Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wednesday 28th July 1937

Westoby, of 193 Battery, was NCO in charge of the guard here today. He awoke us at 5:45 with the news that it was a fine day. Windless. Cloudless. “Der Tag!” I cried as I peered cautiously from the tent doorway. The Left Section, 193, went to gun stations at 9 o’clock. Boxes of ammo. Wee set in rear of the guns. Fuses were set. (As No.9, I am one of the fuse setters.) We were given cotton wool for our ears. I bought some chewing gum. A plane towing a slave began to drone up and down. The guns mutely followed it. We waited tensely, listening to the UB2 and Predictor reports.

“Fuse eight” “Fuse eight set”
“Height, eight one hundred!”
…”Fuse one oh set”

Then at last –

“Vertical, Steady!”
“Lateral, Steady!”

“Fuse one-one!” yelled our Number Four. Number Eight seized a round, ran to the breech. I followed with another. Heard the metallic clatter of the breech, as it closed; thrust my round into the hands of Number Seven. Heard a crash as the other gun went off; turned to get another round, heard someone shout “Fire!” Then, crash!
I had been baptised. We fired 45 rounds before being relieved by the Right section.
Observers said our shooting was very close.


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