Saturday, December 29, 2007

Thursday 8th July 1937

By the path across the fields to Cherry Orchard Lane, in the sunshine. At Hawkwell I met Mad Willy and Jellyman in the baby van; the van with which I used to sneak drives, at Egham. Mad Willy was soon working a gun at Eastern Star factory, showing the sprayer how to use our paint.

I went to Taylor and Moores with the van and delivered some U/ct. Paste. The dour Mr Taylor smiled happily when we arrived. So did his secretary. In fact everyone seemed full of beans!

Back to the Eastern Star: at lunchtime I drove the van into Rayleigh, Mad Willy beside me, Jellyman squatting heroically in the back. I think Jones and I make a good team for this sort of thing. We understand each other. We shook hands solemnly when they left – and I did have an early night!

Home before 5p.m., I found an official envelope awaiting me. My RNVR discharge. It showed 20 months service with “Sat” and “V.G.”

Leigh. 13 drills. As previously warned, I was put on the fuse dial. Number 4 of the gun. Staccato commands…! "Test dials!” “QE dial working!” "Fuse dial working!” “Go to first test point!” “Read!” “…Fuse 5 point!” “Fire!” orders the officer. “Fuse one-oh!” I shout and then, “Fire!” “Fire!” repeats number one of the gun.

Second hour, whilst the rest of my section did rifle drill, I was sent across to another gun to watch their number 4. Being in a gun crew one learns team-work. That is useful.

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