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Transcribed by Kay & John Collins, 2008
Ada Sail - Diary 1940's
The bride & groome with thebridesmaids. Ada's father looking on proudly.
The bride & groome with bridesmaids, groom's brother and bride's father.

1940  
March 23rd


On their wedding day
The Happy Couple

Today is my wedding day. I woke about 8.30, Dad brought me up a cup of tea and I got up at 9.0. Aunt Ada & Uncle Frank came down and we were all busy getting everything ready, then at 11.45 I went upstairs to get ready. Margaret came soon after and then Joan and Mrs Tomlin came. We all started to get ready, I wore an Angel Skin lace dress with stand up Collar, button to the waist and a silk girdle, my veil was my own. It was a plain Hemstitch Net but it was very nice, my headdress was of orange blossom. I borrow[ed] it from Audrey (Mrs Munday). My flowers were of Rubrum Lilies, after the wedding was place[ed] on Harold’s mother’s grave. My bridesmaids were dressed in a lovely colour blue Moira Poult, with 8 yards of material round the bottom of skirt, with silver headdresses of silver-leaves and silver shoes, their bouquets were of pink tulips buds and fern and they each wore a gold crucifix – the gift from Harold. It was when the bridesmaids went that I began to get nervous, and then the time came and I went out to the car, there were a lot of people outside, the sun shone grand. I arrived at the church at 1 o’clock and then the organ played “Here Comes the Bride” and then the next thing I knew I was walking down the aisle, all I could see was Harold and then when I reached him he said to me “Are you alright?” and I said “Yes”. Then we sang “Lead Us Heavenly father, Lead Us” and then came the marriage service, and then we became man & wife together. We were married, I could hardly believe it, we then sang “O Perfect Love”. We went in the vestry and there I sign[ed] my name for the last time. I came out Mrs Holloway.

When I came out of Church, Robert John gave me a wooden spoon tied with blue ribbon, then we had our photo’s taken. We held the reception at home with 32 guests. We had an enjoyable evening and then came 11 o’clock and it was time for us to go. (I wore my fur which was a wedding present from Harold, I bought him a cigarette Lighter). I bid them all goodnight and of course I had a little cry, we arrived at Irhlingboro’ about 11.30, and Harold carried me over the threshold. It was then time for bed and so my wedding day drawn to its close.

The under dress and waist tie with the veil draped
across shoulders and the dress.
Detail from the dress.
Details from the neckline of the dress and the buttons. Above the plaited satin tie for her tiny waist. Ada gave her dress to a friend, who has kindly taken these photographs. (2009)
The mannequin I borrowed to put the dress on was a size 6, but the dress is so small it wouldn't go on!!! And it is delicate so I didn't want to force it. The satin under dress was a bit looser so that went on it OK. That gives you some idea of how petite Ada was!
It is still in perfect condition. Ada told me that the blue paper it is wrapped in was special somehow, and keeps the dress clean. Whatever it is, it has worked. The plaited satin rope tie went round her waist.The veil is also still in perfect condition, though does feel fragile so I didn't want to unravel it.
I know that she definitely lent this dress to one of her friends who wore it to get married in during the war. And I have a vague memory that there may have been another lady who also wore it.

C Brown 2009

Did they have two cakes?
Both these pictures are captioned 23.4.1940 - 2 Wedding Cakes?
