[transcription and transcription annotations have been provided by the collection donor]
Mon. June 1, 1942:
We leave for Cottesmore to-night. I tried to get to Barrow to get my overcoat, but missed both bus and train getting soaked through my endeavors. Train leaves at 7:40 so we went to the west County Hotel for a fifteen minute farewell party.
Tues. June 2, 1942:
We made quite a few changes last night, thus breaking up whatever sleep we could get. Arriving at Leicester and having to wait a couple of hours, Alex Ramsay and I cased the town, we’ll be back there later. Oakham is the closest town to the airport. When we arrived we had to go through records etc. and were given 8 days leave. Hampdens are the main air/c here, and have been used in the 1000 plane raid on Cologne last Saturday and in the raid on Essen last night with only two crash landings and one fatality. Back to Oakham to catch the train for Heysham and a trip to Belfast, Going through Chesterfield I saw the famous twisted church steeple, passed through Sheffield and I know now why the Midlands is covered with “Industrial Haze”. Arriving at Leeds I discovered my train from there has left one quarter of an hour earlier. By this time I was pretty sleepy so headed for the “Y” where I got a bed and met a New Zealand pilot. We walked around the city a bit before retiring.
Wed June 3, 1942:
Up at 8:00 breakfast and a stroll around the business section. Tried to get my pants pressed while I waited, but they have no such service here, or as the policeman said “We’re not that modern yet”. Caught the 10:40 train for Morcambe. As it was Wednesday afternoon all the stores were shut, however I lazed around the promenade all afternoon. Morcambe being a seaside resort has a lot of Ferris wheels, giant dippers and games of chance. I met several people who had been in Canada. After going through a lot of red tape I boarded the boat for Belfast.
Thurs June 4, 1942:
We arrived in Belfast at 9:00 this morning. Harlem and Wolfe plant on Queen island if very large. After getting my leave form stamped by the R.A.F. I headed for the “Y” having a self appointed guide attach himself to me. Rid myself of the old Joker at the “Y”, then roamed around a bit. Belfast has had quite a blitz, but carried on under her Barrage Balloons. In the afternoon I visited McMurtry’s, then caught a train for Whitehead to visit Barkley’s. James Barkley took me along the sea walk past several cliff caves. Whitehead is very small. Belfast is more lively, more like large Canadian cities. Lots of American soldiers roaming around..
Fri. June 5, 1942:
From Whitehead I went back to Belfast and caught the afternoon train for Dromore arriving about 4:30 PM. A small town with half a dozen factories, an old cathedral (burial ground for some of Mother’s people), a castle ruins, an old Celtic cross, criminal stocks at the town hall and an old earth works (1190 - 1200 was its probable date). From here the entire town can be seen.
Sat June 6, 1942: to Wed June 17, 1942:
no entry, probably visiting relatives in North Ireland.
Thurs June 18, 1942:
Our day off started at 5:00 PM so after classes we rushed into Oakham to draw a little cash out of the P.O. bank and catch the 6:30 for Leicester. We arrived about an hour later, secured bunks in the “Y” then set out to see the city life. Met a Mr. Lunt and his biddies in one of the pubs. His son is stationed at Pat Bay, B.C. Our next stop was Palais de Dance, a good floor, orchestra and lots of good looking women.
Fri. June 19, 1942:
Up at 10:00 and a tour of town for a pair of shoe trees. In the afternoon McIntyre, Loughlin and I visited the old guildhall, with its law chambers, cells and burglar traps. Next the excavated ruins of a Roman Forum, continuing on we looked over the castle, where the early barons gathered to decide how to handle King John. Just around the corner lies the Newark Museum, containing many objects including a shoe belonging to the Irish giant O’Brien. After supper we went to the Wellington, meeting Mr Lund and his buddies again then off to the Palais de Dance till 11:00 P.M. We caught a bus back home.
Sat. June 20, 1942:
My Meerschaum pipe arrived to-day. We had a lecture on fuselage and some sessions on the A.M.L. bombing teacher. Was given some much needed 35mm cassettes by the Photography Ft.Sgt.
Sun June 21, 1942:
Two periods in the bombing teacher this morning, getting on to the use of the automatic bomb sight. Fuselage in the afternoon, during which we practiced abandoning air/c from the Hampden set up in the C.T.O. Building. We heard that all leaves and days off would be cancelled, probably another 1000 plane raid coming off at the end of the month.
Mon June 22, 1942:
A.M.L. (bombing teacher) periods to-day. We get quite a bit of time off during these sessions. Joe Hart, Cec Loughlin and I tramped across the fields to the village of Greetham. We entered the village by the church, parts of which seem very old. The interior is plain and lit by coal oil lamps hanging from the ceiling. There is a water spout set in a stone shelter, called Jacob’s well. Apparently it has good qualities.
Tues June 23, 1942:
A session on fuselages, then A.M.L. The rest of the time our own. B.B. Hosick and I went into Oakham and saw Clark Gable and Jean Harlow in “China Seas” then to the canteen.
Wed June 24, 1942:
Not as hot weather as the few days previous. Two periods of A.M.L. this morning. In the Cleft Trainer this afternoon.
Thurs June 25, 1942:
In the A.M.L. this morning and afternoon. Since I finished early I got ready to go to Nottingham. Bruce Hosick and I arrived at Notts. About 6:00 pm, got a hotel room had supper and went to the Palais de Dance. Here the men were greatly outnumbered by women.
Fri June 26, 1942:
After breakfast Bruce and I roamed through town, later running into Joe Hart, Vipond and O’Connor. Lunch at the Empire Club, then a bus ride to one of the parks. Took a girl I met at the dance to supper and strolled around the embankment. Caught train for Oakham.
Sat June 27, 1942:
Classes this morning. Flying this afternoon. We passed over Oxford, a town of spires.
Sun June 28, 1942:
I flew this morning - Base - Towcaster - Hichen - Newmarket - Gainsborough Base. We passed over Cambridge. WAAF anniversary, so they held a dance.
Mon June 29, 1942:
A.M.L. in the morning. It’s very close and sultry to-day, making one sleepy. Classes in the afternoon. Bruce Hosick and I had a workout in the evening.
Tues June 30, 1942:
We were awakening early this morning by air raid warning broadcast over the public address system. Apparently Jerry was overhead. Supposed to be on A.M.L. this morning, but the (end of sentence).