June 1943 saw the fields amass with yellows and greens as the crops began to grow.
The cattle had produced thirty five calves; two of those were bulls the rest milking cows. Thomas kept one of the bulls; he began to fatten the other to sell on.
It was less than four weeks to his wedding to Miriam and the house was as busy as could be with preparations that he wasn’t privy too.
Miriam was busy writing out invitations.
Janice was asked to be a bride’s maid. She was thrilled about being asked and couldn’t wait for the big day to arrive.
Two moths earlier they had all attended the Christening of Jackie Villeverde Barrett at Trinity Church. Jackie was growing fast and he had a mop of curls on his head; he was now eating solids and trying to creep around the floor. He was more vocal too as he tried to speak; he loved to listen to the music on the radio and made noises that sounded as if he was trying to sing along.
Her brothers spoiled him rotten by bringing him sweets and ice cream. Every time an ice cream van went past he would curl up his lip if he didn’t get one.
He would point at the window or hold onto Janice’s leg and indicate that he wanted to be picked up by holding out both arms. The land army girls returned again to help with the weeding and spraying of the crops; soon it would be harvest time again and another year would be over. However the war still dragged on; they wondered whether it would ever end. The hardship that everyone felt continued but in true British Bulldog spirit they endured. People worked long hours to help the war effort in the hope that victory would be soon be theirs and that their loved one would return to them.
“Vera Lynn’s song “We’ll Meet Again” played on the radio and it never sounded so poignant to all those men who were away overseas; fighting for the freedom of the nation. They were now fighting the North African campaign where Bernard Montgomery and Erwin Rommel fought two major battles in El Alamein and Tobruk.
The tank battles lasted from 1941 until 1943 when Bertoli Mussolini’s tenth army was defeated. Rommel wanted to push his Africa Korps on but was halted on Hitler’s orders. His Panzer and motorised forces were forced back to Tripoli where they received reinforcements then went back on the offensive.
They defeated the allies under Rommel at Gazala he also capture Tobruk.
The Axis forces then tried to break the defences at El Alamein for a second time. They were defeated again. The allies went on to capture Tripoli and the concluding part of the North African campaign was fought at Mareth line by Harold Alexander.
It turned out to be a resounding victory for the Allied forces and had a massive impact on the war in Europe.