Today was the B’ham Scouts and Cubs Annual Gala day at Handsworth Park. Barry [Harvey] & I were picked up on the corner by a lorry which took the troop to Handsworth Park where we arrived at 3.0pm.
I went in the Wolf Cubs’ March Past & then in the Scouts’ March; Sir Paul Embry (Air Marshal) took the Salute. There were, of course, Scout displays and sports apart from the usual side shows, stalls & fun fair. There were thousands of people there. Mam took Clarice & Julia, & I met them at about six o’clock. We went home together then.
[Dad did not come to the Rally as he was taking Ginger to a race]. Esor:— Hinckley, 6th: 31.10.
I got up at 7.45am today. We took Ginger for her usual run before having breakfast.
Dad and I spent all day in the garden. This morning I seeded a small patch of lawn and watered the garden & this afternoon I cut the front lawn while Dad cut the hedge. It was warm again.
Tonight I took Brownhound for a walk down [Olton Boulevard East, Fox Hollies Road,] York Road, Cateswell Road and Shaftmoor Lane. When I got back I did some Chemistry revision for an hour.
There were no exams today so we spent most of our time revising for the Science exams. There was no Choir practice at dinner time so I spent a half hour practising my bowling at the House nets. I can bowl off-breaks all right. If I could only keep a length.
It was raining when school ended. I came home on the S.B.
I went to bed at 7.30 and did some Chemistry in bed until about nine o’clock.
Bob has gone to France for the holidays.
We had a two and a half hour Chemistry examination this morning. It wasn’t too bad but I could have done with at least one more hour.
I came straight home on the 1A bus.
This afternoon I fitted a new nib in Mam’s fountain pen. I also took Ginger for a walk down the village & did revision as well.
This evening I went to Cubs where we played cricket in the [Golden Hillock Road] school playground. When I got home I listened to the last instalment of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.
We had Physics today and so I have now finished my exams with the knowledge of failure once again. This time last year I was revising for the Physics exam & wondering whether I would fail in the exams as I had done in Rem. C. Perhaps one year I might be able to do better but I feel in a hopeless position just now. It seems that nothing will go right. Results:—
Nothing happened today except in J.T.C. when we had an inspection by the Head [Mr. Howarth].
After school I exchanged my battledress for a better one. I came home through town & did one or two odd jobs during the afternoon.
This evening I decided to go the Olton to see Alastair Sim and Margaret Rutherford in The Happiest Days of Your Life. It was a real scream! It is the story of an invasion of a boys’ school by a girls’ school (Whackho!). The Headmaster & Headmistress live a precarious existence when conducting a party of governors & girls’ parents & attempting to disguise the fact that the school has become a mixed one. It was the best film I have seen this year.
For first two periods today we were in Room 186 when Mr. Vaughan read us part of England this England [by A.G. Macdonell] CHECK. Third period we went to 146.
I went to House nets at 1.0 o’clock.
In History I went into the library. In Maths we went to Room 148.
Tonight I played in the road for an hour & a half.
Korean War Diary:—
June 28th. Communists capture Seoul, Capital of South Korea.
29th. Gen. McArthur returns to Japan after visiting S. Korean front.
30th. President Truman authorises McArthur to employ American ground troops.
July 1st. Communists force crossing of the Han River with tanks. British & Australian forces begin operations.
July 2nd. Americans land in Korea.
3rd. American reinforcements ordered to Far East.
4th. South Korean troops evacuate Suwon.
In Physics today we did some practical work.
I went straight from school to the County Ground where Warwickshire were playing Middlesex. It was Jimmy Ord’s benefit match. Middlesex, batting first, were all out for 200. Robertson (J.D.) scored 89 in 3½ hours until Grove knocked back his off-stump. S. Brown scored 41. Captain of Middlesex was G.O. Allen, the old England captain scoring 5. Hollies took 5 for 57 and Grove 4 for 48.
Warwickshire soon lost Spooner in the fifth over, being lbw to Allen for 6. Townsend was bowled at 3 and Ord [was out] lbw having got 2. At the close Warwicks. were 46 for 3. I kept the score in my private scoring book [which I bought at Pope’s in town].
I got up early this morning and took Brownhound for a walk along the canal from Woodcock Lane to Lincoln Road. It was warm.
In the morning I sorted out comics & waste paper.
This afternoon I wrote more of my book on British Railways 1820–1950.
This evening I played out in the road with the boys for over an hour.
At Hinckley yesterday Hound was 5th in 30.90.
Maths [second period] today was in Room 61.
