It was announced in the local press this morning that the Head [T.E.B. Howarth] was leaving K.E.S. in 1952. After prayers the Head explained that his job was in some ways not entirely satisfactory for it had “so many administrative ramifications”. His primary interest lay in teaching and he had to cut down his teaching programme continually. He is returning to Winchester College as Second Master probably at Easter next year.

   In J.T.C. today, we did mutual drill and some rifle revision. I came home through town. Nothing else happened all day.

Therefore for Thy name’s sake, lead me and guide me. Psalm 31:3


   As usual nothing much happened all day. At dinner time I went shooting and just missed classification as a first class shot by two points.

   I came straight home on the Special Bus. I spent the evening doing homework.

Korean Diary for Feb 21st–27th

22nd. UN troops clear a large part of the Communist salient on the central front in Korea.

25th. UN forces meet increasing resistance in central Korea.

27th. Fresh gains made by UN forces

O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23


   We had a test in Biology this morning. Otherwise nothing happened.

   I came home on the 1A ’bus. I stayed in during the afternoon and started to paint a poster. Next Wednesday the Science Exhibition takes place and on the Biological side of things Lewis and I are displaying various items of pond life. The poster shows a cross-section of a stream.

   In the evening I listened to the wireless.

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way that thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye. Psalm 32:8


   I got up early today so that Dad and I could queue for Semi-Final tickets at St. Andrews. Some 200 people stayed overnight at the head of the queue but when we arrived (at 11am) selling had been going on for about half an hour and there were some 25,000 people in front of us. Since there were only 23,000 tickets available, we were unlucky. I felt terribly disappointed. No doubt quite a few of the fortunate people with tickets have not seen one match so far this season.

   I spent the afternoon doing some homework. I also read some of my library book and did some more work on my painting.

Christ ... loved the church, and gave Himself for it. Ephesians 5:25


   Yesterday’s weather was fine but we reverted again to the customary British weather for this time of the year — rain.

   Nothing worthy of note here, happened. I just managed to get the Special Bus.

   When I got home I went straight down to the park to collect some specimens of pond life. Ginger came with me. When I had broken the ice, I obtained Canadian Pond Weed, Brooklime, several species of snails, freshwater shrimps and a horse-leech. It was nearly dark when I returned.

As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me, Psalm 55:16


   I was going down to the ground [in Eastern Road] to get some Athletics Standards this afternoon but it rained continually and everything was cancelled. I ate my sandwiches at school and then Lewis and I put the finishing touches to our display of pond life.

   It was 2.45 when I got home. Apart from fetching my March B.O.P. [Boy’s Own Paper] from Dorlings I spent the whole of the afternoon doing homework. I did not go to Cubs this evening as I still had a considerable amount of prep unfinished.

   Ivor Novello died today. Last night he was on stage at the Palace Theatre, London, in his play King’s Rhapsody [which has been running there since 15th September 1949 — 841 performances], but early this morning he was found dead in his flat above the Strand Theatre. There has been a tribute to him on the Home Service tonight.

   His musical plays such as The Dancing Years [which was revived at the Adelphi on 14th March 1942 and ran for 969 performances] and Perchance to Dream [which opened at the Hippodrome on 21st April 1945 and ran for 1,022 performances] were phenomenally successful, and another of his plays, Gay’s the Word, opened at the Saville Theatre on 16th February [and will run for 502 performances].

   His songs are enormously popular — all very tuneful and memorable, but sentimental, with a rather sad edge to them, like Keep the Home Fires Burning which we all sang during the war. [The war caused the closure of The Dancing Years: it had opened at Drury Lane on 23rd March 1939 and ran for 187 performances.]

   He was only 58 and I am sure his untimely death is due to his harsh imprisonment for a trivial offence over petrol coupons: it was a dreadful way to treat a man whose music has inspired millions of people.

