Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thursday 20th October 1938

Went to the drill hall. Nothing happening, except for men coming in with their kits, to be checked over for returning… “Ah, Dawson!” said the PSI, seeing me. “You haven’t signed anything yet. What are you going to do? The Searchlights or your Discharge?” “Oh, I’m going to Stratford” I said blandly. “No” he said equally blandly, “That’s all washed out. Nobody can go to Stratford, except Post Office employees”. “Well, I’ll transfer to another unit.” “I’m afraid they’re all full. No vacancies” he said, un-encouragingly.

Actually I’d made enquiries at a Chelmsford unit – Field Artillery or something – and had been told I could join, so I disagreed on this point. I didn’t have much time to make up my mind but in due course the application for transfer was filled in, citing 104th (Essex) Yeomanry Brigade RA, Chelmsford. (Another bloody change! Anyhow I shan’t need to buy a new tie. I still have the 193rd Gunner tie.)
The PSI confided to us that this filling in of discharge and transfer papers was one of the most unpleasant he’d had to do. He said that twenty five men had signed for a Discharge so far.

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