In Chemistry [double period after lunch] we had to do analysis. I worked with Trevor Hopkins as usual. The first salt we analysed easily as Copper Carbonate by heating, testing for Carbon Dioxide & adding Ammonium Hydroxide which turned the green solution a dark blue.
In History [last period of the day] I worked in the library. I came home on the Special [Bus] as usual.
As we are having another mock inspection tomorrow, I spent this evening blancoing my gaiters and belt and pressing my uniform.
P.S. We had Prayers in Big School for the first time since June 22nd.
There was no Hymn Practice this morning but there were House meetings as usual.
I went into the library again in History [second period].
After 3rd period there was a further inspection & march past for the C.C.F. The inspection takes place on Thursday.
This afternoon I completed my History of British Railways 1920–1950. This was for History prep. & there was also some French to do.
This evening I went to Cubs and as usual we did packwork & then played cricket.
Nothing unusual happened at school today. At dinner time I played cricket & we had a rather unusual result when our match ended as a tie when I caught the last man.
In History I inhabited the library again.
After school I was asked to play for a VI form “Improbable” team v “Impossibles”. I went in No. 4 & got a duck (as usual). However I made up for this by taking 3 wickets for 4 runs in 4 overs (all l.b.w.).
My cricket averages:
Batting. 6 ins. 2 n.o. 33 runs 24 n.o. highest score. 8.25 av.
Bowling. 6 overs 5 mdns 4 runs 3 wickets. 1.33 av.
We lost the match by four wickets.
The weather was fine & warm for today’s C.C.F. inspection by Air Vice-Marshal C.E.N. Guest. We paraded at 9.30 & marched on to the field. The ban played & we did the “Present Arms” as the inspecting officer appeared.
The actual inspection took some 40 minutes during which some 15 cadets fainted. Afterwards we marched past.
For the remainder of the morning we did L.M.G. revision & mutual drill. I drilled the platoon.
This afternoon I read a comic & went down the village shopping with Mam.
Tonight I cut part of the back lawn & then it rained heavily.
It seemed quite unusual to have Divinity, English & P.T. this morning. Nothing happened except that we finished reading St. Mark.
At dinner time I played cricket then rain stopped play so I got my K.D. from the stores.
In History I read out my essay — B.R., 1920–1950. Last period [Chemistry], Mr. Gess was absent & a new master is taking us for Biology instead. Today we talked about “Animal Behaviour”.
This evening I went to the Library & got:— England their England by A.G.MacDonell, the book Mr. Vaughan has been reading to us.
Mam & Dad are at the cinema [to the Warwick to see Errol Flynn and Alexis Smith in San Antonio (A), Technicolor, and Gorilla Man (A); or, at the Olton, Glenn Ford and Nina Foch in Undercover Man and Blondie’s Hero (U)].
I did not have to go to school today as the Choir had been given a half-holiday. I woke up at 9.30. I spent most of the morning in cutting the back lawn.
During the afternoon & evening Dad & I fixed the back brake & Stermly-Archer 3–Speed gears. The bike is completely assembled now.
It has rained quite a lot today.
Korean War Diary:—
July 5th. Brit. Naval aircraft in action
6th. N. Koreans capture Pyongtack.
7th. N. Koreans capture Chonan. U.S.A. Govt. orders conscription.
8th. Gen. McArthur:— C.in C. of U.N. forces.
9th. Brit. cruiser Jamaica hit by shellfire. 7 killed.
10th. N. Koreans continued drive southwards.
11th. U.S.A. troops fall back to Taejon.
I spent all this morning riding my bicycle. At first we had some trouble in getting the 3–Speed gear to work but it is all right now. My bike has new mudguards (B.S.A.), handlebars, tyres & innertubes, caliper brakes & new chain & chain wheel. It provides very smooth riding.
This afternoon I have spent in reading.
This evening I played out for some time and came in at 7.45 after taking Hound for a walk.
Bob came back this evening.
For field day today we went in six luxury coaches to Walton Park on the far side of Warwick. The idea was that Worcestershire had invaded Warwickshire & captured Stratford. K.E.S. Coy. was to advance & cut off any Warwickshire defence etc, etc. I don’t think anyone knew exactly what to do. The whole thing was badly arranged. Without maps it was impossible to tell just where the defence was approximately situated. We started late & then waited for an hour without moving. When we did get going we had to turn back in order to cross a river. We then crawled up a hill & opened fire, got captured & annoyed some cows.
We came back through Stratford & had tea at school.
In Geography this morning we started to make a map each of an imaginary area. We continued our Biology in third period [instead of Chemistry with Mr. Gess].
