26th May 1944

Warm, cloudy, and intermittent showers.  Strange absence of aircraft all day.

Tea at Last’s, and then to Benham’s office.  How strange to go into the dark panelled back room, the long windows shrouded with hanging creepers, a vast litter of books and papers all over the floor, the hideous revolving bookcase, filled to overflowing, the old familiar scene that I have seen a thousand times since the day I first went there in 1927.  But now the mahogany chair, with its horse-hair seat is empty, the same chair in which Sir Gurney Benham's brother, Charles Benham, died with dramatic suddenness in 1929.  There is a little brass plate on the back of it recording this.

Spent three hours among a welter of dust and papers.  Discovered a beautiful copy of Morant’s ‘Colchester’, with Wegg’s bookplate in it.  There were also two sets of the Essex Archaeological Society Transactions, one not quite complete, which Hervey said I might have.

Collected about 300 miscellaneous Essex and Colchester prints, many of which are not in the Museum collection.  Hervey Benham is keeping all the main Colchester histories and guide books as a reference collection for himself.

Back to Boxted 10.30, very tired and dirty.  Still cloudy, wind light, S.W.

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