Diary From The Edge - Extracts

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pages 1-14

  Introduction   [author’s introduction and summary of world events in the 1930s on pages 1-12 of the printed edition]   Chapter 2: 1940   [summary of world events in 1940 on pages 13-14 of the printed edition]  

page 15 — January 1940

at Glatting January Monday 1st Today is my last day at Glatting [before going to Cambridge]. … As nearly all the snow has gone, I spent the day in my house [a small hut]. Mother came to lunch, we had hot sardines on toast and cocoa, and lots more toast and some Glatting nuts. After […]

page 16 — January 1940

Arrived back at 3.30 to find there is skating. I shall get my skates which were promised at Christmas tomorrow. WHOOPEE! [It was an exceptionally cold winter, and the flooded fens around Cambridge offered extensive areas for skating]  zsp   Wednesday 3rd … We got my skates and had them fixed [to] the boots. … […]

page 17 — January 1940

Thursday 4th Almost immediately after breakfast Margaret, Clara [a London evacuee, and her sister Lorna, were staying with us] and I set out to walk to Lingey Fen [to skate]. … To begin with, there were very few people there, but the number gradually increased. The ice was perfect compared to Grantchester meadows. … zev […]

page 18 — January 1940

… I played [ice] hockey with Leake and an air raid warden friend of his. Returned just in time for tea. zsp zfr Washed up supper and listened to Lord Haw-Haw [a propaganda broadcaster for the Germans]. … zdc zrd zpg [See note]   Saturday 6th There was quite a hard frost last night, which […]

page 19 — January 1940

Monday 8th Last night Tinker had two more fits, and the vet came at 5 o’clock to see him. zpt zil … the Bushells came to lunch. Afterwards we played ping-pong and at 2.45 they left. For the rest of the afternoon I learnt to knit—I am making a blue scarf. zhy zsp zcf Mr. […]

page 20 — January 1940

Monday 15th … Martin has gone to ‘somewhere in England’ to see the naval authorities about his hush-hush job. I will not see him until next holidays. …  zfl zhk José Cisneros goes off back to Spain tomorrow, he came to supper tonight—we will go to see him off at the station tomorrow morning. zrg […]

page 21 — January 1940

to Holt Friday 19th … After an early lunch Mommy took me to the station …At Kings Lynn we had to wait two hours, during which we went into the cabs of the engines … arrived at Holt an hour overtime. … ztv Wood, the new boy in the dorm, is in quarantine for German […]

page 22 — January 1940

Wednesday 24th … It seems I was wrong about our naval losses, another destroyer was lost by mine today, making 5 in all. All hands were lost, 175 of them. znb   Thursday 25th It thawed a lot today—all the roads are getting slushy and it is all wet everywhere. … In the afternoon I […]

page 23 — February 1940

about the election at Cambridge, and said he was a Conservative, BUT he knew who he would vote for, and afterwards he emphasised the But.  ztc zpl zfl I have kept my diary for one month now. zdw   Friday 2nd In the morning I had to take the absentees list down, as Sweet has […]

page 24 — February 1940

for Lent. It turned out, in the six o’clock news, that a man had found an escaped meteorological balloon and had dropped some cigarette ash on it. A very widespread and silly rumour. zro   Thursday 8th  … the head-master revised his statement of yesterday, saying that our Lent resolution must now be not to […]

page 25 — February 1940

chronometer [a very accurate naval clock] and some gas mask ends. S some uniform buttons. Lucky devils! zar   Tuesday 20th … Mr. R. drove us [three boys] and Mr. D’Aeth [a very nice Biology master who had been in a car accident a few days previously] to Cromer. … He [Mr. D] was going […]

page 26 — February 1940

looked injured innocence at him, the lying, double-crossing skunk that he is. More raids tonight?… zmb   Friday 23rd No; there were not any raids. It has now completely thawed, and we played beach hockey sometimes in breaks etc. … zmb zwr zsp   Saturday 24th … Con club this evening, Mr. D’Aeth was there […]

page 27 — February 1940

Wednesday 28th The latest craze is stilts, I expect I will make some … zgn [See note (a)]   March Saturday 2nd My birthday! I woke up at about 4 o’clock and opened the parcel – – A watch! a beautiful Mappin and Webb watch with a second hand … and a lovely velvet case […]

page 28 — March 1940

Sunday 10th Junior dorm a little rowdy before the bell went so I gave three people lines. … Frank sat with us at lunch. We discussed the war. zsd zwg … my last night in Junior Dorm for a week. A few people will have to report at 7.10; 7.15; 7.20 and 7.25, undressing and […]

page 29 — March 1940

Sunday 17th  Mr. A.C. Candler [physics master] preached in chapel. He preached a jolly good sermon I think—how Democracy is based on Christ’s teaching. … zrl zpn A miserable day, pouring with rain, so study rags [fights] started. We were besieged and had bad banana smeared on the windows. Mr. Spencer put all study members […]

page 30 — March 1940

Tuesday 26th … In prayers  the headmaster announced that as a war measure, straw hats and stiff collars would be abolished. I think we should have a bonfire. zsr [See note]   Saturday 30th … Freiter’s french period, and [we] tried to sing the Marseillaise, everyone ragged about. I’m afraid I haven’t been behaving very […]

page 31 — April 1940

Thursday 4th … Boston rang up and asked me round … He has a lovely Trix twin layout, and his mother had painted some very realistic scenery all round. He had lots of trucks etc. He also showed me his lovely gauge 3 steam engine, the ‘County of Northumberland’. That was a marvellous model. zfr […]

page 32 — April 1940

Tuesday 9th I rang up Boston and he came round and stayed for lunch. We sent the steam train once—she went very well, and then we played with Tinker and sat in the greenhouse. zfr zhy zmd zpt Horrible news! Germany has practically invaded Denmark and is invading Norway by sea. All her marines were […]

page 33 — April 1940

We went for a walk in the afternoon: through Scotchers Bottom and along towards the willow herb patch [this was in a crater, probably caused by an off-target sea mine. We called it the willow herb patch as this plant had been quick to establish itself, as in London’s bomb sites]. Just before we got […]

page 34 — April 1940

Monday 15th When I woke up (I was sleeping in my house) it was pouring with rain. It cleared up quite soon. After Margaret had drawn the fungus she found yesterday we went down to Sutton and bought lots of things. There was a hunt, and they were all outside the pub. Even the Armstrong’s […]

page 35 — April 1940

Thursday 18th David, Nora and I went for a walk. After finding a few pieces of pottery, we walked along the path right at the top of the sheep track—toward Scotchers Bottom. Just before we got out of the wood, we heard a crackling noise on the right of the path (in the big field) […]

page 36 — April 1940

went and collected the luggage … We met Daddy at the station (Liverpool St) and when we got back the family was complete. … John enters the navy on Monday. zfl ztv [See note]   Saturday 27th Not a very nice day, rather sultry and dark, but quite warm. … In the afternoon Margaret and […]

page 37 — May 1940

to Norfolk May [I spent three days sailing on the Norfolk Broads with 2 other boys in the charge of the geography teacher Mr. Bagnall Oakley.] zbo zwl ztc   Thursday 2nd The following notes are rather brief, being written a long time after … zdw   Friday 3rd … S there already. E not […]

page 38 — May 1940

River beautifully clear, had quite a decent run when the wind got up. We ended the day at the Ferry Inn, where we had supper + sundry ginger beers. zbo zfd   Monday 6th When we woke up it was a horrible cold grey day, and during breakfast it began to rain. We cruised about […]

page 39 — May 1940

Friday 10th 1st Austria 2nd Czecho-Slovakia 3rd Memel etc. 4th Poland 5th Denmark 6th S. and Central Norway 7th Holland 8th Belgium 9th Luxemburg!!! And we have landed troops in Iceland—’protective arrest’. Chamberlain not yet resigned [In fact he resigned on this day]. We are going to the help of Holland and Belgium. Parachute troops […]

page 40 — May 1940

Friday 17th Whoopee! My photos arrived by the morning post—the grebe  ones are very successful indeed … I also got:—a good one of my train, a nice one of Mother, a nice one of the river, a windmill, and one of P up a tree. … zph   Saturday 18th … I was told that […]

page 41 — May 1940

Tuesday 21st News a little better, the Germans have been checked and the Allies are attacking from opposite sides of the German-occupied bulge trying to cut them off. This is called the Battle of the Bulge. The German objective is the channel ports, as in the last war. … zlb In the afternoon [in cricket] […]

page 42 — May 1940

Saturday 25th Bathing will begin this weekend!!! Headmaster announced this in Prayers. … We played the Upper School again … I made 27 caught slips—my average is now 205/7. I also caught the last man on the fourth ball of the last over. … zsp I practically finished my S. Spitfire. … zmd   Sunday […]

page 43 — May 1940

Friday 31st A letter from Daddy in the morning. Right at the last moment the girls couldn’t go [to South Africa] as they couldn’t get permits. Nora is going to learn to be a child’s nurse (near Newcastle) and Margaret is going to do forestry with Uncle George (the bearded one) in S. Wales. Daddy […]

page 44 — June 1940

to Cambridge Tuesday 4th Woke up at about 5.40. … Station 6.40. … Very slow and boring journey. … Daddy home for lunch and Dr. Bassadone [and another Spanish refugee doctor]. John came down all in uniform looking very smart for two days leave. All the family had dinner at the Arts [theatre] and saw […]

page 45 — June 1940

I had a bathe, but when I got back Mommy put a much too hot fermentation on and I was told to lie down all day. … zsp zil   Friday 7th I had been aware of a noise which threatened to wake me up for some time when Margaret came in and told me […]

page 46 — June 1940

Margaret and I read aloud to each other out of the ‘Sword in the Stone’. Very sultry, good sky but no storm. zfl zbn zwr   Tuesday 11th I stayed in bed all day and made the Gloster Gladiator. After tea, trying to make the Spitfire look better I ruined it, and so sandpapered it […]

page 47 — June 1940

Tuesday 18th  P and F came, and we took my canoe down on the trolley and went canoeing. We had a battle and all got soaked (the others v. me). I then sunk F by the edge, he went right in. When I got to the Mill Pond, P was there having come by the […]

page 48 — June 1940

word ‘honeysuckle’. He got terribly worried about everything, and sounded as if he were going to cry all the time.  ztc zem We passed a cement lorry which had been burning for two hours, and had collapsed in the middle and was setting in the cement … We stopped at a guest house in Glastonbury […]

page 49 — June 1940

Wednesday 26th … I went down onto the beach to look for sea-anemones, then I walked toward Pentire Head with Wood. After tea we got about half-way to the Point when we realised it was about 4 mins. to house prayers. We ran, but were two mins. late, with about 15 other people who had […]

page 51 — June 1940

Friday 28th … After afternoon lessons and tea … we all tidied up, and gathered valuable scrap iron, which we conveyed nail by nail to a heap by the petrol pump about 80 yards away. … zhk   Saturday 29th The weather at first was horribly dull … but it cleared up and the afternoon […]

