WW II, a British focus




 

 

1945

1st January. So this is the start of my last year out here. Received papers. Won 30/- at tombola.

2nd January. Extremely cold today. Worked all day. Pictures in town at night. No mail.

3rd January. Still very cold. Pictures at night. Wrote air mail letter card to Una. No mail.

4th January. Three new mechanics arived from Blighty. Won 2 at tombola.

5th January. Just so-so. No mail. Tombola at night. No luck.

6th January. Work in morning. Pictures at night in town. No mail. Won 5/- playing cards. A good week on the whole. Plenty of luck.

7th January. A run in the ambulance. Crossed the Suez Canal. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

8th January. Just a so-so day. Tombola at night but no luck. Received air mail letter card's from Una and Nelly.

9th January. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back. Ordinary day. No luck at tombola tonight.

10th January. Just an ordinary day. Worked until 5.00pm. ENSA concert at night in the garrison cinema.

11th January. Just so-so. No luck at tombola. Received air mail letter card's from Una and Jean, wrote back to Una.

12th January. Sent 15 to Una. Run into town afternoon. Tombola at night.

13th January. Work as usual. Refereed football match in afternoon. Town at night to a show. Not a bad week apart from a really bad cold.

14th January. Work in the morning. Referee football match in afternoon. NAFFI at night to an ENSA show.

15th January. Work in the morning. Received air mail letter card from Una. Went sailing in afternoon. Won 35/- at tombola at night.

16th January. Fishing in afternoon. Caught quite a lot. Tombola at night but no luck.

17th January. Fishing again. Got a real nice soaking. Fell in the water! Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

18th January. Work all day today. NAFFI at night, a couple of beers and tombola but no luck. Received air mail letter card from Una.

19th January. Worked in the surgery today. Fishing in afternoon, caught four. Tombola at night, no luck.

20th January. Sent 4 lbs of sweets home. A spot of fishing. No luck. Tombola at night. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

21st January. Fishing all day. Brought back twenty three fish for the lads. Pictures at night. Received air mail letter card from Una.

22nd January. Worked until dinner time. Fishing in afternoon, only caught three. Pictures in garrison at night.

23rd January. Fishing again after dinner, caught four. Tombola at night but no luck. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

24th January. Work in the morning. Fishing in afternoon, no luck. Pictures in town at night.

25th January. Two new mechanics arrived today. Went fishing and caught two fish. Won 18/- at tombola.

26th January. Worked until dinner. Fishing again, caught three. Won 13/- at tombola again.

27th January. Work until dinner. Fishing again but not one bite. Tombola again at night but no luck this time. Not a bad week. Off each afternoon. Tombola luck good but mail poor.

28th January. Went fishing all morning, not a single fish. Received two air mail letter card's from Una and one from Nelly. Wrote long letter to Una.

29th January. Worked all morning in surgery, lab in afternoon. No luck at tombola at night.

30th January. Work until dinner time. Fishing in afternoon, no luck. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

31st January. Worked in the morning. Football in afternoon. Very windy and sandy. Received air mail letter card from Una.

1st February. Very cold today. Worked all at. Tombola at night but no luck.

2nd February. Still very cold again. Work all day. Tombola at night. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

3rd February. Work in morning. Fishing in afternoon, caught a few. Tombola at night. Weather extremely cold all week. Mail pretty good.

4th February. Fishing all day. Quite pleasant but not many fish. Pictures in town at night.

5th February. Work until dinner time. Went fishing for an hour in the afternoon. Received air mail letter card's from Una and Nelly. Wrote back to them both.

6th February. A lovely day? Rained on and off all the time! Made initials for Jean's case. Tombola at night.

7th February. Not too good a day, plenty of rain. Tombola at night, no luck.

8th February. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back. Worked in the morning. Just hung around the rest of the day. ENSA show at night.

9th February. Bought a music case for Jean. Tombola at night but no luck.

10th February. Work in the morning. Fishing and tombola, no luck at either. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back. Luck dead out this week. Mail not too bad.

11th February. Fishing in the morning was a dead loss. Wrote a long letter to Una.

12th February. Just a so-so day. Sent home some sweets. Three mechanics posted. No luck at tombola.

13th February. Started work on the bench again. Not so good. Just hung around all night. Wrote airgraph to Una.

14th February. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back. Work not too bad.

15th February. Just a so-so day. Worked all day. Tombola at night, no luck.

16th February. Work as usual. Dance at night in gym. Not bad at all.

