7th September 1944

Pouring wet day, with dirty black clouds scudding along from the NE.  Very cold.  All the unthatched stacks sopping, and the eaves dismally dripping, gutters gurgling mournfully.  Not a ‘plane anywhere in the sky. 

Diana has come back from holiday, so crept out and up to the Repertory workshop to see her.  She looked wonderfully well and utterly charming.  We made some coffee on the gas-ring and arranged to see her for tea.  Ran into Joe Percival in the High Street.  Told him how sorry I was that he was leaving, and the manner of it.  He made some vague and rather guarded insinuations against Frank Warren, who is of course the main source of the trouble, and also that the Chairman had supported Frank Warren’s irregularities.  Hard to believe this, but of course the old man is so violent in his likes and dislikes that some position may have arisen from which he cannot extricate himself decently.

More labour troubles this afternoon.  Engledow down again from Writtle, and much long violent argument about the Women's Land Army “basic wage”.  The pay people here are nearly out of their minds trying to cope with the idiotic insanities of Writtle on the subject of WLA pay. 

While Engledow was here another row blew up – one of the girls who was “disciplined” last week now complains that the foreman Cutting has called her a prostitute.  Engledow furious – “No man shall talk to a girl like that if I know it.”  To hell with the harvest.

Crept quietly out, and met Di at 4.  Had tea at the “Wishbone”, the only place open.  Had not been there since the days of Rose Browne, when the little cat had kittens on my mackintosh.


Anonymous said...


Can we assume when ER says he 'crept out' to meet and have tea with Diana that he was actually at work, so his absence would be questioned?

Previous entries give the impression that he had a very cavalier attitude to work and was often late, or did he just use the excuse of his OC duties?


Mike Dennis

E J Rudsdale said...

Hi Mike,
Thanks for your comment.
Yes when Eric crept out to meet Diana, as in this extract, he was taking time out from his work. By this time in the war his attitude towards his work for the War Agricultural Committee had changed and I think he was keen to resume his museum career, particularly as he had been declared unfit for military service earlier in 1944. This meant that he was far less enthusiastic or conscientious about his WAC role and as the allies appeared to be making good progress following the D-Day landings, he was anticipating the end of the war and a return to normality as soon as possible. His Royal Observer Corps work did contribute to him being late for his day job in this period and the other factor was that he hated to be inside a building during an air raid and his fear of the V1 raids often caused him to stay out of the WAC office if a raid was taking place.
Hope this helps,
Best wishes, Catherine