Sunday, March 23, 2008

Thursday 11th August 1938

Up 5:45a.m. damp… mist. Our bread ration did not arrive so I dashed to Div. HQ for it. Found a main road route and did the journey in less than 10 minutes (Ringmer).
The Ford rushed into the mist at 50 – not flat out either. At Div. HQ they gave me 15 loaves, 6 tins pilchards and 10 tins bully beef. Was back at Isfield before the tea had cooled in the dixies around the fire. So, a tin of tea, a cold sausage and a piece of bread and butter, before we left – Smith and I – having been told to report for duty at Div.HQ. From 8 o’clock to noon, we were actually Yama, the directing station. Messages poured in and went out. Frightfully interesting. Relieved Smith for a while, during a slack period.

Presently – “Hullo Yama, hullo Yama, Beji calling Yama. Can you hear me, Yama? Have you anything for me? Over”. Thrilled, I made my first transmission:-

“Hullo Beji. This is Yama answering Beji. I have nothing for you, - have you anything for me? I can hear you, strength R-9-R Over”

At noon we were ordered to retire to South Malling, to the yard of a roadside pub where we stopped yesterday. Only a listening station now, and little work to do. Hot! I emptied some of the contents of my water bottle over my head. Discarded tunic, wore my bandolier and respirator over my shirt. Hasty lunch of beer and bully beef and bread.

Received “GB” at 2 o’clock, which in this case meant “Exercise completed”.
Was in Lieut. Jarvis’ section now. His car, mine, and a lorry turned homewards. We came onto the parade ground, lined up three abreast, perfectly. Tunics on, tightly buttoned, all correct we all alighted and fell in. Fayers sat nearby with the “school” We exchanged significant, vulgar gestures. “Section, Shun! Dis-miss!”

The Scheme was over and I’d had a jolly good time. Dammit I don’t intend to be a recruit much longer!

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