The cakes
Wedding Presents - March 23rd
Dad Polish[ed] table Mrs Lamb & Rene Oak Candlesticks
Mother Cake & Reception Lol Glass Dish
George Blue Anti-Bin Harold Breadboard, Knife, Butter Dish
Eric & Margaret Scales & Saucepans Sylvia Bass Butter Dish
Grandma etc. Table with Paper-Rack Aunt Mary 1pr Pillow Cases
6 Crabb St Folk-weave Bedspread Mrs Bass 1pr Pillow Cases
Nellie & Cyril Shopping Basket Mrs Evans Saucepan
Barbara Egg Set Aunt Elsie etc. Silk Bedspread
Dorothy Lettice Dish Mrs Willmott Fruit Bowl
Margy ½doz. Wine Glasses Hilda Goodman Yellow Dish
Cliff & Ena Salad Dish & Servers Jess Bass Tea-Cosy
20 Upper Wellington St. Oak Firescreen Joan & Cecil Oak Companion Set
Oscar & Olive Rug Ray Pressland Companion Set
Ada (work) Oak Coal Box Kath & Arthur Tray
Work Case of Cutlery, Teapot Mrs Webb etc. Jug, Tumblers
Sunday School ½doz Fruit Spoons Margaret Sears Fancy Jug
Maggie Tablecloth & Serviettes Elsie & Elsie Bathroom Cabinet
Win Brid Fancy Jug Mrs Ball Wash-leather
Audrey & Fred Jug, Pink Candlesticks Mr & Mrs Davy 10/-
Vera Denton Cake Dish Adrian & Ralph Glass Dish
Aunt Mary & Uncle Vin 6 Towels Mrs Watkins 1pr Glass Vases
Rene & Mrs Palmer 2 Tablespoons Mrs Skillet ½doz Wine Glasses
Mrs Stamp Glass Flower Vase Mrs Tomlin & Vera 1pr Pillow Cases
Mrs Neville 1 pr Pillow Cases Mrs Denton 1 Tablecloth
June 15th - Saturday Today the 28 had to sign and Harold was one of them, and then in the afternoon we went to Northampton New Theatre - it was alright, but I was disappointed because we [were] looking forward to seeing Revnell & West but Ethel Revnell was taken ill and couldn't appear. Harold gave me half towards a pair of Sandals.
June 16th - Sunday Mother & Margy came down in the evening. Dad was at the Hall with the band and Eric had to go to Northampton to be examined so I suppose by brother will soon be in the forces.
June 18th - Tuesday We had our first lot of peas today, the first lot Harold has grown, we should get some more but we want rain, we haven't had any rain now for 3 weeks. Mr Churchill spoke tonight.
June 24th - Sunday Harold & I went home today to tea, it is Eric's last Sunday with us.
June 25th - Tuesday We had an Air Raid Warning this early morning 1.30 to 1.50.
June 26th - Wednesday Air R W this early morning 3.0 - 3.15. I am going up home today as it is Eric's last day with us, before he joins the forces. He has to go to Northampton.
June 27th Eric today became a soldier,
June 28th - Friday We woke up early this morning and we saw a fire. It was the Balfour Shoe Factory. We went to see it 1.45 until 3.0. It was burnt to the ground.
July 2nd - Tuesday Oscar had his papers today. Went July 9th
July 13th - Saturday Today my husband is being examined at Northampton at 9 o'clock. Harold has come home and he has passed A1 so now we shall soon be parted, but I always will love him, and hope he will me. I dread the day his papers come.
Sept 12th 1940 Thursday Harold's papers came this afternoon - he has to report at Spalding in the Searchlights.
Sept 14th - Saturday We moved this afternoon.
Sept 15th - Sunday Harold and I went up Aunt Elsie's tea. Olive and Joan & Cecil came up this evening.
Sept 16th - Monday Today my husband has to join up, we were both up early, just before six. I packed his food up and then seven o'clock came and it was time for him to go. He left at 5 mins past 7, I pray that God will take care of him for me and keep him safe until the time comes when war shall be no more.
Oct 13th - Sunday Today I went to see my husband, Mr & Mrs Putt took me there with Olive and Ken (that's their vac). We started about nine o'clock and I saw Harold coming out of Spalding Chapel at 11.55. Oh how grand it was to see him. Khaki, he looked alright, but the time went too quickly. We left Spalding about or nearly three o'clock. God bless him, I love him.
