Frank Lepper,passed away on June 19th 2009, a few months before he would have been 82 years old. Throughout his life he had collected ephemera, and amongst these were found a few books, papers and photo’s that provided a good insight into his early years These included a daily diary he had diligently kept during 1942.

The diary provides a fascinating glimpse of life for a teenager growing up in the war. For him it was a pivotal year, reaching his 15th birthday, leaving school and starting work. At the time it was found we thought that reproducing it, day for day 70 years on in 2012 would be a fitting tribute to him as well as an appropriate contribution to Olympic year.

It was originally planned to do this with his wife of over 50 years, Anne Lepper, who had become adept with email and the Internet following his death. Sadly she passed away on July 20th 2011, before the project could begin, and the diary was misplaced until 2012 was already under way. So, a little late and without a vital source, the project gets underway.

Since starting this further notes and memoirs of the years up to 1945 have been found, along with other photo’s and information. These have been supplemented with additional information from his younger brother and an old school friend with whom he’d been in contact during the last decade of his life. These are being added to provide a more complete record of life for someone growing up in the second quarter of the twentieth century.

The diary is reproduced as a blog and will also be available on Twitter, with each days entry published on the matching date, 70 years on. The daily entries individually are rather mundane, recording when he woke up and went to bed, the weather, what he had to eat along with details of his tips and earnings as well as spending for each day. Most weeks involved a cinema trip, giving a comprehensive record of the films showing in Richmond cinemas during 1942. Scattered amongst this daily minutia, the war and other news observations occasionally intrude. We’ll try and provide links to further information and background details, but will welcome further information or details - especially from anyone who still remembers Richmond in 1942.