17th February. Worked until 6.00pm. No luck at tombola. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

18th February. Fishing in the morning. Went sailing in the afternoon, really good. Pictures at night in the garrison.

19th February. Worked all day. Pictures at night. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

20th February. Work in the morning. Refereed football match in afternoon. Tombola at night.

21st February. Went sick, cold in the ribs. Massage twice a day. Pictures at night.

22nd February. Feel much better today. Refereed football match in afternoon. Tombola at night. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

23rd February. Work all day, really busy. Tombola at night but no luck. Feeling okay now.

24th February. Very cold and wet today. The Prime Minister of Egypt has been shot. Looks like trouble. Egypt could come into the war. Big trouble looming. Confined to barracks. Went into town at night

25th February. Had a run out in the ambulance. Everyone confined to barracks. Pictures at night. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

26th February. Worked until tea-time. Confinement to barracks lifted. Will be working in the surgery tomorrow. NAFFI a night. No mail today.

27th February. In the surgery today. Just messed around in the afternoon. Pictures at night. Still no mail.

28th February. Still no mail. Worked until dinner time. Went fishing for an hour, no luck. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

1st March. Received air mail letter card from Una. Worked until dinner time. Refereed football match in afternoon. Tombola and a couple of beers at night.

2nd March. Work as usual. Watched football in afternoon. Concert at night. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

3rd March. Working in the morning. Just hung around all afternoon. Pictures at night. Not a bad week. Mail okay at the end of the week.

4th March. Fishing in the morning. Received cigs and air mail letter card from Una and wrote back. Watched football in afternoon.

5th March. War established today. Went into town to celebrate.

6th March. Received air mail letter card from Una. WS today. Work in the morning. Refereed football match in afternoon. Worked until 11.00pm on a denture.

7th March. Wrote air mail letter card to Una. Work all day. Pictures at night.

8th March. Work again all day. Tombola at night. Received air mail letter card from Una.

9th March. Sent airgraph to Nelly and wrote to Una. Worked until dinner time. Hung around all afternoon. Tombola at night.

10th March. Just a so-so day. Got photos, very good. Tombola at night and won 14/6d. Mail not too bad this week. Everything else so-so.

11th March. Sent photos home air mail. Had a walk into town in the morning. Watched football match in afternoon. Pictures at night.

12th March. Just a so-so day. Pictures at night. No mail.

13th March. Work in the morning. Messed around all afternoon. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

14th March. Just so-so. Pictures at night. Received air mail letter card from Una.

15th March. Work in the morning. Messed about in the lab all afternoon. Won just over 1 at tombola. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

16th March. Work all day in the lab. 2 for a buckshee job. Tombola at night but no luck.

17th March. Working, or rather messing about all day. No luck at tombola. Mail not too bad this week. Tombola luck fair.

18th March. Fishing in the morning but no luck. Football match in afternoon. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

19th March. A really heavy cold, feel very rough. In bed all afternoon and evening. Had a good going over at the MI room.

20th March. Feel much better today. Shouted numbers at tombola, made 24/-. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

21st March. Just a so-so day. Went to town to pictures at night, not too bad today.

22nd March. Twisted my knee rather badly today. Won over 1 at tombola. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

23rd March. Worked in the lab and surgery today. Tombola at night but no luck.

24th March. Received some cigs and newspapers. Work as usual. Messed around all afternoon. Won 1 at tombola. Quite a good week for money and mail not too bad.

25th March. Wrote airgraph to Una. Town in the morning and bought myself a pocket watch. Sleep in afternoon. Town at night to pictures

26th March. Work as usual. Rained very hard and was cold. Stayed in the lab all night. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

27th March. Worked all day. Several jobs on. Tombola at night but no luck. Received air mail letter card from Una.

28th March. Working all day until late evening. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

29th March. Work all day again. Really busy. Tombola at night but no luck this time.

30th March. Good Friday and a holiday today. Waked into town in the morning. Was very sultry all day. Tombola at night.

31st March. Received air mail letter card from Una. A nasty day, windy and a sandstorm. Worked all day until 2.30am on Sunday morning. Won 2 at tombola. Not a bad week all told. Mail was fair.

1st April. Just hung around all morning. Football match in afternoon called off. Pictures at night. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

2nd April. Work as usual today. Dinner in town at night. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

3rd April. Working as usual. No luck at tombola at night. Three mechanics posted to Cairo.

4th April. Work all day again but why worry. Started long letter to Una.

5th April. Work all day. Tombola at night. Received air mail letter card from Una and sent long letter to her.

6th April. Worked all day again. Had a beer and played tombola at night. No mail.