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice. Psalm 55:17


   Today, the Science Exhibition took place and all forms were given two or three periods off in which to go round the exhibition. I myself had the whole day off. Our stand included Daphnia, Cypris [sic], Cyclops, Water snails and Pond weeds. The aquarium contained two goldfish, two sticklebacks, a Crested Newt and a Swan Mussel. One of the most interesting exhibits was a Daphnia under the microscope.

   Probably one of the most popular items was the Magnetic Tape Recorder. Almost everyone in the school recorded his voice. There was a working miniature model of a gas-works too.

   I read in tonight’s paper that General Ali Razmara, the Prime Minister of Persia, was assassinated in Tehran today. He was entering the Maschede Soltaneh mosque when he was shot four times in the head and died instantly. The assassin, a religious fanatic, and his two accomplices tried to commit suicide afterwards but were arrested. The Shah of Persia survived an assassination attempt two years ago. It all reminds me of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

I am filled with comfort. 2 Corinthians 7:4


   It has been bitterly cold today. In J.T.C. we did mutual drill and we then marched down to the ground to see 2 Platoon give a demonstration of a section attack. We take Cert A. Part 2 in ten days’ time.

   This afternoon I went down to the ground to get some standards with Kipper. Someone ‘borrowed’ my Gym shoes and I had to run in a pair that was hopelessly too large for me. In addition there was a near gale blowing, the track was still very wet and to crown it all my knee was worse than ever. I got the Long Jump — off a “No jump” but finally I gave it up. I doubt whether it could have been a worse day for Athletics. weather

   Today I finished reading The Perfect Murder Case.

Occupy till I come. Luke 19:13


   As usual nothing happened today at school [except for learning the results of last night’s Music Competition Finals. D.A. Wright won the Piano, W.B. James the Organ, and R.W. Ward (oboe) the Instrumental. A.D. Kirkby won the Piano under 16, D. Donaldson the under 15, and P.M. Johnson the under 13. A.D. Gilson (clarinet) won the Instrumental under 16].

   I got my Transport Allowance at Break.

   [R.D.] Bailey of the Science Sixth managed to get me a Semi-Final ticket, but being absent from school, passed my ticket to another boy who unfortunately left it at home. However I should be able to get the ticket all being well tomorrow morning.

   Dad also managed to get a ticket and there is then, a slight possibility that we may after all go to Manchester tomorrow.

   I went to the Natural History Society after school to see three films — “Strange Sea Creatures”, “Life in the Hedgerows” and “The Great Tit”.

   Tonight I have had a bath.

The LORD will hear when I call unto Him. Psalm 4:3


   I went out at 8.0am today and at 8.30 I met the boy in Navigation Street — complete with a half-crown Semi-Final ticket. I met Dad half an hour later and we then went to buy our rail excursion tickets to Manchester. Thirteen special trains were being run. We caught the last one at 11.30 after queuing for two hours. Altogether 23,000 Blues’ supporters went by coach, train and car. Almost every one was adorned with various rosettes, scarves and hats of royal blue and white. Hundreds of rosettes were sold outside New Street Station.

   Our train was half an hour late, arriving at London Road station at 2.15. We ran for a mile after getting off the train and caught a ’bus in Piccadilly — Manchester’s Bull Ring. There were 20 minutes to go when we arrived at the Maine Road ground and most of the 72,000 people were already inside. However we got in easily enough just in time to see a display by eighty “Keep Fit girls”. There were terrific cheers when the teams came on to the field. The teams were: B’ham C: Merrick; Green, Badham; Boyd, Atkins, Ferris; Stewart, Higgins, Trigg, Smith, Berry. Blackpool: Farm; Shinwell, Garrett; Johnston, Hayward, Kelly; Matthews, Mudie, Mortensen, Brown, Perry.

