Wednesday September 26, 1945
Friday October 12, 1945
(1946 Diary Lost Next Diary Starts February 1947)
6-1-47 (My father's birthday)
Short air-mail note from Ted telling me he had a verbal offer of a passage on the "Mauritania" for 11-8, and suggesting I sent a cable if this was satisfactory to me. The Cunard were communicating with NY to confirm. "Is this o.k. if so suggest you send blank cheque or marked. My previous letter on Queen Eliza said they expected a 12 months wait but this is unexpected. Suggest you cable if satisfactory. I don't know price but had told them the equivalent of 2nd or 3rd, so as not to involve your bank balance too much. So now its up to you.
Tell Eddie I have written to him. Lots of love- Ted."
This note was written 8-5 in haste and it began, Dear Lady. I'm glad.
Eddie went out almost immediately and sent cable for me, saying "Please secure on Mauritania if possible" and later I sent off an air mail letter with blank cheque as requested.
I do hope this matter goes through. I am longing to be home in Romford. I have had enough of America to last me the rest of my life.
Letter from Ted suggesting I communicate with Cunard in NY.
If I am lucky I could be back home in Romford 3 months today. Wrote the Cunard office today; also a long air-mail to Ted.
Received a letter from Cunard offering passage for 10-3, and asking exact name of husband and his address; cash to be paid by the 15th. Telegraphed Cunard in NY acceptance, and cabled Ted to give Romford agent cheque for same. Fare, 62.10.0 pounds.
Left Niagara Falls. Travelled to NY by the Empire State Express, leaving Buffalo at 1:30 p.m. Eddie came to Buffalo with me. Chili, Johnnie, and Bill Berry met me at Grand Central.
Went aboard the S.S. Queen Elizabeth at 8:30 a.m. Marjorie, Chili, and two children accompanied me to ship. Johnnie and Bonnie came aboard later, also Jimmie. Found Harold already in cabin. Sailed at 11:30 a.m. A fine beautiful morning.
Landed at South Hampton at 6 o'clock last night, but too late for getting to London. Special train left at 10:20 a.m. Reached Waterloo at 12:15 p.m. Ted on platform to meet me. A beautiful day.
A strenuous day. unpacking small baggage, etc. In morning had to go to Food Office to get new Ration Book. Happy. I'm glad to be back. Romford looks good to me. Ted sweet and kind. Yes, I'm content, I'm happy. Very happy.
Alone all day, but very happy. I am glad to be here, in Romford, in this house. At last I feel at home. The house is now clean and orderly all through. I like it. Ted has had some refresher work done in it, ceilings done, dining-room re-papered and painted, stairs painted, etc. It is my house. I've had a lovely summer; all my children were gracious, admiring, and loving in fact, they treated me like a queen-but I like best to be in my own house and so here I am, and thanking God for it.
Not only am I indelibly an Englishwoman, I am indelibly a Londoner. Inevitably these November days bring back memories of my childhood. I am thinking of the Bonfire Parties with the Barleighs today. Thinking of my father talking to me about history-the history of England. Thinking of him and of how passionately he loved London, and lo, I find I love it passionately myself. Yes, I love London. I belong to London. I find I am glad I'm alive now, and that I have come back to it. I'm glad I lived here through the war years. I'm glad I live in these times. What if they are troublesome times? I find I think them great to be alive in. Yes, Ive come home, back to where I belong. London, City of my hear. London, England.
News John G. Winant has committed suicide. Today's times states: NY Nov. 4- Mr. John G. Winant, United States Ambassador to the court of St. James during the late war, killed himself early last night by a shot through the head at his home in Pleasant St., Concord. He was 58.
This dismays me. He was a good man, a man who should have remained in this awful world to have done something for it. He killed himself from a sense of despair over the state of the world, the breakdown of our civilization. He shouldn't have despaired. He was needed. I am so sorry about this.
The honeymoon is over. Ted is in his normal state of crankiness. He is being cranky about the shopping, about the fire, about the placing of furniture, about my manner of speech. Just plain cranky. Alright. I smile.
Potatoes are rationed as from today. Three pounds per adult per week. 1 1/2 pounds for children. This is extremely little for English folk.
News from Australia of a heavy Labour Defeat. From Melbourne the Times reports: "The Victorian State Election for the Legislative Assembly yesterday (the 8th) was an anti-Labour avalanche and a decisive vote against the Federal Government's bank nationalization proposal. When the counting ended at midnight on Saturday it was evident that the official Labour Party, which held 31 seats at the dissolution, would be lucky to return with 17 seats. The feature of the election was the great upsurge of Liberalism."…
This is good news. Apparently the common people are getting sick of their common Labour politician. Labour is sick and tired of Labour. Maybe a day for gentleman is dawning once again.
Day of the Royal Wedding. Princess Elizabeth married to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in Westminster Abbey. The whole ceremony broadcast. Every word came through very clearly. Made me very emotional. As I listened I wept. The marriage service exactly as is in the Book of Common Prayer: no difference made for exaltedness; they were "this man"- "this woman." It is a beautiful service. The very word "obey" was not omitted. They made their vows simply as the simplest man and woman in the Kingdom. -forsaking all others-till death us do part- and hereto I plight thee my troth.-
I thought of my own wedding so long ago. Ted and I made these promises. It is till death do us part. It is forsaking all others.
This Princess left her father's house forever, as irrevocably as any girl. As I left my father's house.
And as I too have just forsaken my sons-forsaken them. -A woman's desire shall be towards her own husband.- Forsaking all others, cleave thee only unto him.-? Yes, marriage; as final and fated as birth or death. As hard to endure. Yet happiness and joy. So strange, so sad, so hard, so kind, so lovely.
December 6th 1956
Christmas is around again, how the time does fly. We here that Johnnie is being transferred to the Golden West, it will be quite a wrench for him and I suppose separate him from the elder children. He must be 46 now but probably is as young as ever. The Thompson's seem to age slowly. I have been looking up our pedigree recently, it takes a lot of research among old church registers but have been very interesting and I have got back to 1765 which is when John's great great great grandfather was born. I have his death certificate giving his age as 73 years so he should have been born (dying in mid July) March, April or May and if I can find him his baptismal record I will have names of his parents and possibly trace it back further, the trouble is that I do not know where they lived.
How is the world using you, I should love to come over to see you again but Ruby is tied to the house and I can not leave her, and she can not get out because she does not fit into any of the cars, the seats are too low and the doors also, her legs again in a terrible state but she is happy with her books and reading but will not have T.V. and I don't blame her and do not want it myself. I am getting old but feel as well as in 1949; the organist moved away so I have the job but they agreed to get others for everything except Sundays and I like playing although getting absent minded I have to be careful not to play the right music at the wrong time. I still enjoy life getting up at 6:00 a.m. and going to bed at 11:00. England is in a mess now over Egypt but perhaps the best result may be some gradual unemployment which may curb these wage increases and rising prices and make domestic economics easier.
I hope your Mother is keeping well, she is a wonder to keep going at her age. Ruby is writing to her. I suppose your family is growing up, please give my best wishes to your good wife.
We do not hear very much from Harold, is he quite o.k.? The boys are funny in omitting news unintentionally, we heard that Jimmie was expecting to be a grandfather and later that the child had arrived but up to now we do not know whether boy or girl. Well Bill it is time to sign off, please excuse my typewriter but my writing is becoming difficult because, like Johnny, I forget to go slow. All good wishes for a happy Christmas and a good New Year.