Socks for the Boys!

My Great Aunt Norah's wartime diaries, 1938-1948

Dearest Dimples: letters from a saucy sailor

‘Dearest Norah’: as March runs into April, Jim takes the lead in stepping up the level of intimacy with his sixteen year-old correspondent. He teases her with his suggestion that … Continue reading

March 15, 2014 · 3 Comments

‘Wrote back to my minesweeper’: introducing sailor Jim

J. Lowman 2 Mess HMS Elgin GPO London 26.2.1941 Dear Friend, I have just received a lovely pair of hand knitted socks, from our Naval Base comfort fund.  Seeing your … Continue reading

March 2, 2014 · 2 Comments

‘I even remember going to the cinema and knitting in the dark!’ Socks for the Comfort Fund

As I was preparing this post on knitting socks for the war effort, a 1941 Charles Letts’ Girl Guides’ Diary dropped through my letterbox. I’ll say more about this and … Continue reading

February 16, 2014 · 2 Comments

Dancing with Frank: January 1941

 1st January 1941: Went to Hemington with Ma.  2nd: Snowed  9th: Bombs dropped at Diseworth and Wilson. 10th: Helen, Ma and I went to Long Eaton to buy coat for … Continue reading

January 26, 2014 · 4 Comments

‘Germans bombed Royces’: history, stories and the senses

Perhaps my biggest regret about the missing 1940 diary is the absence of Norah’s report on the string of bombs that dropped on her home village of Castle Donington in … Continue reading

November 24, 2013 · 8 Comments

‘Wading about in a welter of wool’: Derby 1940

With Norah’s 1940 diary missing, I decided to survey the local newspaper in a bid to get a flavour of her year. Norah was a regular reader of both the Daily Herald and the … Continue reading

November 4, 2013 · 2 Comments

The missing diary

After that uneventful end to 1939, I was looking forward to the New Year and some action.  Afterall, 1940 was the year the war really began. But as it turns out, … Continue reading

September 30, 2013 · 12 Comments

Hitler Trouble

31st August 1939: Ma & I went down for tea to Helen’s. Came back early. Went down to Hills & post. Started to read ‘In Search of England’ by HV … Continue reading

August 21, 2013 · 5 Comments

Norah’s American twin

‘Got my hair set today. In my opinion, if I had hollower cheeks, I’d be a perfect double for Garbo.’ This is not Norah Hodgkinson writing, but fourteen year-old Joan Wehlen … Continue reading

August 6, 2013 · 2 Comments

Twice a bridesmaid…

When Norah writes in her diary that ‘nothing much happened’, she means that the day hasn’t quite ‘delivered’ in terms of meeting her feelings of excitement, anxiety or anticipation. When she expects an … Continue reading

July 18, 2013 · 9 Comments
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