   Blackpool were first to settle down and kept Matthews supplied with the ball but he did not get things all his own way. Blues forwards could not settle down but after about 20 minutes Stewart should have scored. He had only to beat Farm but the goalie just managed to deflect the shot. Berry then shot inches over the bar. Blues never really exerted much pressure but the defence was superb, though Mortensen had been injured after only 10 minutes. The play was fast and exciting however. In the second half, Atkins cleared off the goal line with Merrick beaten, then Merrick pushed a Mortensen header against the bar and the ball was scrambled away. With two minutes to go, Blues came within half an inch of the Cup Final. Stewart shot and the ball hit the foot of the post and bounced out. When the whistle went neither side had scored. It was an exciting enough game though!

   We caught the 6.45 train back. It was an hour late in arriving at New Street. When we got home, it was 10.15pm.

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, plenteous in mercy. Psalm 103:8


   Most of this morning I spent doing homework while after dinner I listened to the radio. Dad and I took Ginger for a run in the park. This evening I took Ginger for her walk round the village, and Bob, who came at about 7.30, came with me as far as Gospel Lane. Hound was especially pleased to see Bob.

Korean Diary for Feb 28th–March 6th

3rd. US delegate denies charge that Western Powers have twice as many men under arms as Russia.

4th. UN forces meet increasing resistance.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in His way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand. Psalm 37:23, 24


   We had an end of term Physics test during second period this morning. I went to Choir Practice in Big School as usual at 12.25.

   In Gym we played basketball again. After school I went to a Civics Society meeting in Geography Room B when Sir Donald Finnemore (Mr. Justice Finnemore) addressed the meeting for an hour, the topic being “Legal Procedure”. Mr. Justice Finnemore is an Old Edwardian.

   I came home on the 31A ’bus from town. It was nearly 6.30 when I got in and raining fast.

I am the good Shepherd: the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep. John 10:11


   In Maths this week we are doing the Sine and Cosine rules in Trigonometry.

   After school I went through Edgbaston Park with Stephen. We saw Mallard, Pochard and Tufted Duck, a pair Jays, a Woodpigeon and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. The latter was a new addition to my list.

   I then came home through town and got a copy of the March Trains Illustrated.

Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Ecclesiastes 11:1


   I was very fortunate to catch the ’bus this morning. It was just going when I got to the village.

   We did some practical work in Chemistry. Mr. Monkcom had promised he would take us into Edgbaston Park but it was raining so we could not go. It has rained almost continually since Sunday.

   In Maths we had a test while in French we finished reading Le Horla.

   I came home on the S.B. I have got rather a bad cold.

   In the Semi-Final, Blues lost the replay by two goals to one.

They looked unto Him and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. Psalm 34:55


   Everyone finished his particular piece of work in connection with the Cairngorms Development Plans this morning. There are included an Aluminium Works, H.E.P. [hydroelectric power] Stations, Forestry works etc., and an entirely new town. In our National Park, Chadwin and I are going to breed Crested Tits, various hawks, Black and Red Throated Divers and others, plus Reindeer, beavers and otters, polecats and other animals.

   In J.T.C., we did mutual drill and L.M.G. revision.

   It was unfortunate that I should catch a cold just now. Tomorrow I have to go for a B.B.C. audition [at 282 Broad Street]. I came straight home after school and spent most of the afternoon reading.

   Tonight I took Ginger out.

He shall be exalted. Isaiah 52:13


   After prayers this morning I went to the Headmaster’s Study to obtain permission to leave today at 3.30pm so as to get to the B.B.C. by four o’clock.

   We worked singly in Physics and did an experiment to find the Specific Heat of Paraffin.

   In French we read Menuet by Guy de Maupassant. At dinner time I played football. It was raining. Yesterday we had really fine weather for a change.

   I went for my audition but I was told that I am at present unsuitable as narrator. However, I have three or four lines in a play in “Midland Magazine” on April 14th next.

   Tonight I listened to a televised edition of “Any Questions?”

For with Good nothing shall be impossible. Luke 1:37


   We broke up for the holidays this morning. We went to form rooms for first period. Then came House meetings and after break, Prayers, presentation of prizes and dismissal.

