I only just caught the Special Bus this morning. Nothing happened at school.

   I got home for 1.15 then cycled to [Grandad’s and from there walked to] the Birmingham City v Bolton Wanderers match, which was drawn 0–0. Birmingham:— Merrick; Trigg,, Green; Harris (Capt.), McDonnell, Badham; Berry, Stewart, Dailey, Capel, Evans. B’ham City were unlucky not to score on four occasions in the first half, but though they attacked for three quarters of the game, they missed their chances and the game just petered out.

   [Blues players] Brennan and Ferris played for Ireland, who lost 8–2 to Scotland at Belfast.

   Tonight I went to the Library [and got another Gunby Hadath book.

   The last trams are running on Moseley Road tonight. I have seen them every day I have gone to school at K.E.S. and every time we have gone to Cannon Hill Park since we came to live here in 1941.]

For the love of Christ constraineth us. 2 Corinthians 5:14


   I finished reading my library book Hand and the Glove by Gunby Hadath, this morning. After doing some prep. I took Ginger and Tess for a walk [up Shirley Road] as far as the Robin Hood and back again down Fox Hollies Road. Clarice and Julia came with me.

   After dinner I stayed in.

   It is nearly nine o’clock now. I am just off to bed.

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the LORD’s name is to be praised. Psalm 113:8


   As usual, nothing at all happened at school. Nothing ever does as far as I can see [but the Birmingham Post has a photo of tram No. 386 entering the depot after its last run on Saturday night].

   In Physics we carried on with Mechanics. After Choir practice I played football for a few minutes and scored a goal.

   In Chemistry we did a dull experiment with hard water and soap. In History we spent the period writing a plan for an essay entitled “The Causes of the French Revolution, 1789”. I came home on the S.B.

   Tonight I listened to Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. I also went a short walk with Bob to take Ginger & Tess for a stroll.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11


   The School Captain [G.F.B. Laughland] took us for Maths today. We are now all in Prefects’ Detention for knocking chairs and desks over as we rushed out!!! I came straight home via town.

   Mam went out this afternoon so I cut all the left hand side of the back lawn and part of the right side as well. Tess has ruined both lawn and garden. She has dug a lot of holes in the flower beds but I can’t find the soil if I try to fill them in.

   No school tomorrow as it is Speech Day. Our form football team are playing V.A. at Selly Oak Park at 10.30am tomorrow.

Preserve me, O God: for in Thee do I put my trust. Psalm 16:1


   On arriving at Selly Oak Park this morning I learned that Chadwin, who was to be our goalkeeper, was taken to hospital yesterday with a suspected fracture of the arm.

   Our team today was:— Stokes; Stringer, Jarmain; Hopkins, Bennett, Durnell; Gardner, Robertson, Kington (loaned from V.B.), Myself, Fuery. We scored first through Gardner, followed by one from Kington, then I picked up a ball in the middle, side-stepped two V.A. defenders and rammed in a left foot shot. By half-time the score was 3–3. Soon we were 6–3 down, then Hopkins scored. With the score 4–8 I took a corner which Gardner promptly slammed in. We finished up 5–9. Three V.A. goals went in off the post.

He careth for you. 1 Peter 3:13


   Mr. Bennett came back today to take us for Maths. In J.T.C. we had a map-reading test, then an army officer drilled us. I came straight home on the 1A bus.

   This afternoon I did prep.

   Tonight I listened to the 2nd and last part of “The Hopkins Manuscript”, a Drama Week play about the moon colliding with the earth.

The Lord stood with me, and strengthened me ... and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 2 Timothy 4:17


   I woke up at five to three this morning to see the total eclipse of the moon. I saw the moon whilst still only partially eclipsed, but I also saw the moon at 3.30am about ten minutes after the eclipse became total. The moon looked copper-coloured but I was so sleepy that I did not take much notice of the moon at all. It was hardly more than a dream when I got up.

   Nothing happened at school. I scored two goals at dinner time. I postponed the P.D. [Prefects’ Detention] until Monday so that I could get home quickly.

   Tonight I listened to “The Crooked Shadow”, a Drama Week play. Mam and Dad are at the cinema as usual, [to see Things Happen at Night (A) and Meet Nero Wolf (A) at the Olton. Humphrey Bogart is in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (A) at the Warwick].

The LORD of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Psalm 46:11


   Nothing happened at school today. I came home on the 1A bus and got home for 1.10pm.

   After dinner I cycled to the match [leaving my bike at Grandad’s as usual]. Birmingham were playing Portsmouth the 1948–49 Div. I champions. Blues:— Merrick; Trigg, Green; Harris, Duckhouse, Badham; Berry, Brennan, Dailey, Capel, Ferris. Portsmouth scored first through Clarke their centre forward. Then Green was injured and went left-wing. Pompey scored twice within a minute after this. Blues playing with ten men held out & were unlucky not to score on two occasions. Result 0–3. Clarke 2, Reid 1.