Oct 22nd - Thursday
My Husband's Birthday
It is Harold's birthday today, his first one in the Army, he is 29. I sent him a parcel and it weighed 11lbs. Happy Birthday to you my dearest Husband.
Oct 25th - Friday Twelve o'clock today I saw my husband. He has come home for 24 hrs, how lovely it was to be near him again, we went to bed at 10.15, it was grand to be in bed together again.
Oct 26th - Saturday Harold and I got up about 9.15, we went down High St and visiting. Marge, Mother & Dad came. Harold and I cleared off to be on our own, but my dear husband did not want to go back, to leave me again, it did upset him, but he soon cheered up, bless him. I went down to Irthlingboro' station to see him off, the train came just before six and I waved him off. God bless him for I love him.
Nov 17th - Saturday Grampy Sail was taken ill and on Nov 20th - Tuesday he passed away.
Nov 23rd - Saturday Gramp was buried today. He had 27 wreaths, all were lovely flowers.
Dec 11th - Wednesday At 11.35 today my husband came and fetched me out of work, he had come home for 24hrs compassion leave to see Oscar before [he] went abroad. Olive and Oscar came over about 2.45 and left about seven. We had a warning all night but Harold and I went to bed.
Dec 12th - Thursday Harold and I got up about 9 o'clock. We did a little visiting and then at 12.15 I got ready and went down the bus with him and I saw him off at 12.30. I waved him off and I'm now waiting for his next leave. God bless him.
Dec 27th - Friday At 1.35 this afternoon my darling walked in for 7 days leave, it was a grand surprise for me. We have had a grand week.
1941  
Jan 1st - Wednesday Well I was with my darling for the New Year and he has bought me a present of a brush & comb, powder & cream jars etc. all in a green case.
Jan 3rd - Friday Today my husband went back. I went with him to the station, the train was 1¼ hrs late so at 2.15 I said Goodbye to him. I do hope that he arrives back safe, please God take care of him for I love him dearly. Thank you for sending him home to me for a little while.
Jan 14th - Tuesday Uncle Sam died and Elsie his daughter had a little girl.
Jan 18th - Saturday Eric came home this morning.
Jan 24th - Friday Eric went back.
 
Christmas Presents 1940
Harold Green Leather Brush & Comb etc. Grandma Handky Olive Powder Puff
Dad 3/6 Owen 1/3 Marge Coat Hanger
George 1/- Mum 3/- Aunt May Handkerchief
Margaret Tea-pot Joan Handkies Winnie Bottle Mischief Scent
Feb 2nd - Sunday Harold came, I was at Irchester.
Feb 3rd - Monday Harold went back at 12.30
March 12th - Wednesday Harold came home for 48hrs.
March 13th - Thursday We went pictures and then to Raunds.
March 14th - Friday Harold went back at 12.30. God bless him.
March 22nd - 1941 Just a year ago today, tomorrow March 23rd 1941 by the date, Harold and I became man and wife. We had six short happy months of married life before he was called up and I have never regretted the step I took for I love my darling husband with all my heart and shall always do so, and I hope we shall still love one another as much when we are old and grey. Tho' he is far away from me this night I am thinking of him as I always do, so God please keep him safe and sound until he returns again to me never more to part. "Goodnight Sweetheart" and thank you for choosing me. "I love you".
March 29th - Saturday Today Eric was married. George was best man. It was a very cold day and it rained.
April 16th - Wednesday My husband walked in today for seven days, how grand it was to see him once again and today is three years when we became engaged.
April 23rd - Wednesday Harold and I have had a glorious week. It went quickly and now the time has come for him to go back. I saw him off at 5.45. God bless you darling.
May 28th - Wednesday Harold came home for 24hrs leave, we went to the Ritz to see "Northwest Mounted Police" - it was grand to have my husband near me again but time soon goes and once again I saw him off tonight - May 29th -Thursday.