   I got home for 11.45 [and went to pay the papers. It was 1/8d this week as the Radio Times has gone up from 2d to 3d. We have been paying 1/7d a week since 1948–-six Birmingham Mails 9d, the Sunday Mercury, Sunday Graphic, The People and Radio Times 2d each, and 2d for delivery]. INSERT REPORT (full page)

   I stayed in all afternoon. It was raining as usual.

   This evening I went to the Piccadilly to see Bette Davis, Celeste Holme, George Sanders, and Anne Baxter in All About Eve, a 20th Century Fox film with an “A” certificate. It was a brilliant film, a witty, biting indictment of theatrical folk’s hates and ambitions. Bette Davis gives her finest performance as an actress afraid of being forty and Anne Baxter — a “ruthless, sugar coated snake in the grass” and George Sanders, a cynical newspaper critic, give exceptionally good performances.

Keep me, O LORD ... preserve me. Psalm 140:4


   Nothing much happened again today [except for the School Service at Edgbaston Old Church. The Choir sang the Magnificat in D Minor by Walmisley, and the Anthem Call to remembrance, O Lord by Farrant].

   It rained for most of the day. I did some Cert. A revision and tonight took Ginger for her evening walk.

   My average marks this term:—

Half TermEnd of Term
I had full marks for twelve out of the last thirteen Chemistry and Physics preps!
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them. Psalm 34:7


   This morning in J.T.C. I took Cert. A. Part 2. We paraded on the square at 9.30am and the first item was Weapon Training in the Range. I was the first to be questioned. After break we went into the Mechanics Room to do Map-reading. I got over 80% on this.

   As part of the mutual drill I had to march the squad down on to the square, give a few more orders and demonstrate the “Slope Arms”. The last item consisted of various questions on Section Leading and Fieldcraft. We had to wait until 2.0pm for the result. I passed fortunately. Four failed Part 1 and four Part 2.

   Nothing else happened all day [except that I have received my school report:—

ENGLISH   A good term’s work. (Mr. L.K.J. Cooke)

GEOGRAPHY   A distinct improvement this term. (Mr. J.F. Benett)

FRENCH   He is working very well with good results. (Mr. A.E. Leeds)

MATHEMATICS   Always works very well and is making satisfactory progress. (Mr. J.C. Roberts)

PHYSICS   Good work and progress. (Mr. J.B. Whinnerah)

CHEMISTRY   Has worked well and has made good progress. (Mr. J.B. Guy)

BIOLOGY   He is a keen and intelligent worker. (Mr. M.E. Monkcom)

FORM MASTER   Keen and conscientious, he has worked well. (Mr. J.B. Whinnerah)

HOUSE MASTER   He is a useful and energetic member of my House. (Mr. J.D. Copland)]

   This report, and last December’s, is a new design, 11“ x 8” (½“ longer than previously) with ”Old English“ typeface and the coat-of-arms for the heading, with the usual space for name, age, form etc.

   I see from the printer’s code “A.E.C. 1m/8/50” that 1 million of these report forms were printed in August last year. As there are presently 693 boys in the school and three reports per year, these will last for exactly 481 years! On the other hand, if m = 1,000 (as in Latin), then they have lasted only 2 terms — assuming there were 307 left over from the previous lot — and they have now run out.

   Looking at my 3 Camp Hill reports I find they have “5,000/8/43 A.E.C.” in the bottom left-hand corner which means 5,000 forms printed by the same A.E. Company in August 1943. My first report from K.E.S. (December 1947) says “4m A.E.C. 3/44” in the bottom left-hand corner, meaning 4,000 printed in March 1944. My second report (March 1948) says “5m A.E.C. 7/46” indicating 5,000 printed in July 1946. 5,000 lasting 8 terms would mean 625 boys. Obviously m = 1,000. Therefore “1m” on the present reports should read “10m” — it is a printer’s error!

I have glorified Thee on the earth. John 17:4


   Today dawned bright and sunny as if to herald the arrival of the first summer visitor — the chiffchaff. After breakfast, Ginger and I went to the Barber’s to get a haircut — at least I got the haircut while Ginger lay in blissful repose on the floor. We then went down the village and only got back at twelve o’clock.