Nothing else happened.
I have compiled a list of our House 2nd XI results.
As usual I went to Cubs this evening.
We are continuing Biology during our Science periods. In Geography we continued our maps.
At dinner time I played cricket with Elson, Hunt & Don. Tipper.
During the dinner hour riotous goings-on took place as usual in our form room for Mr. Jackson’s benefit. It is past a joke now though. There is just no sense in carrying on like it
— it ceases to be funny any longer. [I feel very sorry for Mr. Jackson who is a very nice man and a bag of nerves].
I came home on the Special as usual.
Tonight I mowed the lawn & half-mended the back brake on Bob’s bike. It was Bob’s birthday today.
We are giving all our books in at school now and my locker looks quite empty now.
In J.T.C. we did L.M.G. revision and mutual drill before voting for the recipient of the Knight Memorial Medal. I voted for R.S.M. Gosney. CHECK
I came straight home through town.
This afternoon I read the Rover, went shopping on my bicycle and also took Ginger for a walk.
This evening I cut part of the lawn and took Ginger for her evening trot.
I went to school on my bicycle today for the first time since November 6th 1947!
The Head gave us a half-holiday so that we could see the cricket final between Porter’s & Williams’.
I came home from the Edgbaston Old Church where the Choir had been rehearsing for Sunday’s service.
Instead of going to the match I stayed at home & finished the lawn.
My school marks during last term were my highest ever except in the examinations:—
I went in uniform this morning for the Gymkhana. It rained heavily nearly all day & at 2.15 it was decided to cancel it.
This afternoon I went shopping with Mam.
I went to the Library and got one of Gunby Hadath’s latest books published in 1949, called The Atom. I spent the evening reading it and then had a bath.
Korean War Diary:—
July 12th. U.S.A. forces withdraw to Southern bank of Kum river.
13th. U.S.A. Superfortresses make heavy attack.
14th. Mr. Trygve Lie, Sec. Gen. of the U.N., appeals for military assistance.
15th. N. Korean forces establish bridgehead over Kum line (25 miles N.W. of Taejon.
16th. U.S.A. troops withdraw from Kum line.
17th. N. Koreans suffer heavy defeat on east coast after U.S.A. counter attack.
18th. U.S.A. troops take up new positions.
I finished reading my book in bed before getting up this morning.
After breakfast I wrote a letter and read until dinner time.
At Edgbaston Old Church this afternoon was held a second School service. The Sermon was preached by The Rev. L.H. Waddy, M.A., Head Master of Tonbridge School. Dr. E.W. Barnes, the Lord Bishop of Birmingham gave the blessing.
Tonight I sorted out some foreign stamps from an album which Bob has given me.
The Gym Competitions started today and Mr. Gosling let us go down to the Gym to watch as did Mr. Hurrell & Mr. [space left]. The team competitions ended at 11.30, Nicholson’s winning. For fourth period we amused ourselves.
This afternoon, instead of going to a concert in Big School, Trevor and I went to the County Ground to see Warwick[shire] play Gloucester[shire] (2nd day). Glocs. were all out for 82 (R. Thompson 5 for 16). Mr. Guy was playing his first game for Warwick, went in No. 4 & [had] scored 18 when he mis-hit & was caught easily at mid-on.
When I left Warwick were 123 for 4, Dollery 49 n.o. Townsend 6 n.o. Gardner got 27 before being bowled.
I spent all this morning watching the individual gym competitions. McLean won the Senior & Young the Junior competition.
On my way home I saw flames shooting out of the top storey of a building, 9 John Bright Street in town. Soon there were seven fire engines on the scene and a fireman was shot up on a ladder playing his hose on the flames which were leaping from the roof. Within ten minutes the flames were subdued while several hundred people looked on. It was rumoured that a woman & her 2 children were trapped on the top storey but this was unfounded. Extensive damage was caused to the roof & top floor & also to lower floors by water.
I spent the afternoon working in the garden & then tonight I went to Cubs & played netball with the Scouts.
We had normal lessons this morning, then this afternoon the C.C.F. Gymkhana was held.
After dinner the Music Room was crowded with enthusiasts to hear the School’s renowned quartette — “The Canal Street Four” — playing some boogie-woogie etc. It proved to be a most enjoyable concert.
The Gymkhana included “C” Coy Blindfold Drill, Guard-mounting, P.T. displays, races, and the Pole combat amongst others. The Head presented trophies & prizes afterwards.
Tomorrow term ends & I shall have completed my third year at K.E.S. In many ways it has been my most successful year & certainly a memorable one. V.C. hasn’t been at all a bad form on the whole.
