By Betty Armitage
A few years in the past, journalist Nicholas Webley stumbled throughout a extraordinary locate in the course of a regimen research in a small condominium in Norfolk - a diary.
The diary used to be saved through the battle years and scribbled for the main half in class workout books and on scraps of decomposing paper. It used to be written through a seamstress born within the 1880's. Betty Armitage, the seamstress, was once a theatrical cloth wardrobe throughout the first a part of the century and moved to Norfolk ahead of the struggle. Her diary is uncommon, because it perspectives the occasions of the warfare in the course of the eyes of somebody born round the time of Queen Victoria's Jubilee. such a lot of debts of the battle are in response to army event or lifestyles in towns through the Blitz; right here the nice occasions of these years are considered from the rustic: privation relieved by means of the occasional poached pheasant, upheaval as hundreds of thousands of brilliant younger US servicemen 'invade' East Anglia, quiet heroes and small-time rural villains. A time which turns out time-honored to us this day via movie, yet which used to be rather one other age, springs to lifestyles within the pages of Betty's Diary; humorous, touching and unaffectedly vibrant.
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Additional info for Betty's Wartime Diary 1939-1945
Jack, Mavis and Fred Barnard came round for supper tonight and we all had a good drink and a laugh. Fred told us about some of his nights out with his gun. He had had rather too much to drink by then and I told him he should be more careful about what he says. He says that he was taught all he knows about poaching by his dad and grandad and they did more good than harm as they help to look after the young birds for nothing. His grandad told him that the owner of the land where he used to walk would give him two new pound notes every Easter for services rendered and used to tell his keepers that he was to be left alone.
Cleaned out Albert’s barrel, it was full of his bits and pieces he likes to play with. I don’t expect he will spend much time in it until the spring now. No doubt he will take up his position in his chair by the range for the winter. He has put on some weight this year. SUNDAY 22nd The sermon was about the Royal Oak. The vicar talked about someone he knows who was one of those killed. I have been so busy I have hardly had any chance to think about it. I can remember how worried we used to be when Stanley was at sea and there wasn’t even a war on.
I had stew and onion soup on the range and I put in some dumplings. He soon recovered. We are going to Dereham market tomorrow as Jack is after some chickens but does not hold out much hope as he is sure they will be too dear. FRIDAY 12th Well, we went to Dereham but did not spend much time at the market. Jack saw someone he knows from Kirby Bedon who works for a poultry breeder. He asked us to meet him round the back of the Kings Arms with the van. He put four baskets in the back and we came home.