page 52 — July 1940

Thursday 4th The French fleet has largely come over to our side. 1/3 has been sunk because they opposed us.  znb [See note (a)] Treweeks has not got sunstroke but he hadn’t got diphtheria or scarlet fever either, but, worst of all, Infantile Paralysis! So we’re in quarantine with all sorts of restrictions.[Infantile paralysis was […]

page 53 — July 1940

Sunday 7th A beautifully slack day. A bathe at 10.15, lovely in, but there  was a cold wind and it was raining when we were dressing, which was horrid. zsp zwr After lunch … Wood and A and I went along to the Point again. We walked about and tried to take photos of ma […]

page 54 — July 1940

I got a letter from Daddy asking me to write in ink legibly, also from Mommy. I’m sorry. zfl   Wednesday 10th … After rest I fished for Blenny and got a 5inch one which I managed to put back. Up with bent pin and cotton! … zwl News—naval engagement in Mediterranean. We sighted two […]

page 55 — July 1940

I heard from Mommy in the morning. I got the robin photos (quite good) and my Identity disc. All well and busy. Also Punch. zfl zph zwn   Thursday 18th … In biology we … saw little transparent fish which we don’t know what are. We saw a small crab changing its shell. zwl After […]

page 56 — July 1940

Friday 26th … In MT we dug the beginning of an Air Raid shelter. … zar   Tuesday 30th … English, in which we discussed about whether we should declare our Peace Terms now. … zwg After lunch we went to the rehearsal. During our bit I felt extremely sick and dizzy, and had to […]

page 57 — August 1940

Sunday 4th I was rather tired all day. Harry [a friend of Martin’s] was there, he is going into the navy as a wireless operator, and has just got his uniform. … Harry went on the 2.5. We brought a woman RAF Sargeant who had missed the train back, the next train being at 5.4. […]

page 58 — August 1940

Friday 9th We have now shot 60 not 53 down. 27 dive bombers. We lost 16, and three of our pilots are safe. zam … went out to tea with Dr. Hopkinson. We went to the Bird Sanctuary before tea—it is quite dry, and about 5ft of nettles nearly everywhere. zwl Gladiators in Libya shot […]

page 59 — August 1940

We began to pack. … [See note]   to Glatting Friday 16th Mommy drove Daddy, Tinker and me to the station. The journey to London was uneventful but crowded. … As we went out of Purley or somewhere, the air raid siren went, we pulled down the blinds but nothing happened. … We got to […]

page 60 — August 1940

About 560 planes down in a week. zam   Tuesday 20th … We began removing [receiving furniture] in the afternoon. A lorry plus van came, there are six more to come! zmh zdc zfl   Wednesday 21st Two more loads in the drawing room. I helped a bit …  zdc zfl I went for a […]

page 61 — August 1940

argument with one of them about brass buttons; he had 130 pieces of brass on his equipment, not counting his uniform. He had been in the last war, and was in favour of plenty of ‘spit and polish’. We arrived at the Mullaly’s at 7.45, to find Daddy waiting for us, getting worried. After supper […]

page 62 — August 1940

Tuesday 27th A six hour air raid in the night. Nearly all the neighbours were in the shelters—we went to sleep. In the morning I went and bought some ironmongery in the Borough High Street, the man was very shocked to hear that we’d been asleep, and then I had great difficulty in finding my […]

page 63 — August 1940

Saturday 31st We came downstairs at about 4. We heard two bombs—whistle bump!, they must have been about a mile away. The windows shook. Just as we were on our way back to bed the all clear went. zar … to London Bridge where we met Mommy and Daddy, who had had a very noisy […]

page 64 — September 1940

Thursday 5th … We went to Francis house at about six. Francis was on duty as a special constable [these were civilian volunteers recruited to stand in for or supplement regular police]. … zhk zfr   Saturday 7th  … I took Bassadone up past the Rising [a spring in the woods] and then on to […]

page 65 — September 1940

to Newquay Tuesday 10th Daddy rang up in the morning to say that the shops below the flats had been blown in, but that he was alright. I went to the station, got there at 10 o’clock and my train didn’t leave until 11.45. Awful train, very crowded, full of evacuating slums. One mother told […]

page 66 — September 1940

Last night Christopher Wood at about 10 o’clock, came and talked to me for about 2 hours. He came to warn me about not making friends older than yourself, and then we talked for about an hour on religion. It was much easier to talk seriously in the dark. He had quite good views, although […]

page 67 — September 1940

Sunday 22nd … A notice to the Home Guard. … ‘A situation of acute alertness remains’. Several people were out all night …  zsm [See note]   Thursday 26th … After Prayers I went up to Mr. Parsons’ study and he gave me a new boys’ jaw. [I had now moved to Woodlands House, where […]

page 70 — September 1940

Sunday 29th … In the evening the seniors were playing a game like this: on the ground they laid out straws, representing railway lines, with bottle tops for oil dumps, pennies for AA guns and a line for a secret weapon. Then they walked up with three darts and dropped them like bombs. They totally […]

page 71 — October 1940

were absolutely soaked. My pocket was even filled with water. Then we went higher and got soaked by an even bigger wave. zwr   Tuesday 8th In double Chemistry I was holding a test tube about half full of iron filings, sulphur and sulphuric over a bunsen burner, when somehow I spilt it all over […]

Page 73 — October 1940

Tuesday 29th … In Corps we nearly all had rifles, first we went down by the road to the Bay, then we Ordered, sloped and presented arms in the Gym. I had to stand to attention most of the time, while one of the five without rifles had mine. We marched back up the path. […]

page 74 — November 1940

Sunday 3rd … In the evening I went to a camera club meeting. Mr. Oakley showed us how to touch up prints and how to project negatives on to paper and  shade them in. He did two very good drawings. Very easy. … zph zcb ztc   Tuesday 5th … In Corps we had a […]

page 75 — November 1940

I found later that he had dived onto a Hun, his engine [had] stalled and he had got out of control, poor chap! zam zwc [See note (a)] In the Session Woodlands match we beat Howsons [another senior house], despite the efforts of Mr. Candler (the referee) who gave them at least 20 penalties. Everytime […]

page 76 — November 1940

Monday 25th A terrific sunrise. Stubs of cloud of all colours from pink and orange to deep purple surmounted by a light turquoise sky. … Immediately after rest I biked to town and was innoculated. Didn’t hurt at the time, but rather stiff afterwards. … zwr zmt zcy   Tuesday 26th … In the evening […]

page 77 — December 1940

had ‘breakfast’ consisting of half a small soup plate full of arrowroot and stewed apple. Read Jamaica Inn and dozed until 1.30, when charcoal and medicine repeated. More arrowroot and apple at 2 o’clock. … Ravenous … I am very annoyed about being in the San. This is my first whole day off school for […]

page 78 — December 1940

Wednesday 11th … After tea I took up the height measuring machine to the Pentire. Weighed and measured: 7 stones 7 lb (down!) and 5ft 6¾ (Up!). zpa   Thursday 12th … I read in my room. Chris [Martin Wood’s brother] came in and asked me a question which I was to answer lately—Martin was […]

page 79 — December 1940

to London Tuesday 17th Up at 5 o’clock, and after breakfast we got on the bus at 5.35. Two buses (Kenwyn and Woodlands) pretty full. A lovely moonlight morning. When we got there the train wasn’t in; when it came I didn’t get a seat, nor did the Woods at first. We started fairly punctually; […]

page 80 — December 1940

Friday 20th …The AA fire which we heard was two bombs near Petworth station. … After supper we played Beggar’s Opera and Gilbert and Sullivan records on the gramophone. Heard a few bangs and planes etc. zar zmu Monday 23rd … In the morning Francis, Tinker and I went and fetched two christmas trees and […]

page 81 — December 1940

Monday 30th Up early because of Daddies train … [In the evening] Daddy rang up. Every block in Guy’s  hit, and he had to walk back from Victoria. Few casualties.  zfl zar zwc No planes in the evening.   Tuesday 31st … I read most of the day. In the morning I biked to the […]

page 83 — January 1941

at Glatting January Wednesday 1st … I had to go to lunch with the Armstrongs … After that I had to go for a walk with Joan up Farm Hill and back via Glatting. Found a burnt-out incendiary bomb; she got the fin, but I got some melted middle. Otherwise very boring, hardly talking at […]

page 84 — January 1941

Tuesday 7th … the mist cleared, and all the trees above a certain well-defined height appeared a lovely silver-grey. It was very beautiful … zds The news wasn’t much except that our mechanised forces are at Tobruk [a Libyan port]. Quick work! … zwf zlb   Friday 10th … I took Tinker up on the […]

page 85 — January 1941

Sunday 12th … At 11.5 Daddy, Miss Wilkinson, Tinker and I went for a walk. We went up the shepherds path, and at the bottom of Farm Hill we turned right and went round until we got to the Chichester road. Then we went up through the piggeries, and onto the Bishop’s ring hill. Just […]

page 86 — January 1941

Thursday 16th … we packed up the car with skis and sledges, and at 12.30 started off to the hills, via the house … of some friends of the family called B-R … we had lunch and went off. A simply lovely place, crowds of the people came, all staying with the B-Rs … zol […]

page 87 — January 1941

the existence of a God is unnecessary (e.g. as a Creator). This could be worded much better. [Later addition:] On looking back on this I think it’s a lousy thought. zrl zpy   Sunday 26th … At 10.30 Cruickshank, G and I went to the Gannel bird-watching. We saw snow-bunting?, a black-headed gull (not black-headed) […]

page 88 — February 1941

parts in Toad of Toad Hall. I may be Rat, rather a big part, but it ought to be quite fun … zth [See note (a)] MW had a 50 min Winter jaw in the evening. zfr zsd   February Saturday 1st … I tried to make marionettes’ bodies. zth zcf I went and had […]

page 89 — February 1941

Friday 7th Benghazi captured. Italians running very fast. … zwf zlb Played a pretty lousy game of hockey. I hit Aldridge’s bottom very hard with a hockey stick. He hit mine quite hard enough! … zsp zfg   Saturday 8th … I had to go and see Winter. He asked me if I had spoken […]

page 90 — February 1941

blood. He lost his left eye, and two days after the operation he went to get another photo. He didn’t get it until the following year, and he showed them to us, and while he was taking the last the tawny owl dashed at the hide and knocked the camera over! … zac zwl zph […]

page 91 — February 1941

Monday 17th … we went to a voluntary religious Passion play, by the Pilgrim Players, called ‘the Way of the Cross’. I hadn’t meant to go, but forgot to give my name in, and I enjoyed it when I was there. Mr. Trevor was acting. It was with practically no scenery, with wonderful acting. I […]

page 92 — February 1941

Thursday 27th …  In JTC we had an indoor parade, Frank talked to us. We had some cake after that. zct zfd There is an oiled up red-throated diver here now, but 3 guillemots and a razor bill have all died. When I came up from 3rd prep, Winter was in the room, he had […]

