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William ‘Bill’ Alfred Jelliss
Parents James Edward Jelliss and Mary Jane Jones
Bill was born 06/12/1911 in Coventry. he married Irene Attenbury on the 08/02/1941 St. Paulinus church, Crayford. Bill left the Seaforth Highlanders at the end of his service as a Company Quartermaster Sergeant. On the outbreak of war he was called up as a reservist. Having returned safely from Dunkirk he was sent to Sandhurst Officer Training College. Then out to India as a Captain. His death on the 08/12/44 was the result of an accident with a hand grenade during training.
Irene now lives in Bexley
Excerpts from Irenes diary for the year 1941 taken from a booklet entitled.
"Home Fires a borough at war".
Jan 4th. Mum and I slept in the house but it was very noisy with the guns. Jean asked me if I would like a tin hat for fire fighting. The council says they will cost 5/6d.(27 1/2p). Am having one. I had my hair washed and set in preparation for next month. Mrs Linsell very kindly brought in a lovely set of coffee spoons for a wedding present.
Jan 8th. No blitz but the smoke screens were being tried out. Phew! what a smell!! Notice little bags of sand being placed one on either side of lamp post to use against incendiaries.
February 4th. We bought the RING today...
February 8th. The day of Days has arrived! I ought really to write this in red it is such an important day. Bill and I GOT MARRIED AT ST. PAULINUS CHURCH, CRAYFORD at 2p.m. We had 2 greetings telegrams, one from the office, about 25 people were afterwards partaking of wine and cake. The cake was not iced, but they put rice paper over for decoration. We caught the train for Brighton at 4.53 p.m. and felt at last we were alone.
February 10th. The food is very good at Claridges, egg and 2 rashers of bacon every breakfast (to think that at home we get 1 egg per fortnight between 2 of us).
April 5th. There were some eggs in Dartford so I dashed down to queue up but they were all gone.
April 19th. 8 H.E's fell and I was too frightened to count any more. I'm afraid I was a coward and crouched in the dark while flares incendiaries etc. dropped everywhere. Crayford by the High Street to St. Paulinus (which had all its windows blasted out} was badly knocked about. Belvedere is in an awful mess. So is Brampton Road, Bexleyheath.
August 28th. The latest thing now is we have to register for onions
September 13th. Since 12 midnight last night Bill has been a Lieutenant. How proud I am of him.
April 16th. At 910p.m. the alert sounded. THEN it began. Wave after wave of bombers came over on their way to London, dropping H.E.'s incendiaries and flares everywhere locally. At one time our house was ringed by flares and fires. Wood yard at Crayford blazed while our men tried to shoot out flares with tracer bullets. We turned out the lights and drew back the curtains to see better. It drove us to the shelter for a while but when the fires had died down, we came up and slept in the house downstairs, but the noise went on until 5 a.m. when the All Clear went.