   After dinner I got out my bike and fixed a mirror on it. I bought the mirror from Halford’s [at   Warwick Road] for 1/11d, which I thought a real bargain. I stayed out all afternoon.

   Tonight I went to Cubs for the first time for three weeks. I took three cubs in their tenderpad tests.

He will keep the feet of His saints. 1 Samuel 2:9


   The sun shone for some time this morning but it soon turned cloudy. I stayed in for most of the day. I spent the afternoon reading more of The Silent Company by Remy [pen-name of Gilbert Renault-Roulier, a secret agent of Free France].

   Some interesting notes on the weather. Up to 9.0am this morning 3.18ins of rain had fallen this month while the average March rainfall for the last three years was 1.501 ins. 3.105 ins. rain fell in February while the 3 year average was 2.334 ins. In January we had 3.005 ins., the 3-yearly average being 2.258 ins. So far we’ve had 9.29 ins. of rain this year which works out at 42.92 ins. a year.

All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Isaiah 52:10


   I got up just after nine this morning. Most of the morning I spent revising the Cub sixes. The attendances have fallen off badly since the beginning of the year — in fact I’ve crossed eight cubs off the roll and we are now only twenty-two strong. No doubt, the bad weather and illness have had a great deal to do with it.

   We have, however, twenty-four Scouts now which seems to augur well for the future if we can keep them. Youth Clubs and Boys’ Brigade are a great attraction it seems.

   During the afternoon I played football on the field [the strip of land dividing Olton Boulevard East from Victoria Road] with the boys and took Hound out. Mam took Clarice and Julia to town and they did not get back until 6.0pm.

I am the LORD. Jeremiah 9:24


   It has been a most miserable day today so far as the weather is concerned. It rained all morning until it stopped at midday. Then it snowed.

   At about 3.0pm, I went down the village with Ginger to get two loaves and some hot cross buns. The [Hardings] baker did not come until 3.30.

   I read a book and listened to a Millwall v Plymouth Argyle commentary on the radio during the remainder of the afternoon. At St. Andrews Blues (5th) drew with Cardiff City (2nd) no goals.

   This evening I listened to “Any Questions?” as usual and took Hound to meet Mam & Dad coming out of the cinema.

He believed in his God. Daniel 6:23


   We took the opportunity of staying in bed for a little longer this morning. Nothing much happened. I cycled down the village at about twelve.

   This afternoon Dad and I cycled to the B’ham City v Hull City match. B’ham C: Merrick; Green, Badham; Boyd, Atkins, Warhurst; Berry, Higgins, Dailey, Rowley, O’Hara. In Hull’s side were Carter (player-manager) and Franklin. The pitch was one mud heap and was completely waterlogged except for the wings. But Blues played superbly and won 2–1, despite the fact that the ball often stuck in the mud. Boyd scored with a 30 yard shot after 29 minutes, Dailey after 55 mins., and Harrison for Hull a minute later. Blues’ record — P.35; W.17; L,11; D.7; For 55; Ag.47; Pts 41; Posn.3rd. They play Cardiff C. (2nd) on Monday.

I am His. Song of Solomon 2:16


   This morning I took Ginger out before breakfast and then went for a ride down the village on my bicycle.

   I then stayed in all morning until Dad and I took Ginger for a run in the park at about 4.15pm. As usual it was raining once more.

   Tonight I took Hound out.

Korean Diary for March 7th–20th

7th. UN troops gain 5 miles in a general assault on a 40 mile front.

9th. Red counter-attacks repulsed.

11th. UN advance continued.

14th. S. Korean patrols re-enter Seoul.

18th. UN forces advance on 40 mile front.

20th. UN forces reach points 17 miles from the 38th Parallel.

Who shall separate us from the love of God? Romans 8:35


   We got up at about nine o’clock this morning. Before breakfast I went down the village with Ginger to get a newspaper.