page 93 — March 1941

RJC, Gerry and Wood and I went to the Gannel; I photographed a red-throated diver, and saw a coal tit. I am not going to put down what I saw fully as it is in my bird notes. … zfr zwl We were read to in the evening—rather a horrid Edgar Allen Poe. zbn A […]

page 94 — March 1941

Friday 14th … They were firing the guns on Trevose Head at a target. A lot of talk about invasion; there will certainly be a hellish lot of air raids. We did the biggest [raid] on Hamburg and got 11 of theirs down. 3 by ‘other means’. zwp zar zwe I walked back by myself […]

page 95 — March 1941

Wednesday 19th …Winter gave me a notebook with extracts from a book called ‘The imitation of Christ’ by Thomas Kempis with his comments as they applied to me in particular. I did not have time to read it thoroughly today—there are pages and pages. Very interesting to have someone trying to ‘convert’ me—it enlarges my […]

page 96 — March 1941

Sunday 30th … Hawkins and Smith went to St. Evell and between them got about 120 rounds of m.g. ammo, 6 Verey lights and a few bits. Good hunting! zwp zmb   Monday 31st My trunk went off in the morning. … several people went on the Norfolk bus at 4 o’clock. … I read […]

page 97 — April 1941

… After lunch I tidied up and arranged my dark room … the dark room lamp Mommy has got me is lovely, but has only a yellow filter so I can’t develop yet … zph On [a] walk … I got several pieces of bomb, and we visited the land mine hole where there were […]

page 98 — April 1941

Wednesday 9th … I did a little homework, fed the animals, and then got on with the Beaufort—quite well. zpt zdc zcf zmd After lunch we did some gardening, first planting potatoes where Margaret’s and my gardens used to be, and then burning. zdc zfd … The raid last night was very heavy, on Coventry. […]

page 99 — April 1941

[dentist], and had to wait one hour, during which I had a hair-cut. He said that my teeth were very good, and didn’t do anything. zmt I went to Daddy’s room, and waited until he came at 12.40. Margaret arrived at about one o’clock, with a painful front tooth. We had lunch in a very […]

page 100 — April 1941

round Scotchers bottom, down and up the valley, and back through the woods via the rising. I saw the first swallow. … zfl zwk zwl The windows shook a lot in the evening, and we saw a glare towards Portsmouth and Chichester, saw AA shells bursting and heard a few bombs (not nearly as many […]

page 101 — April 1941

Friday 25th … After lunch I lit a fire in my house, and read the ‘Dark Invader’ there all the afternoon. Daddy read theoretically, actually sleeping most of the time. zbn zfl We are (as a country) just completing another ‘brilliant rearguard action’ in Greece; to come, is our evacuation of Iraq when Germany enters […]

page 102 — May 1941

May Thursday 1st … Great excitement before breakfast when I saw a (supposedly) migrant pair of ring-ouzels. I tidied up my house in the morning and locked it up—it’s an awfully nice little house. zwl zdc Mummy, Daddy, Margaret, Tinker and I went for a lovely walk to the wild valleys. On the way back […]

page 103 — May 1941

single line Southern [i.e. not Great Western main line] track. Saltash bridge had received a near miss. … zar The country round Dartmoor—vast undulating stretches of dead bracken, with occasional stone cottages accompanied by stone hedged fields. Here and there tough, scraggy little sheep ran loose, otherwise there were no living things but birds. Further […]

page 104 — May 1941

Thursday 8th I was isolated in the San because my mother had German measles, but I was not ill. Teachers brought me work, and I could go out on my own. zfl zil … PSN [the headmaster] came to see me … Pointed out that it was all very silly, but if I wasn’t isolated […]

page 105 — May 1941

Tuesday 13th … Strange news—Rudolph Hess, 3rd Nazi chief, has arrived in England, by ME 110 [a German fighter] and parachute, of his own accord. He was taken by a Scottish peasant, to whom he said how lucky he was. The Nazis say he is mad—our doctors say that he only has a broken ankle. […]

page 106 — May 1941

The other poem I wrote turned out 34 lines long—it’s quite fun writing them when they come out nicely. I might put that (anonymously) in the Grasshopper [the school’s literary magazine]. zwt znw Nice news, 20 germans down in East, Duke of Aosta asks for terms, as Amba Arlagi (spelling?) is surrounded with 7000 men […]

page 107 — May 1941

Sunday 25th … Fearful news—HMS Hood sunk off Greenland—magazine hit and few survivors. znb zwc [See note (a)]   Tuesday 27th … Beautiful news, after hours of chasing we’ve got the ‘Bismarck’. Crete rather bad. znb zwe zlb [See note (b)]   Wednesday 28th …In corps we did Ceremonial—marching past and eyes right etc. There […]

page 108 — May 1941

Friday 30th … In the 12-1, RJC and I biked to the gulls nest, and I photoed the chick just emerging (its foot was through). zwl zph After tea we changed, and did the same as yesterday, only better and more fun. Pretty warm work. We ‘mopped up’ the Bay [hotel] yard on the way […]

page 109 — June 1941

The news is just foul; we got 15,000 men from Crete, with very considerable losses, the Huns had complete air superiority. This whole war is just awful. zwe zlb zwc zam zwg   Friday 6th … The [JTC exercise] plan didn’t work according to schedule, so it was good fun. Only about 12 men of […]

page 110 — June 1941

Ugh! Most of what he said was untrue, I haven’t done much for the house, but haven’t had much chance; by ‘objections to criticism’ I suppose he means looking bored (Hah! arrogant air!) when told to point my shoulder at the ball, or brush my hair. Hah! The jaw lasted about 10 minutes. ztc zsd […]

page 111 — June 1941

clothes, and got there in under an hour. We weren’t allowed in (although the sentry was very decent), so we got boring bits of Blenheim to show we’d been. From Porth, RJC, S and I raced, as we thought G might come and wake Wood for H[oly] Communion. We got back about 5 mins before […]

page 112 — June 1941

Then the enemy appeared and began to fire at us. I replied while Smith reported to Platoon HQ. They advanced along the skyline, under fire from two brens (tins and stones) and about 3 rifles. Then they charged down a field and huddled in a hollow. I stalked up—wizard fun—and chucked two grenades in the […]

page 113 — July 1941

Thursday 10th … We drew veronica flowers in Biology. I had shooting and I shot 50 rounds. My first score (the first in my life) was 20; I managed to get a second try and got 31 which was better—quite fun. I found it difficult to close the right (i.e. left) eye at first. zsa […]

page 114 — July 1941

said that the old school tie was a damn good thing, that the other people were jealous; there! UGH !!! I felt quite sick. The headmaster made a pathetic speech too. … zcl zsw zop ztc I am sharing with Cruickshank next term NOT Wood or Smith iii . … I will be relieved now […]

page 115 — July 1941

known as her ‘April shower’ as he wets his bed most nights. Funny little boy…[‘Eric, or Little by Little’ was the title of a moralistic Victorian novel about a boy at boarding school.] zev zop   Wednesday 30th Home! After getting up, having breakfast, moving on the thirteen rabbits and putting out the goats … […]

page 116 — August 1941

Monday 4th … we posted a parcel and collected some foxglove leaves to make a drug with (the government have asked for them). When we got back we went and spent the morning mending leaks in [the dam of] Glatting lake. … zfl zhk zdc Mommy got furious with the telephone in the evening, as […]

page 117 — August 1941

Saturday 9th Quite a nice day. After breakfast I showed Mr. East round the garden and gave him an archery lesson. Mommy gave me the air pistol, and I played about with that until lunch time. … zhy zwp After tea I went and tried to shoot a rabbit—I tried, but from too far off. […]

page 118 — August 1941

Two people came to see us [about the chickens], saying that we’ve 10 old, and 7 pullets worth keeping. They dissected (tore apart!) one which died recently—either a parasite or avian TB. zpt zsa   Thursday 14th … At 3 o’clock I listened to an important announcement by Attlee—it was a statement of our Peace […]

page 119 — August 1941

After lunch we were going to go for a walk,  but when we got as far as my house we decided to stay there. We lit a fire, and chiefly Daddy and Joe [a visiting friend] had a discussion: is there any purpose in Nature? … zfl zp zhy   Tuesday 19th [In London] … […]

page 120 — August 1941

“Crikey! There must be a war on.” zam zgk   Sunday 24th … I typed part of an ‘airgraph’ letter to John, hard and slow work. Churchill spoke at 9 o’clock—not as good as usual I thought, and so mean to the Russians. The Americans are vile! The Russians are holding the Germans all along […]

page 121 — August 1941

We had parsnip wine at supper to drink John’s health, it being his birthday. zfd zfl zcl   Sunday 31st A real summer day. We left Glatting at about 10.30 and picked blackberries. When we got back I read in the sun, Mommy bottled 29 lbs of blackberries. zwr zfd Another of Margaret’s fellow timber […]

page 123 — September 1941

Tuesday 9th Daddy, Bindeman [a friend staying for the week] and I spent most of the morning carting wood in the trailer from by the pylon to the woodpile. Quite tiring. Then I read. After lunch I did Russian, and after tea we picked and de-stalked elderberries. zfl zhy zdc zru zfd News: we’ve landed […]

page 124 — September 1941

Thursday 18th I spent the first part of the morning puttying my house up, and most of the rest lying under a groundsheet waiting to photograph a cole-tit … when he went in the right place the first time the string stretched and did not work the shutter, so I moved the ‘hide’ (a groundsheet […]

page 125 — September 1941

Thursday 25th Instead of MT we had to dig potatoes; the machine didn’t arrive so we did it with forks, and got a jaw from PSN for clod throwing.[The school had cultivated a potato field.] … zhk zfd zmb zsd   Friday 26th … lecture on Rec. patrols and army ritual in JTC … I […]

page 126 — October 1941

from Daddy and Soviet War Newses [a newspaper-format weekly issued by the Soviet embassy in London]. zfl znw zpg   Friday 10th News rather depressing—[Germans] 120 miles to Moscow, decision a matter of weeks or months. I get nasty feelings in my stomach when I think of it. I wish I could help somehow, and […]

page 127 — October 1941

Thursday 23rd … A practice and then a short very fierce game on the beach—my training’s a little better, but certainly isn’t good. I got a letter and some Soviet War News from Mommy. News—more evacuation— slowly falling back, but the army remains fairly intact (i.e. not cut off). zsp znw zpg zru zlb   […]

page 128 — October 1941

Tuesday 28th Very windy. I went along to Splash Point in the break—lovely, I just got hit once, the spray was very beautiful. We had a lecture on 3 in. mortars in the afternoon—interesting. … zwr zwk zct zwp War fierce, but weather slowing up the Germans. zru zlb zwr   Friday 31st … Blitz […]

page 129 — November 1941

Tuesday 4th Cold. A good JTC thing—a demonstration of a platoon in battle order. They [visiting soldiers] unpacked the plat[oon] truck etc. and went to positions, then they formed up and all came forward, saying what their respective jobs were. One poor fellow was terribly nervous, with his legs shaking, and besides that he could […]