May 31st - Saturday - Whitsun The folks from Long Eaton came this Whitsun.
June 28th - Saturday I went Wellingboro' and brought home a machine on trial and I like it and bought it (July 5th)
July 3rd - Thursday I met Harold at Irthlinboro' station at 7.15, how grand it was to meet him, we went to see Olive and his grandma & gramp. We went pictures and we had a glorious 48 hours together again, it is grand to be near him again.
July 5th - Saturday I said Goodbye to my husband at the post office at 12.20, he caught the bus and I waved him out of sight. God bless him and keep him safe. I love him. xxx
August 5th 1941 - Tuesday At 4.50 today my darling husband walked in on seven days leave. I was so pleased to see him again and to have him by my side for a whole seven days. We went down Irthlingboro' on Wednesday and Thursday we went over to Raunds to see Olive. Pop took us for a ride round. On Friday Joan & Cecil, Harold and myself went Peterboro' for the day and Joan and I saw Jack Warner pass by us. Saturday Harold and I went up Joan's to tea and supper and then at night we all went Theatre to see "Escape". It poured of rain when we came out. We went up Aunt Ada's Sunday morning and when we got back home, who should be in home but Eric home on 48hrs so Harold and Eric saw each other first time in 11 months, in the afternoon Harold and I went to bed and had our afternoon nap. In the evening Eric and Margaret, Cliff and Ena came in so we had a good laugh over one thing or another. On Monday Eric and Cliff went back after leave. Harold and I went Theatre to see "Doctor Kildare's Crisis" and Harold had mushrooms for his supper, so now our last night has come. We must be up early in the morning for Harold has got to catch the 7.50 from Irthlingboro'.
August 12th - Tuesday We were both up by six this morning. I fried my husband's breakfast and I went down to the bus with him, oh dear, the bus came and once again I waved my husband off, so please God take care of him for me, help him in all he does, to bear the burden of our parting, but we hope and pray it won't be long before all this is over and my love is by my side. Until then, take care of him and tell him "I love him so much". God bless you sweetheart. xxxx
Sept 8th - Monday Met my darling off the train at Irthlingboro' and on Tuesday we went Ritz and Palace and then on Wednesday my darling went back. God bless him.
October 13th - Monday Harold came for 24hrs. Fetched me out of work, it was grand to see him, but the time came and he had to go back about 10.30 Tuesday. God keep him safe.
Oct 21st - Tuesday I was having my tea at 5.15 and my darling walked in for 24hrs. He is at Weldon. We went for a walk.
Oct 22nd - Wednesday My husband's birthday and I was able to wish him many happy returns. He went back just after ten. "I love you honey".
Oct 29th - Wednesday At three o'clock this afternoon I came out of work and kissed my darling - he had come home for seven whole days. We had a grand week together, we were on our own in the front-room and Harold and I loved it. We had a chicken on Sunday, on Tuesday Nov 4th we went to Winnie Steele's wedding. A grand week once more has come to an end, so Nov 5th - Wednesday, I said cheerio to Harold about 10. God bless you honey and keep you well and safe.
Dec 4th George joined up today.
Dec 15th - Monday About a quarter to ten this evening I put on my clothes and went down the station to see if my darling would be arriving on the train. I stood about, the train was late, then a light came nearer, the train was coming, was my darling on it? The train stopped, one soldier, three or four airmen, then I saw him, yes he had come. I waited while he was down the steps then called "Harold". How grand it was, on Tuesday afternoon we went Ritz, stayed in at night, then Wednesday came and at 1.30 I waved my darling off. God bless him and keep him safe & here always.
1942  
January 26th - Monday I came in from work at 5.15 and who should be sitting there but my Harold, it was grand. He had been vaccinated before he came home, so he was ill and didn't go out Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and on Saturday he went doctors and had a bottle of medicine. It snowed all the while he was here and so Monday Feb 2nd came and my darling had to go. I went down the station with him for he wasn't fit really to travel so 1.30 came and the train came and once more I waved my darling off. Please God take care of him and keep him safe always for I love him so much.
