Helena Hall


Helena Hall

Helena Hall is best known as a local historian and writer. In addition to ‘Lindfield Past and Present’, she wrote a book on William Allen, several editions of the guide book to All Saints Church and a revised edition of the ‘Dictionary of the Sussex Dialect’. However, Miss Hall’s potentially most significant work, her journal of World War II, has not been published. Each day throughout the war, up to VE Day, she kept a diary in which she recorded, local, national and international events. It is a detailed and comprehensive record of the war years. Held at the East Sussex Record Office, it runs to some 4,200 closely written pages bound into 34 volumes

Wartime Journal: selected extracts

Helena Hall on Air Raid Precautions:

16 June 1940, “Cellars in shopping places are now available as shelters for people caught in the streets during a raid. There are two here – one under Master’s shop for 50 people and another under Edmond’s shop for 60. They are intended only for those caught away from home.”

Helena Hall on Rationing:

13 January 1941, “The price of rabbits is controlled but one is seldom able to get a rabbit. There are still no sweets of any kind nor yet any chocolate to be bought. The keepers of sweet shops in the village print on their doors in white chalk ‘no sweets’. Onions are still a rare luxury and there are none for sale in this village.”

Helena Hall on Lindfield Military Camp:

10 March 1941, “Washing tanks and lorries in the pond has now been stopped although the surface is still oily. The swans hate the oil.”

Helena Hall on Village Life:

8 August 1942, “People trying to visit Brighton are to get heavier penalties – full fines are £100 or 3 months imprisonment.”

Helena Hall on the War in the Air:

16 June 1944, “..Most disturbed night for a very long time. There were four warnings at short intervals. On the one o’clock news and from the evening papers we learnt the Germans used pilotless planes.”

If you would like further information on this subject please contact us. Our aim is to publish a book of journal extracts relating to Lindfield.

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