We had three tests at school today — a test on Belgium during first period, a Biology test in fourth period and a Maths test for the first two periods after dinner.

   I played football in the dinner hour & actually scored two whole goals.

   I came home on the Special Bus & apart from taking down some weather readings I did prep. all the evening until 10.15pm. (I am writing this on Thursday).

The grace of our LORD Jesus Christ be with you. 1 Corinthians 16:23


   At school this morning in J.T.C. we did revision in taking cover, etc., etc. It was rather a miserable morning — it was drizzling most of the morning.

   I came home on the 1A ’bus & worked out my half-term averages.

   After dinner I drew a map of France for Geography prep. This took me three hours by the time I had marked in all the main towns, rivers, and so forth.

   During the evening I wrote a few more pages of my book, and also took Ginger for her evening walk.

And the LORD remembered her. 1 Samuel 1:19


   Today was our Half-Term Holiday. I stayed in bed until about 9.15am.

   After breakfast I went shopping & took Ginger with me. Later in the morning I went to have a haircut.

   After dinner I washed up and spent most of the afternoon reading.

   Mam and Dad went to the cinema. I listened to the radio until eight o’clock & then cycled round to Mr. Cook’s house but he was out. I drew a few pictures for the remainder of the evening.

Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants, and Thy glory unto their children. Psalm 90:16


   This morning I took Ginger for a short walk, went down the village, and cycled on to the Stratford Road to get some meat for Ginger.

   This afternoon our match against a Boys Brigade team was cancelled. I believe that Mr. Cook has disbanded our team so it appears that I shalln’t have a team to play for now.

   In the afternoon I went down to a pitch in Olton & also to the park to see if I could get a game but I was out of luck.

   After tea I went to the Olton to see Bob Hope and Lucille Ball in Fancy Pants (Technicolor). The other film was She Asked for It (A). Both films were very good.

   [I was able to get Picture Show earlier this week — the first since 3rd October, due to the paper shortage. There is no date on the cover, but it is numbered 1437/1438/1439/1440 to cover the last four weeks, though with only the usual 16 pages. The cover picture is of Valentina Cortesa & Richard Greene in Shadow of the Eagle and The Wooden Horse is featured in the centre pages. I should very much like to see this, having read Eric Williams’ story in the Sunday Graphic.]

He shall be as the light of the morning. 2 Samuel 23:4


   This morning Dad and I worked in the garden. I swept up the leaves and dug up most of the gladiolas. We moved the rabbit-hutch down to the bottom of the garden.

   After dinner I stayed in reading but also lit a bonfire in the garden.

   I spent most of the evening reading some mystery stories.

   I forgot to mention on Thursday the death of Mr. George Bernard Shaw aged 94.

As is the earthly, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they that are heavenly, and as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 1 Corinthians 15:48–49


   This morning I was Captain of Upper V.C. v The Rest at Selly Oak Park. We played seven-a-side, my team being:— Chadwin; Robertson, Duggins, Evans; Myself, Ayto, James. The Rest:— Percy; Stokes, Jarmain, Kington; Lane, Young, Beech. We won by 13 goals to 10. It was a good game. Ayto got five goals for us, Duggins got thee, James two, and I scored three. Altogether I had a hand (occasionally a foot) in about ten or eleven of our goals. Ayto played very well as did Duggins, and Kington was their best player.

   I did homework this afternoon & tonight we let off some fireworks.

He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6


   We returned to school this morning. For first period we went to form rooms to buy dinner tickets and to receive a new pad.

   After school I came home through town and managed to finish my homework during the afternoon so that I was able to go to Cubs as usual. Just before I went Mr. Cook called & he kept me talking, so I was late arriving at Baker Street. Mr. Thornborough was away so I took charge of the Cubs until Mr. Harvey and Mr. Winters arrived. Mr. Winters has obtained a new leger [sic] which I am filling in.