page 130 — November 1941

Saturday 15th I got a parcel from Mommy containing badger books—I am lecturing next Saturday evening … zfl zwl zlu After tea we went to the music recital. We heard a warning siren in one interval, and a little later a plane roared over towards Newquay, followed closely by a whistle. I was just going […]

page 131 — November 1941

News—we are launching an offensive in N. Africa, which I hope may divert a few Germans from Russia. Army, RAF, Navy, commanded by Cunningham, Conningham, and Cunningham! Good luck to us. I smashed stones with a hammer all the afternoon—good fun. zwf zru zsu [See note]   Friday 21st … News—fierce fighting in Russia. We […]

page 132 — November 1941

v. successful present system—collective farms, industry, education etc., but most people won’t take it in. … zru [See note]     Thursday 27th … News—still ok. Another big tank battle in Libya—we may just about encircle Cyrenaica. Russia—fierce fighting—casualties up to day: Germans—5-6 million, Russian 2-3. zwf zru zwc   Friday 28th We did message […]

page 133 — November 1941

All have equal chances in education, all can have any ambition. Colour equality by law (practical christianity). No-one profits by war (—nobody will want war then). Sex equality. 7 hour working day, 1 day in 5 free. 2 weeks paid holiday (more rec. time for coalminers etc). Free and efficient medical service for all. Representatives […]

page 134 — December 1941

December Monday 1st … Nice news, a Russian victory has recaptured Rostov, and the Germans have fled right back to Mariupol—about 100 miles. We’ve cut the Tripoli road in Libya (Tripoli-Benghazi) and we’re just out to destroy the armoured forces of the enemy first. … zru zlb zwf Max talk in evening, telling me that […]

page 135 — December 1941

Wednesday 10th HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse [British capital ships] have been lost! Depressing—POW  brand new, best out. Japs doing OK. All round. … znb zws   Friday 12th News a bit better—Luzon landing party smashed, most of P. O. Wales and Repulse crews saved. Americans have sunk a Jap. battleship, a cruiser and […]

page 136 — December 1941

Dec. 16. [Answering the question “what is happening?”] Odessa is taken—few Russian casualties. The Russians are doing a grand general offensive. America and Japan are in—and Japan is doing too well—as must be expected. zwg zru zws [See note]   to Glatting Tuesday 16th Up at 4.30—rush, crush etc. and we didn’t get a compartment. […]

page 137 — December 1941

After lunch I biked in to Petworth, to fetch shoes from the cobbler (a good Red), and to get an emergency ration card for Nora. When I got back I helped finish the de-husking of corn. zdc zrn zpn   Sunday 21st A dense mist all day. … we all, except Mommy and Nora, went […]

page 138 — December 1941

Tuesday 23rd … After lunch, I saw a sparrow-hawk pounce on a sparrow in the barnyard, which was kind of it, as I happened to be looking at the time. … at 4 o’clock three girls came to knit. In the evening I started a child’s mitten, doing about 2″ of ribbing. zwl zcb zcf […]

page 139 — December 1941

glass, butterfly net, 3d notebook, comb, 3 [collar] studs (Margaret and Mommy) and two books (Miss W, Daddy). zcl zfl We went for a short walk before dinner—warm and sunny. I spent the afternoon knitting, and reading. A nice peaceful sort of Christmas. zfl zcl zcf News. Russians still advancing, Benghazi captured. zru zwf zlb […]

page 141 — December 1941

[Written inside the back cover of the 1941 volume]   In Memoriam—Archibald—Obiit 17/8/41   Here lie I—a green grass-hopper. My wants were few, my conduct proper. Born in a field, I came to pass My latter days ‘twixt walls of glass. They gave me flies, though rather few; I gazed upon the lovely view From […]

page 143 — January 1942

at Glatting January Friday 2nd At 12.30, Mommy, Margaret and I drove to Rapleys [cycle shop on the Chichester road], where we caught the 1.15 bus to Chichester. We arrived there at 2 o’clock, and went straight to a flick. Not bad—last half ‘Bombay Clipper’ (complex) News, trailers, and Charles Laughton, Deanna Durbin, in ‘It […]

page 144 — January 1942

[evacuees who had been away since Christmas] at London Bridge and had a very fast train back. ztv zev   Wednesday 7th … only two knitters arrived. Even if they don’t still come we’ve got about 11 little sweaters, a few mittens etc. zhk zch zcf   Saturday 10th Daddy and another Austrian Professor called […]

page 145 — January 1942

Monday 12th … Awful near the end of the holidays. Margaret goes on the 16th too, poor Mommy being here all alone. And [talk of] invasion in the air (and by it too—ha ha) which makes it WUSS. I personally don’t think it’ll come off, but if it does, I’d far rather be here, where […]

page 146 — January 1942

Thursday 15th The last day at home. … I could not help crying a bit in the evening—It’s so awfully lovely here, and at school it’s all the same, with the loud, unsympathetic, uninterested people, and never anything exciting. The next generation must have good, co-educational day schools—as it will (if) when we go socialist. […]

page 147 — January 1942

… Germans trying to disappear in Mojaisk sector—complaining that the Russians are unfair—roar around on dog sledges with MGs [machine guns], and disappear before there’s time to wake up. zru zlb My height is 5ft 10 1/2 inches and I weigh 9 stone 3lb. 1 case scarlet fever. zpa zil   Wednesday 21st Mojaisk [70 […]

page 148 — January 1942

Monday 26th … A tug came and took away the cargo boat, which had I believe a bust propeller. … zgk In chem at the end RJC was looking down a piece of glass tubing when Smith accidentally knocked the other end … RJC had his eye bashed hard, and as it turned out he […]

page 149 — February 1942

I hope Mommy and Daddy are having a nice weekend. zfl Wow! Enter Max inquisitive. Asks after RJC’s eye, kicks part of my barricade—the tuck box, and half stoops to look (from RJC). Exit Max, thank heaven. Wowch! another alert. Enter G, for 30 mins., during which Max comes twice, once to give G a […]

page 151 — February 1942

Saturday 7th … A free afternoon for warships week [fund-raising campaign], in which I went to town, had a hair-cut, saw the march past, looked at the school toy shop (awful high prices!), bought a book ‘How to draw birds’ (2/6d) and also a loaf (3½d) … zpg zch zsh In the evening there was […]

page 152 — February 1942

New World symphony in Music club. zmu I’m still on good terms with RJC, and I expect am outwardly still much the same, but I find myself sometimes being a little lonely, and often rather melancholy, because nobody here shares my interests—those in politics and the future of the world. Everyone here is so self-centred, […]

page 153 — February 1942

Then I had a hot bath and read ‘Gone with the Wind’—what a lovely book—the only trouble being that no other novel will be so satisfying to read. zbn Debate at 8.15—’This house looks forward with dismay, distrust to conditions in post war England’. Candler moved—rather useless to look forward with dismay I think—rather hope […]

page 154 — March 1942

March Monday 2nd My fifteenth birthday. I didn’t expect anything, but I got a packet of pounds of food—cake, biscuits, sweets and cheese (S. Africa) and also £1—which was very naughty of Mommy. In the evening I got a wire from Margaret—’nearly forgot, parcel follows’. … zfd zcl zfl There was a film show by […]

page 155 — March 1942

Tuesday 10th … Great excitement (this should be yesterday, but I forgot)—a card from Michael Adams, a prisoner of war in Germany Stalag  111e, to whom, in a fit of boredom, we wrote last term, having seen a request for letters in the Times. A nice letter—ours made him laugh—captured last July after floating in […]

page 156 — March 1942

We bumped, jerked, swayed and it was grand fun. No. 5 platoon’s driver was the best as far as speed was concerned, which was lucky. zct zmo Letter from Mommy and article by Daddy on State medicine  [proposal for a National Health Service]—very good. zfl zhp [See note]   Thursday 19th A lovely spring day. […]

page 157 — March 1942

and good book [a novel about a mining community in the north of England]—he can make people hate his characters. zbn A debate—’This House distrusts freedom of speech’. A lot of pointless drivel, below the usual standard, but just worth attending. zdb zpn   Sunday 22nd This was about the happiest day so far this […]

page 158 — March 1942

Roseveare’s section, so they withdrew to the Pentire and were advancing down Pentire avenue when the bugle blew. zct zlb zfg zwp zma Result so far unknown, but their plan was upset by recruits’ liquidation, and our line being further back than was expected. Quite good fun, but as always, too few umpires. zct zlb […]

page 159 — April 1942

Wolfes (spelling?). The family consists of a mother, a son (at Eton!) my own age, and an awful French woman who writes novels with Mrs. Wolfe. zfr zop The son didn’t seem as bad as he might be—which of course is not saying much. Actually we didn’t talk much as we were usually on opposite […]

page 160 — April 1942

Saturday 4th After elevenses Daddy, Mommy and me went out with lunch. We lit a very successful fire in the quarry (flint) on the far side of Sodgers bottom, where we ate our sandwiches and drank our tea. Then we were peaceful for a bit, and having thoroughly extinguished the fire, walked back by the […]

page 161 — April 1942

I saw 2 legs and a dog ahead. We withdrew strategically. … we began to bike back, but stopped to see how wavy it was at the top of various pine trees. It was, very, and we descended with haste. We then returned, and I biked on home—he seems quite nice really, despite Eton. zfr […]

page 162 — April 1942

Still, there’s nought to be done but work hard for the final victory not of the British Empire, but of Communism—a fight for a new, real civilisation, without our present systems, where selfish exploitation with its resultant poverty walks hand in hand with mealy mouthed expressions of Christianity. The church is a useful shield and […]

page 163 — April 1942

Daddy and I went for a bird walk along Rhinehurst Bottom. We saw or heard whitethroat, blackcap, chiff chaff, willow wren. Also a possible nuthatch. … zfl zwl zwk News. 12 Lancasters made daylight raid on submarine engine factory in S. Germany. 4 lost S. of Paris, 3 after dropping the bombs. On the evening […]

page 164 — April 1942

Friday 24th . … At 4 o’clock we arrived at the Hut and with various helpers pinned up all the pictures … After supper (hurried) they carred and I biked down to the Hut, and I received the 3d [at the door]. About 40 people turned up, the takings were 11/3 (Children 1d). zcb zlu […]

page 165 — April 1942

Sunday 26th … We took lunch up on the downs, and had it near the keeper’s hut at the bottom of Farm Hill. This is possibly going to be purchased (£10) for a lab for Margaret. zwk zcg zfl zsa While the 3rd cup of soup was being poured out a piece of string appeared […]

page 166 — April 1942

Margaret [four years older]—and above that the only females I know are over 20. Co-education, however, will make schoolboys lives more normal. zfl zse zey [See note]   Monday 27th … after talking to Raymond, Nelson and George in the village, I went in to lunch at the Wolfe’s. Before lunch we sent (he was […]

