Accident in West Stockwell Street, - a policeman knocked from his cycle by an American staff-car.  He lay on the road, groaning loudly, while the ambulance men attended to him.

Rain began, and it became colder.  Went home to tea.  While I was there Father had a heart pain, and took one of the tablets, which seemed to give relief at once.  Miss Payne went off with Nurse Horwood to see the flowers on Annie’s grave. 
Noticed in lavatories in the town today – “No Leave, No Second Front.”  (All Army leave has been stopped for some time.)  Also in a lavatory near East Street, a lot of stuff written up in Czech.

Rain beginning this evening, very heavy, so hope for a quiet night.  At the “Marquis”, on North Hill, saw two-pony carts, with loose horses tied behind, and some dealers arguing loudly.

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