The glory of the LORD shall be thy reward. Isaiah 58:8


   Wednesday morning is always my favourite morning at school. In Geography (Regional) so far this term we have covered both Belgium and Holland and at present we are studying France. In Physics we are doing electricity.

   At dinner time I played football. We used three pitches but the idea was hardly a success.

   In our Double Maths period we had a test.

   After school I went to a Geographical Society meeting in Lecture Room 3. Two J. Arthur Rank “This Modern Age” films were shown — “Struggle for Oil” and “Ontario Whale Hunt”. Both were very interesting.

   I got home for 6.0.

As the light of the morning. 2 Samuel 23:4


   It was raining slightly this morning but it turned out warm soon. In J.T.C. we did mutual drill and S.C.13. The latter consisted mainly of crawling about on a field near the University Drive.

   This afternoon I played hooker for the 2nd XV v Dunt’s. We won our first match of the season by 15–8. We played quite well as a team & in the second half we failed only twice to get the ball out of the scrum. Our great record is now:—

P4, W1, L3, For 26, Against 98.

   Meanwhile the first team lost again. They also have won but one of their four games.

   I spent all the evening doing French, Maths, English and Chemistry homework.

His mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 136:3


   What a dreary day. It has rained incessantly. The cold depressing fog has rubbed shoulders with everyone today & the deep gloom made necessary the use of artificial lighting throughout the city.

   We had Physics test during first period. In the dinner hour I did prep in the library.

   We continued the talks in French this afternoon & I introduced Bray.

   I caught the S.B. home.

   After tea I went round the corner with Ginger & fetched my copy of The Listener.

   Tomorrow we shall say goodbye to Bob who has been with us since April last year.

If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye. 1 Peter 4:14


   Nothing happened at school this morning. I had to go from school to the B.B.C., but I had a few minutes to spare so Lewis, Chadwin and I went into the field adjoining Edgbaston Park. We saw a pair of Redwings.

   I got to the B.B.C. for my third Children’s Hour broadcast at 1.20. After going through the whole programme once, we each read our piece & then signed scripts & autograph books.

   [As last time I prepared a special page, headed “Midland Magazine” No. 32. In addition to David Scott-Daniell (editor) and Peggy Bacon (producer), I got the autographs of Pamela Watkinson (announcer), Valerie Gilman, Patricia Tovey, Pamela Rostron, Mavis J. Hotter, Rosalie Grayson (Michael’s sister), John M. Davies, Monica Mackay, Ivor R. Ford, John Bennett, Brigid Walsh, Pat Smith, Judith Hudson, Florence Carraciolo, Jean M. Lester, Monica A. Owen, David Brown and Mary Webster. There were 22 of us altogether but Leon Coates, Patrick Wells and Keith Smith didn’t sign the book. I have met Pat Tovey, Mavis Hotter, Rosalie, Ivor Ford and David Brown before, and Jean Lester 3 times now — she is very good!

   After a run-through] David Brown, Keith Smith & I played cricket with a script as a bat and a ball of paper as a ball. David Scott-Daniel watched with interest but dropped a catch so he did not bat. We had tea next door. I was 8th in the programme & read “The Unhappy Dragon” by Derek Winter. The fifteen parents looked much more scared than we did! Mam and Dad [at home] both missed the broadcast. Jack Wilson & Harry Engleman finished off the programme.

Thereis nothing too hard for Thee. Jeremiah 32:17


   I had to get up at 8.30am this morning to go to Church Parade. I went with Phil & we arrived at 9.45. The parade moved off twenty minutes later. The service, a special Remembrance Sunday service, was conducted by the Rev. Ronald Allen, M.C., M.A., and lasted roughly an hour & a quarter. After the service we marched past, the salute being taken by Brigadier Wheatley.

   After dinner I stayed in & did some homework.

   Tonight I cleaned up & repaired a picture frame as well as binding a couple of volumes of Harmsworth’s Home Doctor. Mr. Harvey has given me 42 of this publication, that is to say, six complete volumes. They may be somewhat out of date now — they were published in 1922.

