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16 February 2014

15th February 1944: John. "I admired his courage."

John Hodgkins
15 Tues. Cold, clear, bright sunny day. Am trying the experiment of gradually pruning the roses instead of cutting them back in one operation in April as is orthodox practice. The latter method gives them such a severe set-back that some of them never recover. Cycled to buy fish at Morden. Took a book to Mrs. Child. Took accumulator. On fire duty to-night; no incident. Heard to-day that information has been received from the International Red Cross to the effect that dear John of Basingstoke, Lily's nephew whose bomber failed to return from a raid on Cassel in October last, lies in a grave fifteen miles from that German town. And so the worst fears have been realised. He had taken part in about ten raids. I  mourn his loss deeply. He used to like to come here to listen to  my poor playing on the piano; he was fond of Mozart. He came to tea here only a week before he was posted as missing and I am glad I told him how much I admired his courage and applauded his exploits. R.I.P.

(Note: as a result of this diary and brief research, the 21st century blogger now numbers John's sister among his friends. There is a poem dedicated to John on the Facebook page PoemsPleaseMe

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