Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sunday 28th March 1937

Up 9:30 of a sunny morning. The East Surreys billeted in the next hut had been drilling and counter-marching for an hour.

After breakfast, working parties; getting things straight for the season. I spent most of the day with pots of paint in the proposed new heads i.e. lavatory.

Suppertime: an Indian Army Captain appeared from somewhere and proceeded to concoct a real Indian curry. Among the ingredients were onions, bananas, tomatoes and large quantities of pepper. Jove! It was hot! Everyone began to sweat painfully after a few mouthfuls. One or two who, like myself possessed spicy palates, had a small second helping but several others quailed, even under the eye of the Indian officer and confessed to being “not very hungry”.

A quiet walk alone, through the camp after lashing up. I wanted to feel the atmosphere of the “Home of British army shooting”, for it may not be written that I shall come any more times. But who knows? Club houses, some lighted, some deserted. Occasionally footfalls. Always that click-click, so different from the sound of civilian feet. On the edge of the ranges I caught the flicker of a morse lamp. In the flashes I could see dimly a khaki figure on the hilltop. Pontoon again when I returned.

At half past one, CPO Nutter kindly bought us plates piled high with beef sandwiches from the kitchen. We smoked and smoked. How happy it was! Played until 2 o’clock and then dropped out – slightly adrift again. It is 2:15. I am lying up on my bunk, very comfortable. Just below me, four men are still playing, rather jaded, I think. Ellis is sitting alongside, joining in the arguments which are constantly arising. Two men are in the lower bunks, asleep.

Now I guess I’ll roll my blankets and turn in. There are empty bottles and some beer is spilt on the floor. I slept at once and was not disturbed by the shouts or the light, which shone on my face from above until 4 o’clock.


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