March 14th - Saturday I went down Irthlingboro' station at 7.45 to meet George the first time we had seen him since Dec 4th. He looks well but has a very bad cough. At 12.30 Sunday March 15th George went back, still we hope he will be back soon.
April 23rd - Thursday A telegram came in work for me to say my darling was coming home for seven days, so I went down Irthlingboro' station and met him at 7.15. We went pictures, down Irthlingboro', Raunds and also up Joan's to tea. We had a happy time together but the end comes so quickly and so the time came Thursday April 30th for him to go back. I saw him to the bus and so another parting came. Had a telegram to say he had got back O.K.
June 15th - Monday Came home at 4 - my darling husband had come for 48hrs. Bless his heart.
July 6th - Monday My darling came home for 48hrs.
Augst 17th-26th My darling home for 9 days.
Oct 19th-20th Harold came for 24hrs. Oscar home from abroad.
Nov 10th-19th Harold came home for 9 days. God bless - I love you.
Nov 29th David christened. George & I god-parents.
1943  
Jan 12th - 21st Harold came for 10 days, had a grand time, another year we have started on.
May 25th - June 3rd My darling home for 9 days leave. It had been 5 months since Harold came home - it was grand to see him again. We had a lovely time together but like all good things came to end and now he has gone back. I saw him off at Irthlingboro' station at 12.53. God keep him safe always.
June 7th Harold L/Bdr.
July 12th-21st
Monday-Wednesday
My darling came home again for 9 days. It has only been 6 weeks before but he seems to think he will soon go overseas, indeed I hope that is not true but I suppose it will come one of these days. We have had a grand leave together. The weather wasn't very good, still that didn't matter to us. I saw him off at the station at 12.53 and then I came back home and did the washing and ironing and did our bedroom. I hope that my darling will get back O.K. I am thinking of him and loving him always. God bless you Harold darling and keep you safe always for me.
Oct 5th - 13th
Tuesday-Wednesday
Had a letter then later a telegram telling me my darling was coming home on leave and I met him at Irthlingboro', how grand it was to be together again. We had a grand leave, we went to Bedford, Kettering, Wellingboro' and had a grand time and then it was marred by my darling being recalled, but we made the best of it, but that day was more to us, but that's just the Army. I had a grand surprise on Wednesday morning when Harold gave me a lovely silver cross, oh thank you honey. I really couldn't say much when you gave it to me because I felt so full. I shall treasure it always. And so the time came to part and I saw my darling off at Irthlingboro' at 1.3. God bless you dear. I love you. God bless You always and keep you safe for me.
1944  
Jan 10th - 20th
Monday - Thursday
At 4.45 my hubby came and fetched me from work, he was home for 9 days leave, he looked poorly but that was really expected because he had been in hospital with bronchitis and a bad foot. We didn't go far this leave because Harold wanted to have a rest and warmth. We went pictures a number of times and on Wednesday 12th we went Wellingboro' and I bought Harold a watch. On Tuesday 18th a telegram came and Harold had got a day extension and was to report to Enfield Lock, Middlesex. Another day, how grand, but as usual the time came to its close and my darling had to go. I went as far as Wellingboro' station with my darling, it was a foggy morning and the train was over half hour late and about 10.40 I waved my darling off, so once again I'm alone. God bless You darling and grant you a safe journey and soon a safe return for always, because I love You darling Honey. xx
Feb 12th-13th
Saturday-Sunday
Harold came from near St Albans for a few hours.
March 18th-19th
Saturday-Sunday
Harold came from Hull, got here at 8 went back Sunday afternoon.
