Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Friday 23rd July 1937

Late again. On the gun without breakfast, whilst another man guarded the stores tent.
Number Two gun of the left section – Porter’s gun. I was Four. No live rounds. Clouds too low.

After lunch the right section prepared for action – patches of blue in the sky!
“Fall in 193!” bellowed an NCO. Leaving the tent unguarded, I slipped into the ranks. Had visions of being a non-combatant! We began to carry boxes of ammo to the guns. A commotion at the marquee. “Where’s Dawson?” shouted Sergeant Dunster furiously. I ran like hell. Caught off duty! “At the double!” the Sergeant ordered, somewhat superfluously, as I bolted towards him. Spent the rest of the day at the tent!

Anyhow my section did not shoot; only the right section let off a few rounds. Number One gun fired the first shot of 193rd Battery! I saw the shell pushed home; saw Gunner Pilgrim crouching at the breech; saw his hand hesitate for a fraction of a second above the firing lever; saw it jerk down. Crash! Our first shot!

Pay day. Drew 15/9d.


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