The Casualties Were Small

May Hill Ambridge Books

May Hill, born to a family with a farm-working tradition in Trusthorpe (a small Lincolnshire Village near Sutton-on-Sea and Mablethorpe).  When aged eight her family moved along the coast to Chapel-St-Leonards, where she remained.  May began to keep a Diary not long after the outbreak of the Second World War and this book provides a wonderful insight into that time through the transcription of her diary and poetry.

The strategically important East Coast area of Lincolnshire around Skegness had been transformed from a bustling holiday centre to an armed encampment.  Butlins became ‘HMS Royal Arthur’ a huge Royal Navy training centre, RAF air bases sprang up throughout ‘Bomber County’ and soldiers were billeted in the villages including May’s Chapel St Leonards.

May’s son Ron volunteered for the RAF and May started to express her thoughts and prayers in verse.  The poem The Casualties Were Small reveals her worst fears as his exposure to danger increased even before being posted abroad.

As the War continued, May maintained her eloquent record of family and village life as well as the events of the War itself - including the sad loss of three nephews and an early hint of victory with the ‘D-Day’ landings.

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