   Tonight I went to the Library and got myself two books. [If I had known earlier, I would have gone from there to St. Mary’s, only two minutes away, to hear Bishop Barnes. He has been to rededicate the Church now that the rebuilding is finished. It was bombed on Tuesday night 10th December 1940, exactly 3 weeks after we were bombed out from Alum Rock.

   We came to live here in Acocks Green a few months later and I remember going down the village and seeing most of St. Mary’s roof missing and the windows shattered. (I have read somewhere that the next Sunday’s services were held at the Warwick Cinema and subsequently at Acocks Green School). But during 1941 the north aisle was repaired, roofed over and partitioned off, and Julia was christened there by the Vicar, Rev. P.J. Kelly, on Sunday 5th October.

   Mr. Kelly, who has been at St Mary’s since 20 June 1931, has produced a souvenir booklet for tonight’s service entitled Out of the Ashes — the Bombing and Rebuilding of St. Mary’s Acocks Green. He tells how the bomb crashed through the roof at 8.20pm that night, leaving a large crater in the floor just in front of the lectern. He had been standing on that very spot, taking a Confirmation class, when they heard the Air Raid Siren and he sent them to shelter. The lectern was demolished, the pulpit ruined, the screen reduced to matchwood, and the stained-glass windows utterly destroyed, except for the magnificent East Window designed by Edward Burne-Jones (1833–98) O.E.

   The pitch of the roof has now been lessened, tiles substituted for slates, and the walls heightened, with improved clerestory windows to let more light in as the Church used to be so dark. The cover of the booklet also shows St Mary’s with a tower which it is hoped to build! The Church, built in 1866 and extended in 1882 and 1891-2, has never had one, even though it was part of the architect J.G.Bland’s original design.]   

He maketh my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:33


   I finished reading Against the Clock by Gunby Hadath all this morning. It was another excellent book. It rained from midnight till ten o’clock but there is only 44 days water supply in the Elan Valley. The papers say we may have to queue for water soon.

   Tess looks like a rabbit when she pricks her ears up. She should look more like one now. Yesterday she stole some rabbit in the kitchen and gobbled it up, bones and all. She was rather ill afterwards.

   After dinner I did some prep, then tonight I stuck some photos in my soccer album.

I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen. Revelation 1:18


   Nothing unusual happened at school today. After Choir practice I played football and scored two goals.

   We had a Chemistry test this afternoon. After school I had P.D.F.T.I.P. [Prefect’s detention for talking in prayers] but in my case not for T.I.P. [A dozen or more of us hapless victims had to stand still for half-an-hour outside the entrance to Big School, not even breathing.

   On the way home I went to the Post Office and got the set of four new stamps, 2½d, 3d, 6d and 1/-, which have been issued today for the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Postal Union 1874–1949. I stuck them on the envelope I had done, addressed to myself, but decided not to post it]. I got home at 5.30pm.

   Tonight I did prep.

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Romans 12:25


   Mr. Nicholson took us for History today in which we had to write an essay. Nothing else happened at school until this afternoon when I played for the House 2nd XV v Burgess’ 2nd XV. The rain poured all through the dinner hour and our match did not start until nearly 3.0pm. It was still raining when the game started but at last it stopped. I was playing Hooker. At Half time we led 11–nil and we finished up winners by 26–0.

   I came home via town in a sudden downpour.

   Tonight I did prep.

God is my strength and power, and He maketh my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:33


   Today was a whole holiday in honour of “our pious founder, King Edward VI” [whom we remember every day in Prayers:—

We give Thee most humble and hearty thanks, O most merciful Father, for our pious Founder, King Edward the Sixth, and for all our Governors and Benefactors, by whose benefit this whole School is brought up in godliness and good learning: and we beseech Thee to give us grace to use these Thy blessings to the glory of Thy Holy Name, that we may answer the good intent of our religious Founder, and become profitable members of the Church and Commonwealth, and at last be partakers of Thy Heavenly Kingdom; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

   The prayer is a very ancient one, long in use at Winchester whose “pious founder” was William of Wykeham. Thomas Arnold (who wrote Tom Brown’s Schooldays, 1857) was there as a boy, and adapted it for use at Rugby School when he became its Head Master. His protégé James Prince Lee further adapted it when he became Chief Master at King Edward’s in 1838 — there is a painting of him in Big School.]

   I did not do much this morning. I went down the village to help Mam with the shopping.

   After dinner I went to the Ideal Home Exhibition at Bingley Hall. It was a good exhibition but last year’s was twice as good. While there I bought a bottle of Transprint, a U.S.A. liquid which enables one to reprint photographs both in colour and black and white. It is super to be able to reproduce a photo in my soccer album without having to use glue to stick it in.