After going to form-rooms at 9.20 we went to Big School today at 9.30 for prayers, after which orders were read out & cups presented. As I expected I was bottom of the form in the exams. I went to see the Head after prayers.
There will be several changes next school year. Mr. J.A. Nicholson has left so Mr. F.L. Kay takes over housemastership. Mr. F.T. King has also left. New permanent masters nest term: Mr. J.B. Whinnerah, Mr. M.E. Monkcom, Mr. W.D.M. Lutyens, Mr. A.J. Trott, Mr. J.H. Hodges, Mr. R.D.J. Robertson, & Mr. P. Cadenhead. School Captain next term will be P.A. Gardner.
[Donald Tipper left today after only two years. He told me he was going to Market Harborough where his parents have already moved; he has been staying at Solihull. We have been good friends since we were in U.M.D. together, but we have not seen so much of each other this year as he has been in V.B. with John Maund.]
This afternoon I took Ginger for a walk to Tyseley.
Tonight I listened to the first of a new series of “P.C.49”.
Before breakfast today I watered the garden. Afterwards Clarice & I went down [to] the park & collected things for an aquarium.
After dinner I washed up, went down the village & took Hound for a walk.
Tonight I took down [the] latest weather readings.
Korean War Diary:—
July 19th. U.S. Forces land in Korea with Brit. support.
20th. Chonjin falls to reds.
21st. Chongup & Insil (coast) occupied, 6o miles from S.
23rd. U.S.A. aircraft-carrier with record no. of planes reaches Japanese base.
24th. Kwangju captured. Big battle for Yongdok.
25th. All S.W. Korea in enemy hands. U.S. planes hit back at N. Koreans.
This morning I washed up & went down the village. Later I went to Tyseley with Ginger. Many people have gone on their holidays today & many special trains were being run. I saw one Saint [Saint-class locomotive], two Stars, two Castles, two Kings, three Halls and two Granges as well as a County. I saw No. 7032 Denbigh Castle, which is almost the latest engine in service.
This afternoon Mr. & Mrs. Hopkins & Trevor came to tea with us. After tea Trevor & I played outside then later we went in Mr. Hopkins’ car to get some ice-cream from Holbeche’s Dairy [on Shirley Road].
It has been a very warm day today. I hope it keeps fine for the holidays.
It rained for some time this morning so I stayed in.
This afternoon I tidied my cupboard & did one or two other things as well. Dad and I took Ginger for a run in the park. There were dozens of Swifts soaring overhead.
This evening I finished a reference book of Birmingham City Transport. [I got the latest Buses Illustrated, No. 7, for July which is excellent, but it looks as though there may not be another owing to the acute shortage of paper. I have had them all so far. Ian Allan is asking us if we want it to continue, and (if it does) whether we would subscribe to it in advance.]
Grandad and a friend of his called for a few minutes before going to town.
It is 9.20pm now and I am listening to a speech by the Prime Minister [Clement Attlee] about defence and the international situation.
For my [15th] birthday today Mam bought me a white cycle pump, Bob gave me 7/6d and Clarice & Julia gave me two handkerchiefs. John gave me a box of Rowntree’s Dairy Chocolates. I also had another present — my School report.
ENGLISH He works hard and is keen. Would profit from more reading. (Mr. J.P. Vaughan)
HISTORY He gives in much too easily. (Mr. R.M. Osborne)
GEOGRAPHY General. Rather disappointing in examination; he could have done as well in this as in his term’s work. (Mr. W.L. Whalley)
Regional. Term’s work satisfactory. Examination disappointing. (Mr. J.F. Benett)
FRENCH A fairly good standard in both term and exam. (Mr. A.C. Gosling)
MATHEMATICS Quite good. He has worked very well. (Mr. A. Hurrell)
PHYSICS Weak. Finds the subject difficult, though he tries (Mr. A.J. Gess)
CHEMISTRY Rather weak, though he is interested. (Mr. A.J. Gess)
FORM MASTER Has done his best to cope with work he finds difficult. 25th/25. (Mr. A.J. Gess)
HEADMASTER Better than it used to be. T.E.B.H. (Mr. Howarth)
I have gone from top of the class at Camp Hill to bottom in 3 years. I am very interested in all subjects, but not in being a doctor.
Nothing much happened all morning though I went down the village with Dad, who is on holiday until tomorrow week.
This afternoon we went to the park to get more insects for my aquarium. The aquarium has three water skaters, two scorpions, a water beetle, three planorbis snails & other minute insects.