page 167 — May 1942

Daddy would have been like I do not know. The book was lovely, the film was as lovely and tragic as the book. Both Anghared (lovely name) and Bronwen were very beautiful, and Bronwen was acted terribly well—after her husband’s death her “There’s lonely I am” was impossible to hear without crying. Films are wonderful […]

page 168 — May 1942

remarks. She was really quite pretty. Anyhow, my confusion showed how female-shy I am. … I wrote home, not all that miserable. … ztv zem zsy zse   Sunday 3rd … As Daddy and Mommy disapprove, I will not cut chapel anymore, but will read there. … zrl zmb zfl   Monday 4th … Little […]

page 169 — May 1942

carriers engaged etc. Gullible hon. housemaster tells terrific tales of whole fleets sunk for only three planes. … zro znb ztc [See note] Letter from Mommy—one of our (gallant) night fighters brought down a Stirling [a British bomber], the crew landed all round Glatting, but Mommy found none. All safe. Did not dare show flares […]

page 170 — May 1942

Very good, optimistic Churchillian speech 9–9.30—the best I’ve heard from him. zpl zrd   Monday 11th … A p.card in the break from Daddy—poor old Mommy got acute appendicitis, rushed off to Hove (whence Daddy was writing), had successful operation and I wasn’t to worry. I managed not to on the whole, sending her a […]

page 171 — May 1942

enthusiasm. Then, if he tries to stop me going—well! I shall disobey Mommy’s advice—to side step— and oppose it as she advised John and Martin. … zsd zsp zmb   Friday 15th … In MT I had to greatly modify my plan of the electric shutter release, as it was too tiddly and complicated. It […]

page 172 — May 1942

only let me go 3 times a term. He said my attitude was typical of the socialist haves to the havenots—I got livid … and asked just what he thought he meant, and told him he was talking utter rot. He got a bit annoyed and soon left. zag ztc zsd zpn   Thursday 28th […]

page 173 — June 1942

Biggest raid ever on Cologne, more than 1,000 bombers, all in 90 mins., one bomb each 6 seconds or more. Blimey. zar zwg   June Monday 1st … I went to Frank in the first part of prep to have my maths paper corrected. He wants to get Daddy’s opinion about his arthritis of the […]

page 174 — June 1942

Thursday 4th [A visit to the Marine Biology station in Plymouth.] [on the train] we passed through some lovely country—hills with tiny valleys criss-crossing, and all the slopes thick with either oak or larch or fir. When we got there, we bussed through the remains of the town to the Hoe, where we sat on […]

page 175 — June 1942

a ? grasshopper warbler had been seen. He asked Max—Hah! Course not. Much too much to do. B can go, no one else. They did hear the bird. The important alternative proved to be a one hour’s fielding practice. The man has a blighted soul… zwl zsp   Thursday 11th [Truro schools’] festival is a […]

page 176 — June 1942

Saturday 13th [To Truro festival again] … I went with W, who had a date with a member of Benenden, and in this manner I gained a new experience—how to talk about nothing to comparatively pretty girls. After much manoeuvring we got into the neighbouring compartment, whence we went into the corridor. About five girls […]

page 177 — June 1942

inequality, and suggested that we should find out about the injustices. Very good. zpn [See note] Wednesday 17th … 5ft 11 ½ inches,  10 stone almost [140 lbs.] … zpa After tea I had works—mowing the Bay lawns again. No shirt, great fun. I enjoy hard physical labour if it don’t last too long and […]

page 178 — June 1942

suppose it may mean a sea evacuation, in which John’s boat may well take part—and his relief hadn’t arrived in his last letter. … zlb zfl zsl   Monday 22nd … Sevastopol holds. Tobruk has fallen—25,000 of our troops with it—not exactly exhilarating. John may have to help in the evacuation, if there’s time for […]

page 179 — June 1942

Thursday 25th Field day … I was with three other blokes, all of whom were temporarily put out for ten minutes. Then we advanced along a stream, ran into a machine gun post, which I managed to grenade … we later did it again, and were ourselves killed for a short time. After that casualties […]

page 180 — June 1942

Monday 29th Letter from Mommy—Martin came [home] for 1 day—tired but glad to be so useful … zfl Battle of Mersah Matruh in Libya. zlb zwf   Tuesday 30th Speech day. … Last night we had another very interesting Soper woffle, which altered many of my views slightly. … I wandered round the exhibitions—Physics, Biology, […]

page 181 — July 1942

Friday 3rd Grey, damp day. Astounding news, Rommel has withdrawn some way westwards. I hope we keep him there. zwr zlb zwf School cert. timetable went up—not too bad. … zex [See note]   Sunday 5th .… we … rushed off to the meeting place [with the Benenden girls]—by Trenance. However, half way along the […]

page 182 — July 1942

decided to all write letters, which we finished just before prep. … We suggested seeing their headmistress to explain, or failing that, writing to her and asking if she minds. Rather amusing developments, but I hope not too distressing for them. zso zse zmb zsd   Wednesday 8th … News—Russia, poor, back on Don River, […]

page 183 — July 1942

As for politics, we’re in agreement and sex repression makes us both livid. 2 bodies of youths living in separate compartments, doing the most ridiculous things to try and obey their instincts and meet each other, while narrow minded fools tell them that its silly and wicked. zpn zse zsd   Sunday 12th … I […]

page 184 — July 1942

Monday 13th … a letter for me from J, in reply to my letter telling of my beliefs etc. It was a very nice letter, and she is a socialist, which is good. However, she holds some strange reincarnation theory about future life—I will argue about this when next I see her. …  zfr  zse […]

page 185 — July 1942

Tuesday 21st … English essay—I wrote I believe fairly successfully on ‘Keeping a diary’—which I ought to know something of. … zdw zwt zsw   Thursday 23rd … Geography B—Synch … Latin 2—Synch. Swimming sports in the afternoon. … Biology II not too bad. FINIS !!!!!! THE END ! Clouds of relief, walking on air. […]

page 186 — July 1942

Tuesday 28th Up at 5. Down to the station with AWW to see the girls off. We did, being observed by many of their mistresses and by Max. … zse zso After breakfast went to station again to meet Margaret [my sister, who was going to cycle with me back to Glatting]. zfl Log of […]

page 187 — July 1942

exhaustion, so we stopped by a main road and ate lunch under an elm to the roar of lorries and a nearby ‘drome. zcy zmh … after Axminster began the quest for somewhere to spend the night. This proved fruitless, so at 7.30 we ate supper in the gutter of a main country road (the […]

page 188 — August 1942

We went along a slightly hillier road from here towards Romsey, and already all accommodation was advertised by queues of cyclists. We had a large supper of tough steak, and biked on losing all hopes of bed. zcy zfd … we decided to spend the night out, so after losing our way leaving Winchester, we […]

page 189 — August 1942

at Glatting   Monday 3rd … Margaret and I went and helped Martin clean his car in the morning, getting soaked on the way there and on the way back. zfl zdc zwr zmh The news recently has been very bad; the Germans have crossed the Don at Rostov, and are overrunning the Caucasus, but […]

page 190 — August 1942

Friday 7th Drizzle after 12 o’clock, with quite a lot of wind. Many stooks down. I stooked and re-stooked from 9-11.50, and then had lunch. zwr zhk Everyone except Mommy and George was out for a walk miles away, and arrived late, having stopped to cook some soldiers’ dinner. Talking of soldiers, a Canadian artillery […]

page 191 — August 1942

Tuesday 11th News—Riots in India, 100 members of Congress arrested, crowds fired on. Chaos. I suppose that the govt. had no alternative when the mass civil disobedience campaign was started, except to quit India which is hardly practical. … zbe zpn   Tuesday 11th [sic—in parts similar to above, with variations] Shocking up—with one Hugh […]

page 192 — August 1942

Saturday 15th … Tom Garland and family left at 9.30—taken in the car to the station by Mommy—we get 4 gallons a month now. At 9.40 Mrs. Shiner called to fetch me, and she dropped me and Hugh at the bottom of Duncton hill. We walked on for 40 minutes until the bus caught up. We […]

page 193 — August 1942

Said Churchill to Stalin “I think you’re a darlin’.” Said Joseph “You’ve said it, But a 2nd front would be more to you’re credit.” zwg zpn   Wednesday 19th Cooler day. I was woken at 7.30 by Margaret shouting excitedly “Mommy! Mommy! We’ve started a Second Front!”. I leapt out of bed saying “Good God!” […]

page 194 — August 1942

Wednesday 26th … we went to two really bad films—but not bad enough to be funny—’The Man who came to Dinner’ and ‘The Stork Club’—both Hollywood at its worst. The news had some quite good Malta convoy pictures. … zfm zwe   Thursday 27th … 2 exhausted soldiers (Canada) came in for a wash, eventually […]

page 195 — August 1942

After supper we all (except Nora who doesn’t like alcohol and is having a fit of depression) drank John’s health. Nice having all these people in. zfl zcl zfd zil zem   Monday 31st …Margaret and I spent the whole morning cleaning and greasing Martin’s car—quite fun, and we worked together, better than usual. (There […]

page 196 — September 1942

Sunday 6th … [Daddy, Nora and I]  went up Farm Hill where we basked and collected blackberries, seeing two interesting birds—a redstart and  my first nightjar. On the way back we collected rubber salvage (half a tire used as pheasants’ drinking trough, pre-war), which I had to carry and roll; and I arrived back hot, […]

page 197 — September 1942

Friday 11th I spent the morning doing various jobs and reading ‘I Believe—the personal philosophies of 23 eminent men and women of today’ (George Allen and Unwin 15/-)—it is extremely interesting. zdc zby … went and bathed with David … but it was rather spoilt by the fact that they were building corn ricks (or […]

page 198 — September 1942

Wednesday 16th … Henry and I left for Petworth quite early, leaving the accumulator [battery] to be charged at Rapley’s. In Petworth I changed his Ration card for Emergency coupons, and also bought some canker lotion for Tinker’s ears. We then had some nice cakes and coffee at ‘The Hobby Horse’ (6d) (he paid). After […]

page 199 — September 1942

Saturday 19th …An ailing rabbit gave Henry a chance to dissect one, so we dislocated its neck and cut it open. The intestines—to our delight—contracted still, and if pinched went tight:     Then when he opened the thorax, we found the heart, distended, still beating. Soon only the right auricle was working and eventually this too […]

page 200 — September 1942

Wednesday 23rd … I’m in the Upper 5th form. … I read A.S. Neill ‘That awful school’ (Summerhill). Interesting, but I’m not entirely in agreement with it. I started to read André Maurois ‘The Art of Living’. 3.30-4.45 potato digging—quite fun really. zsr zbp zey zby   Thursday 24th Work began, but much nicer work. […]

page 201 — September 1942

Sunday 27th … biked off to the Dome (Mr. Candler) for lunch … walked back. I saw paddling A and J [from Benenden], and grinned half-heartedly at them. On the way back to school we ate our last wartime ice-cream. … ztc zfd zfr zhy [See note] Music Club. They played Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. I […]

