The Veterans

Extracts from Norman Foord's diary from 1940

In late 1940 and early 1941, at the age of 10, Norman Foord kept a diary. Entries describe his activities at Whitehawk School, games with friends out of school and at home helping his father, a local Butcher. Many entries describe the war planes over Brighton and tell of his time spent in the school shelter.

Home Front Veterans
Nov. 19th
This morning everyone at playtime was looking at two enemy bombers. They had pointed wings and were Junkers. This afternoon I went over the dump. I found a revolver, a pot of white paint and an electric light switch.

Nov. 23rd
This morning the siren went and we missed our PT lesson… This afternoon I went over the hills and found a German steel helmet. I have now got two German steel helmets.

Nov. 26th
This afternoon I saw a fighter-bomber it was a Messerschmitt. When I went along the road to give some lady her meat I saw three Heinkel III twin engine bombers.

Nov. 28th
The siren went in playtime this morning and we were stopped in the trenches till ten to one. We had to do some sums in the trench. We are doing decimals now. This afternoon the siren went again and there was a lot of aircraft about making smoke screens. Tonight I have to do 40 decimal sums.

Nov. 29th
Just after breakfast I saw two Vickers Wellington long range bombers coming back from bombing operations. We had science lessons this morning. I went out with my mother and we went to my Aunt May's house. Before tea I was out playing stick and wheel when I saw three Nazi bombers circle around six times.

Dec. 2nd
The siren went about 11 and the all clear went about 11.45. We came in from play and the siren went until home time.

Dec. 19th
I was walking along the street this afternoon when I heard a load of machine gunning which sounded as though it was coming from the golf links. Soon after I heard field guns firing. My father killed two chickens this afternoon for a lady.

Jan. 9th
Morris Funnel and I tried to make a snow house today. It was no good for there wasn't enough snow to build it with. After that I went along the road and had some slides. The siren went tonight but the all clear went at a quarter past eight.

Feb. 14th
My skate wheel broke today. We changed our library book today and I had Constructive English. As our school has been evacuated I will be unable to carry on with my diary. I have passed the scholarship to Varndean.

Further extracts and details about Norman Foord's war-time diary can be found on the My Brighton and Hove community history website.

A copy of the diary is held at the East Sussex Record Office.