7th April. Worked all day, getting very warm. Tombola and then a run into town with some RAF boys. Rheumatism in back not very good.

8th April. Town shopping in morning. Sailing in afternoon. Pictures at night. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

9th April. Feel really off colour today. Worked as usual then went off sick with muscular rheumatism.

10th April. Just a so -so day. Plenty of work. Feel a little better. No luck at tombola.

11th April. Attending for massage today, think it is doing me good. Work as usual. Received air mail letter card from Una.

12th April. Wrote air mail letter card to Una. Work all day. Rheumatism just as bad. Got buckshee tickets for tombola but no luck.

13th April. Working all day. A small win at tombola. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

14th April. Working in the morning. Watched football in afternoon. Tombola at night. Received some papers.

15th April. Got khaki drill in the morning. On duty all day. Pictures at night. Wrote air mail letter card to Una and received birthday card from her.

16th April. Work in the morning. Sailing in afternoon. Pictures in town at night. Received air mail letter card from Una.

17th April. Work all day. No luck at tombola. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

18th April. Working all day. In khaki drill again today. Pictures in evening. Had a drink in the NAFFI later.

19th April. Work in the morning. Swimming and sailing in afternoon. Won share of house at tombola, 13/-.

20th April. Working in morning. Swimming and sailing again in afternoon. No luck at tombola.

21st April. Work all day. Tombola at night again but no luck. Received two air mail letter card's from Una and wrote long letter back.

22nd April. Went fishing in the morning. In town in afternoon to buy some shoes and slippers for Una. Shouted numbers at tombola and made 19/-.

23rd April. Work in the morning. Run into town in afternoon to change slippers. Pictures at night.

24th April. Sent Una's slippers and shoes. Worked in the morning. Went sailing in afternoon. Won 21/- at tombola. Sent air mail letter card to Una.

25th April. Birthday today. Worked all day. Went fishing after tea. Pictures at night. Received air mail letter card from Una.

26th April. Work all day again. Tombola at night but no luck. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

27th April. Work as usual. Tombola at night, a small win.

28th April. Work in the morning. Sailing in afternoon, a real thrill. Club at night. Received air mail letter card's from Una and Gerty. Wrote back to Una.

29th April. Had a bad tummy today. Went fishing all morning. Slept in afternoon. Fishing again early evening, caught five. Pictures at night.

30th April. Finished work by dinner time. Fishing in afternoon, caught seven. Went down again in the evening. Did lab books at night. Received a letter from Gerty.

1st May. Worked all day today. Tombola at night but no luck. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

2nd May. Work in the morning. Fishing after dinner, no luck. Worked after tea. Pictures at night but too cold so came out.

3rd May. Very busy today, worked until 5.00pm. Won 24/- at tombola. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

4th May. Work again all day. Another win at tombola, this time 7/-. Received air mail letter card from Una.

5th May. Work all day again. No luck this time at tombola. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

6th May. A good day out in the sun. Fishing a dead loss. No luck at tombola either. Pictures at night. Received air mail letter card from Una.

7th May. WAR WITH GERMANY FINISHED. Had a few drinks in town. Wrote a long letter to Una.

8th May. No victory celebrations here today, worked as usual! Town at night. Received two lots of cigs.

9th May. VICTORY DAY CELEBRATIONS TODAY. Swimming and then races in afternoon. Sgts mess at night celebrating. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

10th May. A nasty morning, rain and wind. Rained all afternoon. Dance at night almost a washout.

11th May. Worked all day. Dance at night in HQ, another washout. Wrote to Una.

12th May. Work again all day. Tombola at night, just bad luck. Wrote to ma & pa. No mail again. More rain this week than I have ever known.

13th May. A funny day, terrific rain storms, was marooned in town at night. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

14th May. Terrific hail storm followed by torrential rain and thunder.

15th May. Worked all day. Tombola at night. Wrote letter to Una.

16th May. Big shot around all morning. Worked in morning. Received two air mail letter card's from Una and wrote back.

17th May. Work all day. Won 10/- at tombola.

18th May. Worked in the morning. Swimming in afternoon. No luck at tombola. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

19th May. Work in morning. Swimming and sailing in afternoon. Went into town with Doug at night.

20th May. Swimming all day. A small win at tombola.

21st May. A terrible blow today. I am not going on this python. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

22nd May. Work all day today. Two small wins at tombola, 7/- in pocket.

23rd May. Worked in morning. Cricket in afternoon. Pictures at night. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

24th May. Worked until the middle of the afternoon. Was supposed to be on holiday. Tombola at night but no luck.