page 202 — October 1942

Thursday 8th … I read ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’ [by George Orwell]. zbp We were supposed if pos to make toys—I don’t know what to make, and I don’t fit in with the atmosphere of the house storeroom (carpentry place). Max would say ‘aloof’—I don’t know—I think it’s a form of shyness really, and […]

page 203 — October 1942

I read two books today—’The Road to Wigan Pier’ and ‘The Lion and the Unicorn’—both George Orwell. He’s very prejudiced against Russia and English Communists, the latter partly excusable, but he does not see the good and potential good in Russia. Socialist however, and thinks we’ll not win the war until we are (Lion … […]

page 204 — October 1942

Tuesday 13th … News—Stalingrad lull over (one day only), counter attacks in Caucasus. We sit. The British paper in Moscow publishes a photo of pigeons being fed in Trafalgar Square (typical, but hardly propaganda!). zru zlb znw zpg   Wednesday 14th 3 studies [private study periods]—having no Chemi books and having read the Physics book […]

page 205 — October 1942

tea. Wandered about Truro eating chips. … Saw a bad case of rickets—horrid. zil zwk zfd … debate ‘Little boys should be seen and not heard’. 1st K—poor; 2nd B—good; 3rd M—good speech, reactionary and irrelevant; 4th F., then G, H, me. My first speech. Probably inaudible. I said that M’s conservative ‘good old days’ […]

page 206 — October 1942

education]’s as bad re: militarism. (Another point) It’s painfully obvious that complete disarmament at the end of the war is essential. zpn zey zwg zrc   Thursday 22nd … we discussed with Mr. Candler the Yugo Slav who spoke in Soc. Soc. last night. … [Mr. C] spoke to him afterwards, and brought out two […]

page 207 — October 1942

God’ll save it at the last moment; and the wicked Russians will perish by their own mustard gas, the exact symptoms of which are described in the old Testament. Pathetic and silly. zrl zgk   November Tuesday 3rd … I read a very good book by a journalist—’North China Frontier’—about the Chinese Red Army. … […]

page 208 — November 1942

Saturday 7th … Colts [under 16s]  match here, v. Truro, at 3.15, with the Dome [Mr. Candler] as referee. He had strange ideas of the rules, but they were at least the same for both sides. …  zsp ztc Today is the anniversary of the October [Russian] Revolution. Twenty-five years, I think. There are many […]

page 209 — November 1942

News. Americans doing OK, but coastal batteries and naval forces of Vichy France are opposing us. Rommel still flees, with awful bombing of Halfaya pass. Scare headlines in Telegraph ‘Only 28 tanks and 20,000 men left’. If it is true, or only exaggerated x2, it looks pretty hopeful. A lull at Stalingrad, which is dwarfed […]

page 210 — November 1942

been very wise, good, industrious and immoral. He told good stories marvellously well—he must have been quite a lad besides working hard before he got the nervous disease. … ztc zsw zil zgk zop [See note (a)] News—assault again on Stalingrad where the Volga freezes. Halfaya pass captured … Bardia and Tobruk reached. … zru […]

page 211 — November 1942

Tuesday 17th … JTC—I have now a battle dress, minus spats and forage cap. First we had a talk by Major Low, who turned out to be none other than Prof. A.M. Low [physicist and radio engineer]. It was a lecture on how to avoid boredom by observing nature—very good, with frequent humorous interludes. Then […]

page 212 — November 1942

was cured 48 hours after diagnosis by one of the new drugs [sulphonamides]. … zfl zmt Got the Webb’s ‘Soviet Communism, a New Civilisation’ from the school library. … I want to look up points on: individual freedom, the part of workers in Industry etc.—partly to see how right it is, and partly to learn […]

page 213 — November 1942

‘Another time’—some are a bit deep, some are very nice, some are funny. Anyhow I enjoyed a lot of them—I thought before it was rather drivel. zpo When I re-read the diary for the end of last term, I feel tempted to tear it up—but the fault is not mine. The first experience of the […]

page 214 — December 1942

Sunday 13th … prep, reading more of ‘The Art of Living’, André Maurois—I like his section on growing old, and his one on leadership is good. zby zbf There is so much in life to do—books to read, music to hear. …And then there’s the general task of trying to put an object in life […]

page 215 — December 1942

Wednesday 16th … In Chemistry we had a happy little sing-song with Oscar [Hughes], starting with carols, and gradually descending . … zsw ztc zmu [We were given] essays to comment on—I liked Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Soul of Man Under Socialism’—however bad an advertisement Oscar Wilde may have been! zbp zpn zsw   Thursday 17th […]

page 216 — December 1942

… we played silly but amusing games and danced in between. (S)Cylla taught me very patiently (and probably on her part painfully) [the dances], and everyone else I danced with was very kind and patient, and I was doing a good deal better at the finish. Taylor played us some things and Hales did a […]

page 217 — December 1942

Tuesday 22nd … Listened to the Brains Trust in the evening—I’d never done so before—Joad sounded like you’d expect. Good news, Russians on Don still advance—almost a rout. Rommel nearing Tripoli. zrd zop zru zlb zwf [See note]   Thursday 24th Another lovely clear morning. Daddy, Margaret, David Wolfe and myself went out in the  […]

page 218 — December 1942

… the two soldiers we’d invited from Duncton searchlight post arrived for Christmas dinner … they soon thawed and started a conversation which lasted for nearly ten hours (!) with breaks for meals. Dinner was magnificent with tomato soup, two pheasants and very fine pudding. Also parsnip wine. zfl zso zad zhy zfd zcl … […]

page 219 — December 1942

farm, and anyway is producing much food here. Everyone was plunged into gloom …  zwr zco zhk zfd zfl zem So ends the old year. This time last year I wrote: what does next year hold for us? Invasion? Victory? This year I can repeat it, but thanks to Russia, the invasion should be of […]

page 221 — January 1943

at Glatting January Saturday 2nd Martin was expected all afternoon … he rang up from Pulborough at 7.0, and was fetched. Very tired and nonreceptive. I always used to feel awed by him, and imagined that he was contemptuous of me—probably quite unwarranted, but I’ve never really been at ease with him—or John. zfl zop […]

page 222 — January 1943

working on a very important piece of apparatus which will make safer bombers, and it can’t go on without him. That’s two war casualties in the family. … zfl zhk zwc The village brains trust took place at 7 o’clock—Daddy on it, we went (O wicked ones!) by car—it was very wet and Daddy’s not […]

page 223 — January 1943

… Martin was allowed to get up for supper, and was much more cheerful under the influence of young female company. … zfl zil zem [With my parents] had a long heart to heart talk on sex—at school and personally. … zfl zse   Saturday 16th … Roger [who had come to stay] and I […]

page 224 — January 1943

On the train I heard that M [a fellow pupil] had killed himself with explosives [making fireworks] in the holiday—I was not really surprised, but rather shocked. One can only be sorry for the parents. It will act as a deterrent to other similar experiments. … zac zop I’m in the same room, with AWW, […]

page 225 — January 1943

Wednesday 27th … News—Stalingrad army [German] is now practically annihilated, Churchill and Roosevelt meet in Casablanca—Stalin unable to come due to being C-in-C etc. Max suggested at lunch that this was because “Dictators never like to leave their controls”—which started a long and heated argument. zru zlb zag zpn   Friday 29th … Martin went […]

page 226 — February 1943

Standards [in physical training], unchanged, in the gym, lasting ten minutes. I did six press-ups—distinction, and only two rollups—pass. zsp Then Roger and I went to the Gannel—a very high tide, so we rock-clambered along and returned, due to the rain, to quote Shakespeare, wet (Tempest, Act 1, Scene1, enter Mariners, wet). Dogfish in Biology, […]

page 227 — February 1943

Saturday 13th Another Saturday. Usual sort of bad hockey game 2nd, PSN ref, me wing and I was very glad when it was over. … zsp Music Recital: Taylor, after a dissertation on the power of the Modern Trinity—Press, Radio, Cinema—played Bach, quite nice. zmu A very poor and silly Debate ‘This House believes in […]

page 228 — February 1943

Beveridge report debate [in Parliament] has gone two days. … the House is very eager about getting on with it—it looks like a crisis, and govt. defeat if they don’t give. … zpl [See note]   Friday 19th … The House of Commons rejected the Labour amendment [not to postpone proposed improvements in social security] […]

page 229 — February 1943

with Sir William Beveridge who is not too unsatisfied with reception [of his report]. zpl zpn [See note]   Wednesday 24th Soc. Soc. was the Bishop of Truro on ‘Vocation in life with special reference to the clergyman’. … He spoke at length, grinning broadly,  emphasised the leisure and cultural attractions of the C. of E., […]

page 230 — March 1943

… played the gramophone and read part of ‘Cripps, Advocate and Rebel’ by Patricia Strauss. … zmu zbp [See note]   March Tuesday 2nd Sixteen years have passed since first I saw this earth. Today was not an inspiring anniversary—a dull grey day with dull, grey periods and JTC. A letter from Margaret … promising […]

page 231 — March 1943

Friday 5th News—Jap convoy of 8 transports and 10 warships completely destroyed off New Guinea, also some 60 aircraft. For the loss of three planes, so the story goes. … znb Nasty accident in London during alert—people entering tube when woman in front tripped, all fell on her, people behind pushed, and 167 people or […]

page 232 — March 1943

Tuesday 9th Am reading ‘Between the lines’—a book on the newspaper propaganda, by D-T (Mr. Denys Thompson, late master here)—very good. … zbp zpg znw [See note]   Saturday 13th I went down to town, bought a book ‘Red Star over China’ by Edgar Snow, about Chinese communists and the Red Army there. zbp … […]

page 233 — March 1943

Books from lecture other day arrived ‘Christian approach to Communism’ [by Tiran Nersoyan, an Armenian Christian priest in America] which seems very interesting. zbp zrl zpn Gramophone after tea—2nd Movement ‘Clock’ Haydn is very lovely. I wish I could write down everything I think. zmu zdw   Saturday 20th … I read ‘Christian — Communism’ […]

page 234 — March 1943

to work etc.—I’ve a good mind to write to him asking why, as he left immediately after that statement. 14,000 extra deaths per day of war. zwp zwc zwg   Tuesday 23rd … My last music lesson this term with my friend Mr. Taylor—a nice man. The school play should soon be casted—I wonder what […]

page 235 — March 1943

 to Glatting Tuesday 30th Up at 4.45, pack, breakfast, feeling happy, and then a long wait in the hall. At 5.40 we rang the bus station to find that no bus had materialised, and as the train was six-five, most started to walk … only 39 there [in time]. Hence a very comfortable journey. ztv […]

page 236 — April 1943

Mommy got back [from Tooting] about eight o’clock; we talked happily round the fire. I’m sure family life is one of the best things in life. zfl zop   April Thursday 1st … Mommy, John and I went down to the village to shop, John and I going to see Mrs. Francis—who was very thrilled […]