Be still ... I am God. Psalm 46:10


   In J.T.C. today we practised field signs and map-references, then marching and turning etc. After school I had to clean my rifle which had been noted as dirty. Actually I had every intention of cleaning it but when I went down to the armoury on Tuesday, although the armoury was still open I was not allowed to clean it.

   This afternoon and this evening I did prep. Mr. Moore came at 8.45pm.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints. Psalm 116:15


   At break today I had to take a letter to the J.T.C. Orderly Room, and at 1 o’clock I had to collect my transport allowance from Geography Room A.

   Nothing happened worth writing about. [Professor M.L.E. Oliphant was giving a lecture to the Scientific Society on “Why Smash Atoms?”, but I missed it.]

   I came home on the Special Bus, then at a quarter to five went shopping with Mam.

   Tonight Mam, Dad and Bob have gone to the cinema. I have done some homework and painted a picture.

Jesus said ... I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11:25–26


   I did not feel at all well this morning when I got up but I felt better at school.

   Before prayers I went to the Lecture Room where I left a certain (incriminating) note-book yesterday afternoon. Just my luck — I did my French prep. last Monday but I forgot the translation of three words so Mr. Gosling made me translate the whole of the lesson as an impot.

   In Physics we had a test. I think I did alright though.

   This afternoon I made a 1950 Calendar and taught Tess how to walk downstairs.

   Tonight I did prep. & the impot.

   Grandad came today.

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises. 2 Peter 1:4


   I got up at nine o’clock today and then after breakfast I did some homework. Bob took some photographs of Tess and Ginger.

   After dinner I went to Aunt Daisy’s and then did prep. from 3.15 to 5.30pm

   Tonight I finished off my prep. and made two Calendars whilst I listened to “Variety Bandbox”.

   I wear long trousers now. Mam bought me a pair yesterday but I didn’t have room to write about it last night.

Philip ... preached unto him Jesus ... and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:35,39


   Nothing happened at school at all today. After Choir practice which lasted until 1.15pm I had my dinner then suddenly, down poured the rain for ten minutes. Then the sky cleared and out came the sun. I watched the steam rising up from the playground.

   In Chemistry we did an experiment to find the % loss in weight on heating Potassium Chlorate. The experiments were a flop though. There were about two decent results.

   I am writing this on Tuesday, as I had a lot of prep. to do last night.

We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19


   It was raining when I went to school this morning and it did not stop all day until tonight at about 8.30pm.

   We had a History test during second period today. I got about 5 out of twenty as usual. I don’t like History, especially French Revolutions etc.

   In Chemistry, Mr. Gess substituted some of his own “made-up” figures for yesterday’s experiment and made an even worse mess of it.

   In Maths we are doing Geometry.

   I stayed at school for Voluntary Art then came home with Donald Tipper via town and 44 bus.

   Tonight I have been doing homework.

I am my beloved’s, and his desire is towards me. Song of Solomon 7:10


   In Physics today we carried on with magnetism. Nothing much happened at school. I played football at dinner time and scored three goals.

   Mr. Crow took us for English. In History I wrote up some notes. I came home on the S.B. When I got home I went down the village.

   During the evening I did homework, blancoed gaiters, belt & pouches, and pressed my J.T.C. uniform, as well as my pair of long trousers.

   Mam and Dad have gone to the cinema [to see Will Hay in Good Morning Boys (A) and Flanagan & Allen in Here Comes the Sun (U) at the Warwick. They are both old films, released in 1937 and 1945].

   It is nearly nine o’clock. I am going to bed in a minute.

Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. Proverbs 8:34


   We had to go to school in Musketry Order for J.T.C. today. At least I put mine on at Break.

   In Maths yesterday I told Mr. Bennett that I had not had time to do my he said bring it in for today. I came out in a hurry though, & left it on the table so he put me in detention together with Wright and Bradley. He changed his mind and gave us double prep. instead.

   In J.T.C. we practised loading etc. on the new playing fields then did drill. We were also issued with new C.C.F. cap-badges.

   I came straight home & did prep. all this afternoon and this evening.

I, even I, am He that comforteth you. Isaiah 51:12


   I always have to run for the Special Bus & today was no exception.

   In P.T. we were weighed, measured & [had our] chest expansion measured.

   I played football at dinner time as usual.

   This afternoon we had History and Maths tests.

   When I got home I went down the village twice.

   Mam and Dad are at the cinema. [They have gone to the Warwick again to see Richard Greene and Cedric Hardwicke in Now Barabbas Was a Robber and Valentine Dyall (‘The Man in Black’) in Dr. Morelle—The Case of the Missing Heiress.] Bob is in with me. I have just finished my homework.

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. Psalm 62:1–2


   Nothing much happened at school today.