25th May. Work all day. Tombola at night, no luck. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

26th May. Work all day again. Tombola and a few beers. Received air mail letter card from Una. Could anything in the world have happened worse this week - missed the boat.

27th May. Sailing all day, quite nice. Tombola at night, won 10/-. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

28th May. Work all day today. Pictures at night. Stinking hot all day.

29th May. Work as usual. Tombola at night, picked up 8/-. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

30th May. Work as usual. A picture show at night, Our Teeth. Then to the Gaff. Received air mail letter card from Una.

31st May. Worked all day. Tombola at night but no luck. Wrote letter to Una and received air mail letter card from her.

1st June. Worked as usual. Small win at tombola.

2nd June. Working all day then to town in the evening, made 10/- at tombola. Had a party at night.

3rd June. Feeling pretty rough. Had a run into town. Pictures at night. Sgt and staff left today. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

4th June. Work as usual. Pictures at night. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

5th June. Worked all day. No luck at tombola. Received papers and a letter from Gerty.

6th June. Kit check in the lab. Very busy. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

7th June. Work as usual. Tombola at night but no luck again.

8th June. Work all day. In pocket by 10/- at tombola. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

9th June. Worked all day. Tombola at night but no luck.

10th June. Went swimming all day today. A small party at night.

11th June. Work all day as usual. Pictures at night. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

12th June. Work as usual. Shouted numbers at tombola at night.

13th June. Worked all day. Town at night for a drink. Received air mail letter card from Una and wrote back.

14th June. Work all day again. Tombola at night, another small win. Received air mail letter card from Una.

15th June. Work all day. Won again at tombola but not much. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

16th June. Worked until dinner time. Made 4 on buckshee job. No luck at tombola. Received air mail letter card from Una. Not a bad week for cash and mail.

17th June. Swimming in the morning and again after dinner. A couple of drinks and then to pictures. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

18th June. Finished off work by dinner time. Started with a gippy tummy. Was ill all night.

19th June. Packed up today ready for the off tomorrow to Cairo. Tummy still bad during day but felt better at night. Received air mail letter card's from Una and Jean. Wrote back to Una.

20th June. Arrived in Cairo at 1.15pm after a tortuous journey. Had a few beers and then played tombola. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

21st June. Messing around all day. Kit and medical inspections. Pictures at night.

22nd June. Down to the lab all day. Tombola at night and won 10/-.

23rd June. In tents as from today. Went into Cairo and bought some presents for home. Pictures at night. Hear that we are to move next Tuesday.

24th June. Went into Cairo again to pictures and a good feed. Wrote air mail letter card to Una.

25th June. Hung around all morning. Down to Cairo in afternoon to pictures and some food.

26th June. Again just hanging around. All of it very upsetting. A couple of bottles at night and then to the pictures.

27th June. Still no news of moving. Met Capt Muntus from Rotherham. Tombola at night but no luck.

28th June. Still no news. The waiting is pretty deadly. Had a beer at night and then to the pictures.

29th June. No news again today. Went swimming in the afternoon in Helopilis, was quite good. Won 70/- at tombola.

30th June. The good news today, we are to move in the morning. Wrote air mail letter card to Una. Busy packing up. Bought a present for Jean. AT LONG LAST THIS IS IT!

1st July. Left Cairo at 7.15am. Embarked 2.00pm at Port Said. We sailed at 6.30pm.

2nd July. Just lazed around all day. Not too thrilled! No luck at tombola.

3rd July. The usual reading on deck. Should be in England in one week. Sea got a bit rough in the night.

4th July. Just so-so. Lazed around on deck. Getting cooler. Should pass Gibraltar tomorrow.

5th July. This is getting pretty deadly just sitting around. Passing the North African coast all day. Some rain. Concert at night.

6th July. Getting much colder. Battle dress out today. Should be passing Gibraltar tonight. It is hard to pass the time away. No luck at tombola.

7th July. Passed Gibraltar at 3.00am this morning. Getting much colder. Played cards at night. The sun shone until after 10.00pm. Should arrive in England on Tuesday and disembark Wednesday? A long weary week.

8th July. Passing through the Bay of Biscay. Rough and cold. Won 28/- at tombola.

9th July. Should see England today. There was a partial eclipse of the sun. Did not see Blighty. RAF Officers to disembark tomorrow.

10th July. Pouring with rain. Arrived Southampton at 10.30am. Disembarked at 1.30pm. Arrived Boyce in the evening. Still raining.