I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Jeremiah 32:27


   We started working on Geomorphology in Geography today.

   The School Choir is bigger than ever now so Choir Practice [at 12.25pm] was held in Big School.

   In Maths we did some Arithmetic for the first time this term.

   I caught the S.B. home.

   I did homework for most of the evening. I also went to the Library. I listened to “Paul Temple” at 8.45 as usual.

Our LORD Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father. Galatians 1:3–4


   All our double English period was spent in doing comprehension as usual, but nothing else happened at school this morning.

   I came home through town as I had to make an application for a Post Office job during the Christmas holidays.

   After dinner I went down the village with Mam & we took Ginger Brownhound with us. [I went to the Midland Bank to pay 15/- into my account. I now have £5 5s 6d.]

   I did prep. then until 6.30pm & then went to Cubs.

   I got back at 8.30, took Hound out & now I am listening to the big fight — Woodcock v Gardner. At the moment (7th round) Gardner is leading. The tenaciousness of the fight is reflected in the ferocity with which I am attacking my supper. P.P. Gardner won. Woodcock retired end 11th round.

The God of heaven, He will prosper us. Nehemiah 12:20


   We had a Biology test at school this morning but otherwise very little happened all day. We had our usual Maths test.

   At 1 o’clock I went to a Musical Society Concert in Big School. Mr. N.J.F. Craig (violin) & Mr. W.D. Rees (piano) gave a recital consisting of Handel’s Sonata In F, Serenade from Hassan by Delius, Chanson & Pavane (Kreisler) and Dance movements from The Fairy Queen (Purcell-Roothman).

   I came home on the S.B.

   At school we are being plastered with propaganda for the match v Bromsgrove [School. The first match was played in 1875, so it is the 75th anniversary].

Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 12:24


   I did not appear on parade this morning — instead I managed to do half of my prep. in the library. It rained all morning.

   This afternoon I hooked for Copland’s 2nd XV v Leeds’. We won by 9 points to 3. I did not have a very good game myself but Kipper, who was playing only his second game of Rugby for three or four years [when we both played at Camp Hill], scored two of our tries & had another disallowed. What did impress me though was that our forwards actually put plenty of force into the scrum. The first team continue their losing ways.

   This evening I have written a French talk called “Le Coucou”.

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. 1 John 5:21


   After Physics this morning a Police Sergeant spoke to us on the subject of Road Safety. This reduced our Physics to about forty-four minutes.

   After dinner I went to the Christian Union meeting in the Biological Laboratory. The Rev. G.T. Eddy spoke on “Conflict and Conquest”. It was a talk well worth hearing — a pity only thirteen other people turned up at the meeting.

   I did not have to give my talk in French.

   Tonight Mam & Dad have gone to the cinema I have been doing Geography prep. We are working out a suggested route for a tour of the Central Plateau of France.

   I have just been listening to an appreciation of Al Jolson who died on October 24th.

The LORD God is a sun and shield. Psalm 84:11


   As usual nothing much happened at school.

   I came home through town and spent all the afternoon doing homework and reading.

   This evening I transferred all my books and magazines from the tallboy in Clarice and Julia’s room into the front room. Bob’s having left us last week, Mr. Elwell redecorated my room on Thursday so I shall be able to move in fairly soon.

Korean War Diary for November 8th–14th:—

Nov. 9th. Large numbers of Chinese troops reported crossing Manchuria border into N. Korea.

10th. Tibet appeals to United Nations protesting against Chinese invasion.

13th. U.N. forces advance.

The LORD be with you all. 2 Thessalonians 3:16


   I went round the corner with Ginger before we had breakfast this morning. [We went to Dorlings to pay for the papers, 1/7d as usual.]

   I washed up after breakfast & then did homework all morning.

   I spent all the afternoon doing prep. as well.

