Thursday, June 26, 2008

Saturday 8th July 1939

Evening: Went across to see Phyllis in Southend General Hospital. (I’d heard she felt lonely on Saturday nights cos although it wasn’t visitors day, husbands used to come and see their wives then). I asked for Mrs Lawrence, said that I was a relative and had come from Brentwood (sounded further than Stock). After some delay I went upstairs and sat nervously by the Sister’s desk in a corridor adjacent to the ward – maternity ward. A grim wait of half an hour ensued; there were obviously no other visitors about. The Sister returned and after listening to my story, allowed me to go in (to my sister).

Thank heavens, the bed was only just inside the ward. I told Sister she was less frightening than I’d expected, which seemed to please her. There was Phyllis, as gay and vivacious as ever, although she said she’d had a terrible time. It was fine to see her again after wondering what had become of her and not knowing whether she was alive or dead. She loved the baby – a boy, probably to be called Graham. The only thing that worried her was whether Lawrence’s trial would commence before she left hospital. She was sensitive that people might be discussing it. Otherwise Phyllis seemed quite happy.

Eastern counties black-out tonight. I drove home cautiously, with side-lights. Each time that I, getting impatient, turned headlights on, an air raid warden would stop me (even in the country!) and request the lights to be extinguished. Very few lights showing in any houses. I undressed and got into bed with the illumination provided by a very feeble electric torch.

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