Issue: April 2020
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Next deadline: April 24


Written by
Published on January 2018

Back home after my induction as a timber Tallyman I continued to round up the cows for milking. 

  One particular day they were being awkward and were scattered all over the place so I played about in the meadow with my leaping pole, jumping over fallen trees and bushes.  I lost track of time and looking at my new watch I was concerned as I appeared to be running somewhat late.  I was beginning to feel very hot now under the summer sun.  In fact, I was beginning to feel sick and dizzy.  Dropping my leaping pole, I rounded up the cattle and went off as quickly as I could make them.  After getting them into the barn I went over to the house and told Gladys that I did not feel well.  She felt my forehead and decreed that I should go to bed and she would bring Aunt Allie to see me.  “Looks like sunstroke” I can remember her saying as I dropped off to a dreamy sleep.  The sunstroke apparently hit me pretty badly.  I was very ill for about a week with a high temperature and fever.  I was told later that Uncle George came to see me as he was very worried, as I was very ill and it was touch and go whether I would come round.  He felt he should inform the Evacuee Co-ordinator at the Department of Health in Halifax and pass the situation to my parents.  Their advice was to keep me cool and endeavour to give me cooling drinks little and often and to keep them informed of what the position was daily.  This advice was duly followed, it would seem, as I was told later that Gladys and Aunt Allie nursed me back to health.  After about a week I began to take notice of my two Nurses and also began to feel a little better though I still felt a little woozy.  At the beginning of the second week I was allowed from my bed to sit outside in the shade.  I began to feel much better but still wobbly.  A little solid food and I was on my way back.  As I began to walk about I was not allowed far from the house and Uncle George gave me strict instruction always to wear a hat.  Panic was over.  I was going to be OK.  After about three weeks I was well enough to continue with my activities and started to herd the cows for milking again.  I was somewhat nervous about being out in the sun again even with my straw hat on (I didn’t want old Larry after me again) so on the next occasion that I went to bring the cows in for evening milking, I played safe and hurriedly herded them up and to help them on their way I cut myself a willow switch and used a little persuasion to make a little more speed.  In fact, I had them trotting along at one time with my persuader.  As we arrived at the barn Uncle George was about and inquired of my welfare, then he looked at the cows and could apparently see the marks on their backs.  I denied doing this.  He scolded me then he explained to me that doing what I appeared to have done could upset them and their milk yield.  I felt ashamed at my actions and I owned up and apologised for my actions and my initial denial.  I couldn’t treat him like that after all he was doing for Bessie and I and the generous way he had been treating us.  OK.  He gave me a finger wagging and that was that. One morning he went off early on his own and was gone three quarters of the day and when he returned he came into the house and rounded us all up and took us outside to show us his new car.  He had traded his Ford in for a Hudson.  It looked enormous and Bessie, Carol and I fit into the back seat with room to spare.  I had the privilege of sitting in the front seat with him next day.  He put his foot down and soon we were travelling at over 100 MPH on the way to Windsor.  I put my hand out of the window and the wind blew it back.  As we went into Windsor we pulled up at a commercial laundry where, during the course of his business, I was introduced as “his young fella from the old country” to the proprietor who asked me if I played badminton.  No, I hadn’t even heard of it.  Apparently, his daughter, about my age, was a keen player and needed a partner.  Would I like to learn?  I didn’t know what to say except that I lived in Uniacke and could not get to Windsor on my own.  It was left like that until Uncle George and I visited again and the daughter again asked if I would like to learn to play badminton.  I wouldn’t have minded really, but I thought both she and her father were rather a little on the eager side and I passed it off because of my distance from Windsor which they counteracted by offering to make arrangements to get me there.  I sometimes wonder if she was looking for a beau with her Dad’s help?  Again, I declined. I sometimes wonder if that was so.  Who knows, I could be the owner of a laundry now?!  On this particular visit to Windsor, Uncle George took me to an outfitters.  “We are here,” he said, “to rig you up with a suit for Sunday and other occasions.”  He chose a jacket with long trousers and as a spare, knickerbockers.  When I tried these on I was horrified but he explained to me that the coat or jacket and long trousers were for a special event soon to come and the knickers were for Church or visiting their friends.  I didn’t wear them much.  I managed to weadle myself out of having to do so.  Events were beginning to happen more and more now, as I will relate to my readers next time.  I consider myself very fortunate living with the Coles with my sister Bessie so far away from the troubles in Europe.  We received letters from Mum and Dad and things didn’t look good.  England was seriously preparing for an invasion by the German forces and the bombing was designed to soften things up for them.  Nevertheless, I received a small box from my parents about 6 inches long x 5 inches wide and about 4 inches deep.  On the side with my address was a label with the union flag on it and underneath was the following, “We may be Bombed, Blasted, and Even Bewildered But by Heck Britain Delivers the Goods”.  On opening the box I was delighted to find inside a small model of an aircraft.  It was known as the Royal Air Force Submarine Spitfire.  It was perfect in every way and it took pride of place in the Cole’s home. 

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