   After school I came home on the 1A bus and this afternoon I cycled to the Blues v Everton match. It was not a very good match, but neither side scored or looked like scoring. Birmingham City:— Merrick; Carr, Jennings; Boyd, Atkins, Badham; Havenga, Berry, Dailey, Brennan, Stewart.

   After tea I went to the Library then did prep. for the rest of the evening.

Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up. Isaiah 50:9


   It has rained almost all day today. I did some homework before and after dinner.

   This evening I packed my satchel for tomorrow and listened to the radio. I also fitted a nib in Clarice’s fountain-pen.

Then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God ... by the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:9–10


   Nothing much happened at school today. I had Choir practice at 12.30pm of course, then this afternoon we started on Hydrogen in double Chemistry. Mr. Gess made soap bubbles of Hydrogen which he set alight as they sailed up to the ceiling. Then Mr. Gess made some soap bubbles containing Hydrogen and Oxygen. These exploded very loudly. Such fun.

   I came bottom in History I think, but my mark list for all the other subjects is not too bad.

   I came home with Hopkins through town.

   Tonight I did homework.

Then Jesus beholding him loved him. Mark 10:21


   Such excitement!!! It was twenty minutes to nine when I went out this morning & I missed the 31A bus. When I did catch the bus the Special went past, & I was giving up hope of ever catching it up when my bus overtook three others & I just managed to jump on the S.B. at the College Arms.

   In Geography Mr. Benett showed us pictures on the Epidiascope.

   This afternoon I played for the House 2nd XV v Biggs’ 2nd XV. The rain was pouring down & Biggs played with the tide for the first half. We changed straight over. The final result was 9–16. So far the 1st XV have lost all three matches & we have won 1 and lost 2 matches.

   I got my hair cut on the way home.

Lovest thou Me? John 21:17


   Nothing happened during the morning. At dinner time I played football and scored ten goals in two games.

   In English we discussed the Prevention of Road Accidents. French lasted until 2.50pm when we assembled in Big School for a concert given by Eileen & Joan Lovell (Pianists). The concert included Sonata in D by Mozart.

   I came home on the 1A bus with Don Tipper.

   Tonight I blancoed gaiters etc. & wrote up five pages of notes on Hydrogen.

   This morning Mam issued a summons against Mrs. Jenkins [our neighbour at 149 Circular Road] for assault. The case comes up next Wednesday.

The LORD pitieth them that fear Him. Psalm 103:13


   I had another rush to catch the S.B. again this morning.

   In English we read G.K. Chesterton’s Lepanto. In Geography we continued notes.

   At break I put on Musketry Order. In J.T.C. we did Rifle 6 (H.A.T.) and drill. I came home with Donald Tipper.

   This afternoon I read the Rover and Hotspur, then at 5.0pm I went down the village with Mam and Clarice and Julia.

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Isaiah 40:29


   In English on Fridays we read Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (unfortunately). In Geography I was muchly commended by Mr. Whalley for my hair-do!!!

   I played football at dinner time then we had History & Maths tests. For History we went to the Biology Laboratory & Mr. Ballance took the period.

   I caught the Special Bus home and tonight I did a little homework & also took down the latest weather readings [from the Birmingham Mail].

   It is almost nine o’clock. Mam, Dad and Bob have gone out. I am going to bed in a minute or two.

Blessed art Thou, O LORD: teach me Thy statutes ... Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law. Psalm 119:12–13


   Today was the Birmingham University Carnival Day & we were “invaded” on the S.B. by two gay carnivalists clinking their tins. At school also we were “visited” during French with Mr. Gosling. Mr. Gess was absent today so Mr. Bennett took us for Chemistry, together with V.S. in Lecture Room 3. For last period we did a Physics experiment in the Junior Physics Lab.

   I came home by 1A bus.

   Only two boys turned up for my [Hartfield Crescent] football meeting this afternoon but I had a game.

   Grandad came for tea.

Mary ... sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. Luke 10:39


   The clocks were put back an hour tonight [sic, last night] so we had an extra hour of sleep this morning. Before breakfast Clarice & I took Ginger and Tess for a walk along Yardley Road, the [Grand Union] Canal and Woodcock Lane.

   After breakfast I blew up my football and had a game in the park with Brian [Holliday] and Ken [Gray].

   This afternoon I did homework and this evening I looked through thirty copies of Boy’s Own Paper, from June 1947 to November 1949.

   It has been another fine day again.

The LORD is in His holy temple. Psalm 11:4


   It seemed an unusually bright morning this morning but then it was an hour later by changing the clocks. For the past few months I had been going to school at 7.30 really.

   Mr. Gess came back today. He had had ’flu. I had Choir Practice as usual. I came home on the S.B. after school.

   Tonight I did prep.

They took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus ... We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. Acts 14:13,20

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webwork by Jim Nagel at Abbey Press, Glastonbury — this edition published 2007-06-30