11th July. Running around all morning for new kit. Leave in the morning. ENSA concert at night and a glass of beer.

12th July. Pay this morning. Left Boyce at 12.00pm. Arrived in London at 1.30pm. Arrived in Rotherham at 8.30pm.

13th July. Just getting things organised. Lunch in town. Got some new glasses.

14th July. Just so-so. Kiddies party at night. A few drinks.

15th July. Church this morning. To Grandma's in the afternoon.

16th July. Sheffield for lunch and to pictures. Back at tea-time.

17th July. Just so-so. A spot of gardening.

18th July. Down to Rotherham to see Winnie and Clifford.

19th July. Down to Far Lane to see Gerty and Tom.

20th July to 27th July. On leave. Went to Bridlington. Good journey. Good trip back home on the Friday.

28th July. Just so-so.

29th July to 10th August. On leave. Gainsborough on the 31st. Huddersfield on the 7th. Back home in evening on the 8th. Doncaster on the 10th. Quite a nice leave.

11th August. Packed up ready for the off.

12th August. Left Rotherham at 9.00am. Arrived London at 2.45pm. Left London at 5.00pm. Arrived Fleet 6.00pm and Boyce at 6.30pm. Had supper and a drink. Wrote post card to Una.

13th August. Posted to York. Polishing brass all day. Wrote letter to Una.

14th August. Cleaning all day. Finished a night. A drink in the NAFFI.

15th August. V.J. DAY. Big inspection parade and medical. A drink in the NAFFI.

16th August. Left Boyce for York. Arrived London 10.00am. Boarded the Flying Scotsman, arrived York 2.15pm. Pictures and a drink at night.

17th August. Pay today. Interview with an Officer. Walk into town. Posted to Dental Centre. Home on a long weekend.

18th August. A run into town. Pictures in afternoon. A drink at night.

19th August. Church in the morning. Lazed around all day. Long walk at night.

20th August. Cut grass in the morning. Left Rotherham at 6.15pm. Arrived back in York at 7.50pm.

21st August. Posted to Leeds Dental Lab. Pictures in town. Bottle of beer.

22nd August. Left York at 10.00am, arrived Leeds lab in afternoon. Cricket match and some beer.

23rd August. Work today. Just steady. Pay at 5.00pm. Left Leeds for home at 7.15 on V.J. leave.

24th August. Stayed in most of the day. Raining in afternoon. Just so-so in evening.

25th August. UNA'S BIRTHDAY. Went to pictures and a firework display.

26th August. Drink at dinner time. Stayed in all day. Set off for Leeds, then turned back again.

27th August. Left Rotherham at 7.15am, arrived Leeds 9.00am. In lab at 9.20am. Nothing said. A good days work. Pictures at night. Wrote to Una.

28th August. A steady days work. Got cigs and chocolate. A walk at night and a couple of drinks.

29th August. Work as usual. Rained at night. Went to pictures, saw a good film, Waterloo Road.

30th August. Received letter from Una. Just a so-so day. Wrote to Una. On NCO picket duty tonight.

31st August. Work today very steady. Finished at 4.00pm. Pictures in town at the Odeon. Had a couple of drinks.

1st September. WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. Finished at 12.30pm, home by car. Sheffield Empire at night then celebrated. A wonderful wedding anniversary.

2nd September. WAR OFFICIALLY OVER TODAY. Day at home. Back by train to Leeds at 9.00pm. Nothing to drink.

3rd September. Work just steady. Pictures at night. A few drinks later. Wrote post card to Una.

4th September. Received letter from Una. In town at night to the pictures. Wrote letter to Una. 5th September. Left Leeds for York this afternoon. Pictures in town at night.

6th September. Chased around all morning. Went to the races in the afternoon. Pictures at night.

7th September. Medical today and release book done. Home tonight. Arrived Rotherham 7.40pm.

8th September. Just a so-so lazy day. Down to town to a picture show. Back home early.

9th September. Church in the morning. Lazed around all afternoon. Stayed in all night.

10th September. Left Rotherham, arrived York 9.10am. Lecture in afternoon. Pictures at night and a glass of beer.

11th September. A spot of work. Home for the night. Arrived Rotherham 5.45pm.

12th September. Back to York by 9.30am. Pictures and a few drinks.

13th September 1945

	THIS IS IT
	THE GREAT DAY
	"DEMOBBED"
	UNA CAME TO YORK
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That was the last entry in the diary.
In 1968 my father was diagnosed as having lung cancer.
He died two years later aged 63.

In 1988, aged 78, my mother died of a heart attack.

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Index