   Uncle Bill and Aunt Doll from Kidderminster arrived at about eleven. We listened to the Boat Race at 2.15. Cambridge won by about 12 lengths in 20 minutes 50 seconds.

   On Saturday it was called no race when Oxford sank in less than three minutes.

   After listening to the Race we went for a short walk. It was raining again.

   Aunt and Uncle had to go at 7.30pm.

The righteous shall be glad in the LORD. Psalm 64:10


   We got up rather late this morning. I spent most of the day out of doors playing football. I also took Hound out three or four times.

   As there was no Cub meeting tonight I stayed in and listened to the radio.

Korean Diary for March 21st–24th

21st. UN troops enter Chunchon, a junction 8 miles south of 38th Parallel. Mr. Acheson makes statement about crossing of parallel by UN troops.

23rd. USA paratroops dropped behind Communist lines link up with armoured force north of Seoul.

24th General McArthur makes statement about ending conflict in Korea.

The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places, yea, I have a goodly heritage. Psalm 16:6


   Dad’s holiday came to an end today. I got up at 8.30. After breakfast I washed up and then took Ginger for a walk down the village.

   I then played out until dinner time. After dinner we all went for a long walk, and, of course, Ginger came with us. We walked to Olton, then along St. Bernard’s Road, Prospect Lane and Danford Lane. I saw quite a few birds including four Robins.

   We came back along Streetsbrook Road and back down Shirley Road, arriving at 4.15 just in time to listen to “Mrs. Dale’s Diary”. After tea I played out until after it was dark.

   It has been very cold today but dry anyway.

That He might bring us to God. 1 Peter 3:18


   After going down the village with Ginger today we all went to town at 11.30.

   At Lewis’s we saw a very extensive Gauge “O” Model Railway. I should think the whole layout would more than cover the length of our dining room and it would cost easily £350.

   I was disgusted to see a Raven encaged in Pets’ Corner. Many shops too, are selling tortoises when they should be asleep during this bitterly cold winter.

   While in town I bought a copy of the Sport Argus Cricket Annual 1951. As usual it is a very good shillingsworth with all last season’s results, fixtures, and pen pictures of Warwickshire and Worcestershire players.

   [I had a postcard from Stephen Chadwin on holiday at Penzance this morning. He only put one 1d stamp on instead of two, so it is franked “2d to pay liable to postcard rate”, but why haven’t they stuck a proper “To Pay” 2d stamp on it? It reads:—

Dear Bryan,

   I am having a super time. Have seen Great Northern Divers, Red Necked & Slavonian Grebes, Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Grey Plover, Sanderling, Gannets, Purple Sandpiper, & Swallows on March 23rd.


He ever liveth. Hebrews 7:25


   This morning I went down the village to get a bale of straw for Ginger’s bed. When I got back I burnt the old straw on the rubbish heap.

   After dinner a friend of Mam’s came. I obtained some turf from the road and so managed to returf a small area of lawn by the shed. At present the heavy rains have left the lawn in a pitiful state though it did not rain much today and we’ve had some sunshine. weather

   Tonight I listened to “Any Questions?” and later took Ginger to meet Mam and Dad coming out of the Olton.

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:5


   This morning I washed up and then listened to the Dick Barton Omnibus. Dick Barton has now finished for good. I remember quite well listening to the programme when it first began in October 1946.

   After dinner we listened to the Lincolnshire Handicap won by Barnes Park (33–1) ridden by J. Sime. Newton Heath was second and Streatley third. Blues beat Doncaster Rovers away 1–nil. The top of Division II is:—

Preston N.E.382585894455
Cardiff City3715814484044
Coventry City3819145705043
Manchester City3616811745543
Birmingham City3718127574943
   I went to the Warwick this evening and saw Tessie O’Shea & Frank Randle in Holidays with Play a good comedy, and Showground of the North, a film about Belle Vue, Manchester.
Thou art the LORD. Nehemiah 9:7

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