   After tea I washed up and sorted out all the waste paper & took down weather readings. I took Hound out at 8.30pm and I met Mr. Cook in the village. His new team Priory Rangers quarrelled so he left them after a week & now he has got Robin Hood Jets together again!!!

   [It is ten years tonight since we were bombed out. I shall never forget it. The Air Raid siren went in the early evening and the raid lasted all night. We were huddled together under the stairs, Mam holding Clarice (only 13 months old) and Dad holding the door to on a piece of string, when the land mine fell.

   At dawn, after the raid was over we crawled out and I could see the sky where the roof and ceiling had been — the house was in ruins. The floor was strewn with glass and plaster and splintered wood, and the front of the piano was blown out and standing on the opposite side of the room. 615 people were killed and nearly a thousand injured, 428 of them seriously but we escaped with barely a scratch.

   I remember we walked up Belchers Lane still in the same clothes to Granma and Grandad’s at 23 Pretoria Road. Then we went to stay at Aunt Edna & Uncle Albert’s at 61 Colonial Road, and later to Maud & Harold Cox’s, and from there to Kathleen Road, before we got this house. We managed to rescue some of the furniture, including the wardrobe in my bedroom which has a hole in the front caused by shrapnel.

   My Dinky toys, though damaged, also survived, including the little blue vans Mam got me from the toy shop next to the railway bridge in Alum Rock Road. We still play with them.]

Because thou hast made the LORD, even the most High, thy habitation: there shall no evil befall thee. Psalm 9:9–10


   School lost on Saturday at Bromsgrove by 3–nil so now the “Shird” should have flown back to its Greenland retreat in disgrace.

   Today’s lessons were just the same as usual. I came home on the S.B. and spent quite some time reading past copies of The Listener.

   After doing some prep I listened to “Paul Temple” & then went to bed.

Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD: that delighteth in His commandments ... he shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. Psalm 112:1, 7


   In English today Chadwin gave a talk on Bird Migration. This was followed by a discussion on the same topic so that English today was much more interesting than when we do Comprehension.

   It has rained all day until about 8.0pm. All the Rugby was postponed in fact, though Copland’s had no match until next week.

   I went down the village on Bob’s bike to do some shopping for Mam and then I did homework until 6.30 when I went to Cubs. The attendance tonight was twenty-one out of twenty-six but the Troop attendance is about twenty-five percent which seems most disheartening.

Tell Jesus. John 12:22


   It has again rained for most of the day. During the dinner hour I did some work in the library. We had our usual Maths test in the afternoon.

   After school I had a special Alto practice in the New Music Room and consequently I did not get home until 5.30.

   During the evening I did some Geography, then went to bed at 9.15.

My Korean Diary, Nov. 15th–21st:—

16th. Mr. Truman gives an assurance that U.S.A. intends no hostilities against China.

17th. Two Korean Cabinet ministers resign.

18th. U.N. forces advance along whole front.

19th. N. Korean guerrillas reported to be occupying Chunchon.

21st. American troops occupy a town on Manchurian border of N. Korea.

God hath dealt graciously with me. Genesis 33:11


   In French this morning we started reading Les Prisonniers by Guy de Maupassant. So far we have read three of his Six Contes.

   In Geography Mr. Benett showed us a film strip on the subject of lakes.

   In J.T.C. we were given our orders for Field Day (tomorrow) & we also did Section Leading 17 in Platoon classrooms. I got my khaki drill from [Cpl. Price, R.B.W., i/c] the stores before coming home.

   This afternoon I did some homework & went down the village [for today’s Rover, No. 1326, with pictures of “Life-Savers of Land, Sea and Air” on the cover. I read “The Unsolved Mystery of the 5 Lost Fottballers” and “The Phantom Flyer”].

   Mrs. Palmer came.