page 237 — April 1943

shrunk and semi-paralysed, with a terrible squint and unable to talk; his big toe curved up when the sole of the foot was tickled. Also he had bedsores. My first patient—unpleasant, but much worse for the parents than for him—their only child. zfl zmw zil After tea we went up the Gully at the bottom […]

page 238 — April 1943

happy wedding—he’s an awfully nice brother. … My diary is now going to separate into (1) account of lectures etc. and (2) what I did the rest of the time. zop zdw [See note]   [The following entries were written after the conference ended.]     CHELTENHAM CONFERENCE Tuesday 6th Opened by Mr. D.L. Lipson M.P. […]

page 239 — April 1943

There is no need for unemployment. Is the plan materialistic? Idealism essential—rich countries must make sacrifices. People who are now comfortable do not like change—youth’s drive and courage is needed. zic zlu zep zrc   Wednesday 7th Science and Society, Dr. Cecil Powell. A decisive epoch has come in man’s history as a result of […]

page 240 — April 1943

tendency—combination not competition. Monopolies are interested in the producers—the consumers must be represented in the management of industry. Production must be subject to public criticism, workers must influence control. … Shareholders not to be dispensed with—state control increasingly but not ownership. …  zic zlu zep zrc   Brief Diary of Life at Cheltenham. When I […]

page 241 — April 1943

at Oxford Monday 12th Mommy was waiting on the platform—had been for a long time. We caught a bus (crowded as everything is) and had lunch in a British Restaurant [serving wartime economy food]. … ztv zmh zfl zfd zwn We then bussed to Daddy’s department and took him to a flick—quite funny—Arthur Askey, ‘King […]

page 242 — April 1943

Wednesday 14th I spent the morning shopping and seeing an exhibition of Paul Nash ‘Applied Design’ at the Ashmolean; his ordinary designs were nice, but dirty old bits of map and snakeskin and bark are just silly—we were very openly irreverent—I liked one painting, the forest of Dean. zsh zat Then we waited for Daddy […]

page 243 — April 1943

Desperate, I tried to ring up Margaret [C], being the only person I knew in Oxford—but they were not in the book. Now hopelessly distrait, I ran to the police station who were unsympathetically unhelpful. … zfl zem A lady in the digs was very helpful and comforting when I somewhat tearfully (I know it […]

page 244 — April 1943

to Glatting Monday 19th [To Glatting via London] … we went to see [Nora]—a long tram and bus ride to Tooting Broadway. She was in bed with fear—of people and new things and her lack of book knowledge—her only escape, and the only way she becomes important, is by illness, and she probably convinces herself […]

page 245 — April 1943

surrounded by well camouflaged Canadians, one of whom jokingly said “Do you know you’re liable to get shot walking in front of us like that”. We risked it as they were only using blanks. zfl zwk zss zso zdg … cauliflower cheese for supper, and outburst from Mommy on our lack of hilarity, which we […]

page 246 — April 1943

business, and we jolly well ought to pay back our debt by spending some time on the next generations. zpn   Monday 26th … I went down to the village in the afternoon and fetched the paper from Mrs. Francis—who told the latest gossip, such as the editor of Picture Post walking down the road […]

page 247 — April 1943

was brought (!) to us, and then we collected parcels and things to the house.  [Beveridge, who was head of the College was lending us his house] zfl zfd I read rapidly Saki’s ‘The unbearable Bassington’—witty and clever. Sad last-night feeling. … zbn zem   Friday 30th … goodbye to Mommy. … Not too happy, […]

page 248 — May 1943

Monday 3rd … I fetched a JTC wireless set  from Pentire, for my practice and familiarisation [I was now in the signalling section and involved in maintaining a radio link with the Pentire hotel]. Then mowing, and then a Biology extra, 6-8, cockroaches, including the setting of the mouthparts thereof. … zct zsg zsu zsa […]

page 249 — May 1943

This is definitely Roger’s last term, as he’s going to a Scottish University to read medicine and can’t take 1st MB from school. Next year will be lonely—but busy if I’m to get my schol[arship to Oxford]. zfr zca zmw zem   Sunday 9th The gale remained, diminishing, but there was brilliant sunshine … [Roger […]

page 250 — May 1943

Thursday 13th Africa cleared!! Hurray for that anyway. Europe—when? zlb zwg The day cleared up to warm afternoon and clear lovely evening. In Leagues [non-serious cricket] I excelled myself, bowling [Mr.] Dodd (satisfaction!) and two others, and making 41! … I almost enjoy leagues, but I don’t think cricket matters, and it’s inclined to be […]

page 251 — May 1943

Monday 17th … Divers jaws to house by Max. I think the school system is wrong because, public opinion [i.e. the pupils] having no say, nobody troubles about the organization of their community. An autocratic rule is useless to train democrats—I think school councils in each form and for the whole school are the answer; […]

page 252 — May 1943

… being free after tea I went out and read ‘Poems of this War’ by Baker’s Folly wall. Some I liked. Feel uncomfortable and unsettled today. … zwk zpo zem   Saturday 22nd News—Announced from Moscow that the 3rd International has disbanded itself on the proposal of the executive, due to the impossibility of meeting […]

page 253 — May 1943

Here we discovered Beacon Cove, where I went years ago with Mr. Candler—a grand steep sided, real, romantic Cornish cove, caves galore, a stream coming from inside the cliff and stalacmites. The towering cliffs were awe-inspiring, and imparted a sense of foreboding. zwk zds We sat on a flat sheltered rock for lunch during which […]

page 254 — May 1943

Friday 28th … Argument in Divin[ity] on jingoism of pamphlet read by PSN in chapel. … zrl zpg zag Kuban [in southern Russia] fighting on again—strong Soviet attack. Lots of raids on Sicily and S. Italy. zru zlb zar   Monday 31st … It is amazing how we have come to accept the air war—in […]

page 255 — June 1943

wondering seriously about the YCL [Young Communist League] for me. zpn As for the question of CP–Labour Party affiliation … the CP is essentially different to Labour, the latter is purely an electoral body with general agreement (woolly idea’d too) on policy in the terrible (they [the Labour Party] regard it almost like that) eventuality […]

page 256 — June 1943

hard, hungry (we’re adequately fed though) and on the whole enjoyable. Would like some sun. zhk zfd zem   Wednesday 9th Ditto. Better weather. Harder work. OK. More tired. … zwr zhk   Thursday 10th … Biking across the misty moor as usual before eight, but after a little rain it cleared to quite a […]

page 257 — June 1943

Tuesday 15th … an enjoyable music period—with the prospect of terrible few more with Taylor. … zmu ztc I haven’t put down much news recently—nothing big in Russia; it was announced that all four of the Italian islands in the Sicilian narrows have now fallen. … The only army casualty in the last was one […]

page 258 — June 1943

Thursday 24th Speech day. … I was demonstrating the short-sighted and long-sighted eye, and the curing by spectacles—a simple and very effective demonstration—much enjoyed by all I think. I enjoyed doing the talking too, especially to the bevies of fair damsels who came from the Bristol [Benenden]. I also contributed a dissected frog, which was […]

page 259 — July 1943

Free after tea, up Penpol with RJC and back—oppressive, disturbing evening. … zol zem   July Thursday 1st Better weather again—good enough to do Fraunhoffer lines [dark lines in the sun’s spectrum] outside with the wavelength spectrometer, anyhow. I have managed to keep my resolution of working hard this week. Another year of working to […]

page 260 — July 1943

Divinity prep was to suggest improvements for the services here—a violently sarcastic half hour helped to relieve my feelings. zrl zem But still this damned restless unsatisfied feeling; I don’t know the reason and know the cure still less. I think triviality, pettiness, monotony, aimlessness, not full friendship and hence loneliness, and lack of sexual […]

page 261 — July 1943

Monday 5th … Mr. Ramage [Biology master] was disgustingly gloomy about  scholarship prospects—a seven-term course he said, and gave lists of people who tried earlier and failed. … I’ll have a shot I think. Work ahead! … zex zca zsw Sikorski [head of Polish Government in exile] killed in air crash—personally I think a small […]

page 262 — July 1943

fields, less blood at the front”. Let it be remembered when I harvest [Alexander Werth was the BBC’s correspondent in Russia]. zru zpg zhk zrd [See note]   Sunday 11th … Read one of Taylor’s books—Bertrand Russell’s ‘A Free Man’s Worship’—that essay only. The idea seems to be that man has got to accept that […]

page 263 — July 1943

… Thunder began at 9.30 [pm], we did not sleep. 2 carrier pigeons arrived from over the sea; having failed to entice them with cake, Wallop climbed up the wet roof and saw that there was no message. Almost sleep, then watched [the storm] again—grand—so grand that Wallop and I decided it was too good […]

page 264 — July 1943

Sunday 25th and along the headland with Wood and Wallop, looking for W and H who were trying out a tent by a quarry. We made a double round tour of the quarries but missed them. A fine starry warmish night—very lovely. Back up the porch, welcome sleep. … zwk zcg   Monday 26th … […]

page 265 — July 1943

Friday 30th … A good breakfast, then off through already hot sun; we lunched in a lovely cool wood, and rested for about an hour. Then on over bare, scorching hill, in (me) a bad temper. We turned south opposite Harting, and called in for water at a place where a very nice gardener gave […]

page 266 — August 1943

August Sunday 1st using the candle in woods. Cheerful now, down the greenslope, and let in as the first drops of the second storm were falling. Sleep came easily. zwk zwr zfl zfr The day was lazy and bad tempered. Daddy had a bad day. It is decided, practically, that I stay an extra year […]

page 267 — August 1943

accidentally missed the lecture, and spent it talking communism with a policeman. Games in the social quite amusing. … zsn zgn zpn   Thursday 5th Spent the early morning preparing my talk on the Soviet Health services. The first lecture was on the Beveridge plan by a woman liberal candidate for Devizes; she spoke loudly, […]

page 268 — August 1943

Saturday 7th First lecture was very good—Mrs. Mead, [Margaret Mead, anthropologist] a virile American on America—a strange approach but conciliated me; reasonable. The commission meetings morning and afternoon became heated on subject of political democracy, but eventually we did attain a reasonable and agreed decision. zic zlu zpn ISC [Inter-Schools Committee] election today—my school being […]

page 269 — August 1943

period. I have liked all the people immensely. I have enjoyed the many arguments and also the frivolities. I have learnt a lot in the Commission, a lot from some of the lectures, a lot from being secretary, and a lot from experiencing a week of live contemporary company. And I have returned re-armed and […]

page 270 — August 1943

Friday 13th Roger arrived at 1 o’clock (a.m.). I left for work before he woke—carting—loading for me. … zfr zhk After tea we heard that a rear gunner had bailed out in the morning, and was believed to be 7 or 8 miles due south of Petworth, his plane having collided; we rang up the […]

page 271 — August 1943

Thursday 26th Roger left today, and I went up too to get the records which cannot be sent by post … went to the HMV show rooms, where we played through and got Beethovens 7th, 8th and Violin concerto. … We had tea then parted. Roger to Norwich and home. His was a highly successful […]

