13th November 1944 - Shurlock Row

Fine, frosty morning.  Quite a number of stacks are up, all well thatched.  Remember what difficulty I had to get a thatcher round here in 1939.  The Land Army girl says the War Agricultural Committee sent round Italians to some farms, and they did quite a good job at thatching.  Many fields of stubbles not yet ploughed.

A cottage near the Schoolhouse, timber framed and white washed, has a curious design painted on the washed wall at one end, rather like two fern fronds.  Asked Margery if it was ancient, but she said “No, it's camouflage.”

Margery was talking tonight about Home Guard activities in 1940.  They kept a permanent watch from Waltham St Law steeple, day and night.  Margery and Mrs Bush had to go in daytime.  Nothing ever happened here, but at a church near Aldershot a Jerry plane attacked and machine gunned the Tower.  One of the two women there was hit in the leg and soon after women were withdrawn from watching altogether.

Margery got out an old photo album tonight and showed me photos of Father, Mother, me, Maitland, Aunt Het and Uncle Donald.  All of us 30 years younger.  Suddenly realised what a pretty little thing mother was, although she must have been about 46 when these were taken.  Realised too that it was just a year ago last night that I last saw her alive.

Saw myself in the photos, a little fair haired imp, grinning like a little goblin.  I had terrors in the night even then, but had too my “Guardian Angel”.

Margery has photos of 2 friends both killed in raids, one at Chelmsford, the other at Exeter.

Foggy tonight, and faintly glittering stars.

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