April 5th-14th
Wednesday-Friday
Met my darling at Irthlingboro' station at 1.30, how grand it was to see him get off the train. We spent most of our time at pictures but we did go to London on Thursday to see "For whom the bell tolls" and Madame Tussauds. We had a nice time. Mum & Dad went Long Eaton so we were on our own from Friday to Wednesday - it was grand to cook for my darling like old times, but like all good times the end comes and we had to part and this time I was seeing my hubby off at Irthlingboro' station. God bless him and be near him always because I love him so much.
May 3th - Saturday-Sunday Harold came for a few hours.
June 21st-22nd - Wednesday My darling walked in for the night, and that was the last time I saw my Harold before he went to France, as I heard from him after waiting about two weeks on July 22nd that he landed in France on July 19th and I pray that the Lord will take care of him for me always and that soon all this war will be over and all our loved ones home with us.
1945  
April 24th The first item in the year of 1945 is that on April 24th about 8.10 my darling husband walked in home from Germany for his well earned leave, my it was grand to see him again. He looked very thin and pale but he is still the dear old Hadgy. We had a very quiet enjoyable leave and Harold had a 24hrs extension so he went back today May 3rd. I saw him off at the station at 6.19. I tried to keep my chin up and did my best as I waved him off. God bless You Honey and I pray the Lord will keep you safe and soon you'll be back home for good. I love you Honey so much.
May 8th Today is V.E. Day. Now we are a little nearer to the end of this war and hope that it won't be so very long now.
August 3rd to 11th Peggy and I went to Bournemouth for the week. We had nice weather but not so good digs at "Linga Longa", still we had a nice quiet holiday.
August 15th - V.J. - Peace This is the day everyone has been waiting for. I know I have and now I am patiently waiting for his leave and then his demob, that will be the day. Thank you Lord for keeping our loved ones safe.
Sept 20th - Thursday George came on leave from Germany.
Sept 21st - Friday About 3.45 this afternoon my darling came and fetched me out of work. I wasn't expecting him until tomorrow, but he surprised me as he usual[ly] does, bless his dear heart. I love him so. He still didn't look none to grand but he told me of his long journey & I knew. We had as usual, grand time together, and we went to Kettering with George and Nan. George seems to like Nan a lot - I hope that they get on well, as George deserves a nice girl. My darling and I went to Bedford and he bought me a wristwatch, he is a grand guy, is my Bomber Hadgy and there is nothing he wouldn't so for me and I feel the same with him. "I shall always be in love with my Harold". And so on October 3rd his leave came to a close and I saw him off at Rushden at 8.24 a.m. Tears were filling my eyes but I kept my chin up for I knew he was feeling our parting too, and now we are waiting for that one-way ticket that soon he will have and so God bless You Sweetheart and keep you safe and well always. xxxx
1946  
January 4th - Friday 8.10 p.m. Tonight my darling came home demobbed - the day we have both been waiting for. He looked so very tired and pale, but he had had such a long journey in the cold since Monday. Thank you God for keeping my love safe and well through all the trials and dangers of war and for sending him home to me. "Welcome Home Harold".
January 9th Today Eric came home demobbed. Welcome Home.
Oct 21st - Monday Today George has come home demobbed. Mum had a telegram in the morning and so at dinnertime I got the "Welcome Home" out and put up a few decorations. He arrived about two, so now we have got all three home again.
Nov 10th - Sunday Last night was the first time for six years that I didn't get a Goodnight kiss from Harold. All the time he was away I kissed his picture.
1948  
February 14th - Saturday Today Harold and I moved into our own home, our little bungalow, around about ten. We moved in and here we were busy getting straight as best we could, and how happy we were and excited too.
March 23rd - Tuesday Today is our eighth wedding anniversary.
March 27th - Saturday
It is a lovely day today, the sun shining and warm too, I'm glad because today is my brother's wedding day and I am being matron of honour to George and Nan. How pleased and happy I was when Nan asked me. George's gift to me was a cameo brooch with safety clasp. May God bless them and guide them always. George & Nancy
The Bride & Groom

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