And the LORD turned, and looked upon Peter, and Peter remembered the word of the LORD ... and he went out, and wept bitterly. Luke 22:61–62


   For Field Day today all “A” Company went to Weatheroak just outside Wythall. We travelled on Heathcoate & Llewellyn Luxury Coaches. Our bus I soon identified as an ex- [Birmingham City] Corporation species. Inside it actually bore its B.C.T. Fleet Number, 1256, [which I knew it must be from its registration number, FOF 256. It is a Daimler double-decker bus seating 54, with a Gardner engine, one of 130 such vehicles built in 1938–39].

   On arrival we did mutual drill for fifty minutes. Then until 2.45 we did various items including map-reading, section leading & section attacks.

   When we got back to school we cleaned our rifles, washed, & then had tea in the Dining Hall. I came home on the 1A bus.

   Tonight I went to the Library to get Oliver Philpot’s Stolen Journey which I ordered a fortnight ago. I read the first fifteen chapters [up to page 109] before I went to bed.

If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:14


   We worked in pairs in Chemistry today but Chadwin was absent so I worked by myself.

   Coming home on the bus with John [Maund] and Kipper I finished reading Joseph Conrad’s The Inn of the Two Witches. I think it was the best of the three Conrad stories we have read so far.

   This afternoon I cycled to Grandad’s [23 Pretoria Road, Bordesley Green] & went on to St. Andrews to see Birmingham City beat Luton Town 3–nil, Higgins scoring two and Smith one goal. It was dark before I got home.

   I read some more chapters of Stolen Journey tonight.

He that hath My word, let him speak My word faithfully ... saith the LORD. Jeremiah 23:28


   I stayed in a bed [sic] for a bit this morning and continued reading Stolen Journey. I am half way through now.

   I went out before breakfast. After, I looked at the newspapers & took Ginger for a walk to the park.

   During the afternoon I finished some prep I had still to do, then during the evening I read my book again.

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it. Song of Solomon 8:7


   Unfortunately every clock in the school stopped during the weekend at seven o’clock. It was surprising how lost one felt without the time at hand.

   In our Geography lessons we studied volcanoes [sic] today. We did some revision for the exams in Maths.

   It has been a miserable day. The overnight frost had made the roads very treacherous, then down came te fog. When the fog disappeared down came the rain.

   This evening I went round to the Martins’ [8 Oxford Road]] to rehearse some carols. I came away at 10.0pm.

Grace be unto all them that love our LORD Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. Ephesians 6:24


   We started our exams this morning. During second period we had an Arithmetic exam: though it was easy, Mr. Roberts gave us well over twice as much work as was possible in the time.

   We had our English exam for the rest of the morning. I only just finished this.

   I came straight home on the 1A bus with Kipper — the rain had poured down all morning.

   I did homework this afternoon & went to Cubs tonight where we had an evening of games.

   I took Hound for her evening walk.

If, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 1 Peter 2:20


   We had two exams today — Biology and Geometry. Yesterday I was top in the Arithmetic examination with 38 out of 50 — I got full marks for everything I did. Next best mark was 25/50, the average mark of the rest about 12/50.

   I came home on the Special.

   I decided to have an evening out so I went to the Olton to see Rocketship XM. This film is about four men & a girl who go in a rocket to the moon but finish up on Mars! It was an immensely exciting film & very well produced I thought. The other film Someone at the Door was also very good.

   I took Hound out when I got home at 9.20.

Occupy till I come. Luke 19:13


   In French today we had an oral exam. I got 13/20 which was third or fourth best. Our Geography exam was cancelled fortunately. In Maths we had an Algebra examination.

   I got ticked off by Dr. Willis Grant for not attending alto practice yesterday but it was te first practice I had missed for over eighteen months.

   I had to appear on parade in musketry order today as I did not wear it last week. We did mutual drill & map reading.

   I hooked for the 2nd XV v Porter’s this afternoon. We won 23–17 against eight men. We had 995% of the scrums. Kipper got 4 tries. I was unlucky not to score on seven occasions.

Without Me ye can do nothing. John 15:5

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