page 272 — September 1943

September Wednesday 1st 4 years since the attack on Poland—I never thought it would last as long. No real second front yet, but the Russians are nearing Smolensk, and threatening the N. Ukraine. zwg zru zlb In the morning I lined a small case with velvet, having fitted it up to take my flute—satisfactory. Women’s […]

page 273 — September 1943

John and I went for a walk up the Downs, returning via Coldharbour, where we collected two ewe lambs and drove them to Glatting. After tea I made a hurdle pen in the orchard—the sheep were a bit bewildered. … zfl zwk zpt zdc   Wednesday 8th … I read ‘The Brook Kerith’ [a novel […]

page 274 — September 1943

Friday 10th The removers came [to get furniture to take to Oxford] and spent the day packing their large container, leaving to return tomorrow, having made no appreciable effect on Glatting’s internal chaos. … zdc zfl Tomorrow the ISC dance occurs—I would have liked to go, but am entirely resigned. zic zsn   Saturday 11th […]

page 275 — September 1943

to Oxford Thursday 16th … Journey to London was comfortable; I spent that and (after we’d had ‘coffee’ at Paddington) most of the journey to Oxford reading ‘The Jungle’ [by Upton Sinclair]—a morbid but very fine book. Daddy took the journey fairly well. Arrived at Kybald Street house—no furniture yet, carpets and blackout just ready. […]

page 276 — September 1943

arrive today, so at 4 o’clock we went and saw ‘Mission to Moscow’—the film of Davies’ book [read the previous year]. Very good—criticisms are: too much emphasis on social life similarities with America—which is probably anyhow good propaganda. We returned and then had a nice supper at the Chinese Rest[aurant]. … Tomorrow, school—I can now […]

page 277 — September 1943

Saturday 25th … interesting Classics with Maxi on balanced outlook on life. I think that extinction of me and universe is inevitable, life has as much meaning as we care to give it—Bertrand Russell’s view. … zpy The game (1st 1st one) wasn’t at all bad for the 1st 1st one. Pretty stiff all day. […]

page 278 — October 1943

Blasted [athletics] standards in the afternoon—I failed the 100 yds (took 14 secs) and the mile (took 7 mins—1 minute more than allowed!). Have to repeat sometime I fear. zsp Music lesson; after chat with fellow flautists before Miss Stewart arrived—one quite nice—also plays violin and piano. Miss Stewart fairly normal despite hints of madness […]

page 279 — October 1943

Tuesday 19th … an interesting lantern lecture which I enjoyed on ‘The Old Masters of Florence’—the lantern was worked hitchlessly by self and M who [were] congratulated to our infinite pride … ! … zlu zat   Wednesday 20th … I have resolved into a clear issue a political conflict in my mind; I am […]

page 280 — October 1943

Sunday 24th … I’m in the position of being in the mood for writing poetry or music while possessing the ability to do neither; all I can do is sit and curse and play Siegfried or Cosi Fan Tutte, both of which express part of what I feel, but neither of which satisfy. zwt zem […]

page 281 — November 1943

democratisation of Italy, and military agreements for now, plus setting up of international  peace-preserving body—good. zwg zpl [See note] I … began to prepare a speech for next Saturday’s debate. … Morse practice in the afternoon, I received 8 words per minute. zdb zsg Nice Biology extra, then taking prep—N a damned nuisance, and punishment […]

page 282 — November 1943

During the day I read parts of Hillary’s ‘The Last Enemy’, [reminiscences of a fighter pilot] a book which is interesting psychologically, but so far leaves me rather depressed—of course the subject is not one calculated to produce hilarity, God knows. zbf zwg zam I also read more of ‘Leninism’, on Dialectical Materialism—I am as […]

page 283 — November 1943

are of no intrinsic value (we don’t pretend they are particularly), the increase in knowledge and interest is very considerable; and there is the great thing of meeting live contemporaries. The latter holds particular attraction for me, I’m lonely here. zic zso zfr   Thursday 11th A day of cynical memories for many; merely memories […]

page 284 — November 1943

I finished Strachey’s book [What are we to do?], which has left me considerably wiser and more decided. … zbp zpn Letter from Daddy saying he’s prouder of my 1st XV colours than me—perhaps it is really an inverted form of snobbery. … zfl zsp Excellent Soc. Soc.—American on American education. Salient points: high school […]

page 285 — November 1943

never make a good prefect if that is what he wants; I will never bring myself to punish for what I do not regard as unreasonable—rules or not. zsd zsr zpn In fact, Max and I are not going to get on very well. It is inconceivable that I should merely be a Max idea […]

page 286 — December 1943

Monday 6th … bad back—kidney I think, not lumbago. Saw Miss Milner re: games. She rubbed in embrocation and told me to drink lots of water. Blast it. La zil zmt zsp Uncle Bill got tonsillitis—off school for the first time since 1923! ztc zil   Tuesday 7th A signallers’ classification exam in the afternoon, […]

page 287 — December 1943

Rough draft in summer holiday, ’43—printed in Xmas ’43.   Training for democracy? zpn zwt zsr zsd This is a criticism of the internal organisation of schools, and a broad indication of the changes I believe to be necessary to ensure a greater development of the democratic spirit and way of thought. … My chief […]

page 288 — December 1943

conscience would have been a restricting burden. However, it is to be hoped that we are at the dawn of a more enlightened era and so, I submit, we require a more enlightened form of school discipline. …. zpn zwt zsd zsr   Friday 10th A letter for Anthony Ryall today asking me to be […]

page 289 — December 1943

Perhaps when I next read this I shall be in Oxford, instead of warming my legs by a blue electric fire here. …   to Oxford Friday 17th … I carried two v. heavy packages (suitcase and box of books) home to Kybald St. Mommy and Daddy both in, Daddy engaged with a Mad Irish […]

page 290 — December 1943

enjoyed it quite a lot. We got back to find Martin just arrived, having worked all day. zfl zcl   Saturday 25th Christmas day—a day of much eating after much preparation by Mother. Very nice food. Lots of presents. … Thoroughly extravagant, thoroughly lovely. We walked before lunch, and slept after, also ‘New World’ [symphony]. […]

page 291 — December 1943

Thursday 30th … 3 destroyers and a blockade runner sunk in the bay of Biscay. Enormous Russian breakthrough. I was moved to the drawing room after tea; a Pressed Steel arc welder CP friend of Margaret’s came to supper—is going to put me in touch with some contemporaries in Oxford. … He was extraordinarily nice […]

page 292 — January 1944

preponderantly feminine. After a while I went up to the Hall and sat down—up came EZ to say hullo—she brought along some fellow Paulines, and unfortunately I could not keep a seat later. I will leave her now as she will fit into the general review. zic zfr The introductory speeches were not very inspiring […]

page 293 — January 1944

then suddenly realised its falsity. Such realisations lead me to question my present  beliefs, which is right and proper, I only hope I do it enough. … zpn   Tuesday 4th … The morning lectures were first international co-operation, which was only fairly able; the barriers put up by capitalism are I think a very […]

page 294 — January 1944

Wednesday 5th … We first had a talk on the CEWC, ISC etc. by assorted people, which was good, and after it I conferred with [3 others] on the necessity for agitation at school. Then Bill Beveridge himself, in a long and very good speech, followed by good questions. I bear him a grudge, however, […]

page 295 — January 1944

After a slightly hurried breakfast, I said a grateful goodbye [to my hosts], … and off to Central Hall. Elisabeth (note s not z) there, we spent most of the day together. … zic zfr John Marrach on ‘World plans for food and Agriculture’, which was good … MoI film ‘World of Plenty’, which is […]

page 296 — January 1944

as I do; she is intelligent, holding generally the same views as I do. … Really I cannot discuss her, because my feelings towards her just are. … zfr zem zse [See note]   Sunday 9th … I went and dug in the garden … a satisfactory occupation, for it gives one pleasant exercise, and […]

page 297 — January 1944

the evening inviting me to a CP meeting tomorrow and supper the next night—good. zpm zhy   Wednesday 12th The conference was not in this week’s issue of Picture Post, but at 11 o’clock there was a schools broadcast … not awfully thrilling but good for the uninitiated. … zic znw zrd After an early […]

page 298 — January 1944

… Family reaction fairly OK, but I think parents would rather I did not get too involved—fearing perhaps Margaret’s grimness—? I don’t know, I don’t think they’ll object to me going my own way if I think first. Anyway an exhilarating evening. zfl zpn zem   Thursday 13th … Mother went ‘Soldiers, Sailors and Airforce […]

page 299 — January 1944

fishing—one with a wriggling silver fish in its mouth. Two stately swans were standing on the bank, with lovely reflections. zwl zds … I wound [crank-started] the car for Mother to go visiting, and returned to clear the gravel path of weeds and earth. … Good Russian news, big American day raids as ever. zfl zdc […]

page 300 — January 1944

School filled train to Newquay, bus, supper—and, oh joy of joys, a long letter from Elisabeth which was very, very cheering. Bless her. … ztv zmh zfr zem   Wednesday 19th … After [breakfast] I unpacked violently, and got it over … up to the Pentire to discuss with fellow conference-goers [some others had attended the […]

page 301 — January 1944

was roaring up the Gannel, and crossing the slippery footbridge was quite an effort. … zwr Daddy’s ‘Social Medicine’ broadcast at 1 o’clock—Max told everyone when I’d asked if I might listen, so as it was in prep, many came. The voice was unrecognisable—I think a good talk. zfl zmw zhp zrd … up to […]

page 302 — January 1944

Sunday 30th … WAS [World Affairs Society] inaugural meeting—despite time, 2.15, and weather, first fine [day] this week—was attended by 15—good!! I’m librarian. zcb zwr … back via sunny Splash point, to finish Anna Karenina—a grand book combining tragic ‘eternal triangles’ with heroine’s philosophical development—I’ve enjoyed it immensely. zbn zem Short chapel, snoozed in sermon. […]

page 303 — February 1944

Thursday 3rd … We had Fletcher 1st period—re: religious education, he wants Christian teaching universal, and apparently refuses to recognise the possibility of fundamental differences of opinion. … zrl zop In the evening the [unofficial] night op.—signalling had a special scheme of their own—I and Wood with an 18 [radio] – all went well, nice […]

page 304 — February 1944

Tom Elkins wrote … saying Glatting was a marvellous, if rather brave, idea. He described the “awful band of would-be politicians in the ISC”, even the ones I knew; confessed a weakness for EZ. … zfr zhy zic zop I spent a lazyish afternoon. … Quite content. Danger of becoming lazy? zem   Wednesday 9th […]

page 305 — February 1944

Saturday 12th … went for a walk up the Gannel—a grey César-Franck symphony day—all the houses ugly, and the people meaningless, and the gulls sad. There was a conceited little redshank bowing at his reflection. I got back and read straight through, with a break for tea (now downstairs), Charles Morgan’s ‘Portrait in a Mirror’—I […]