Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday 16th June 1939

Awake at 4. The ration lorry had arrived. Followed Sergt. Quayle in the grey light across the fields. Met Jacko half-way; he looked tired out and wet and miserable. George was there too, full of enthusiasm as usual. Hot tea, then back to our positions. The light strengthened and the guns, which had come up in the night, theoretically fired lots of shells.

We did a link shoot. Stan relieved me about 6 o’clock and Rose relieved Fenning.
Stan squatted in the ditch, I lay on my blankets. He lowered the head receiver until it rested on my ear. We both munched the very tasty ham sandwiches we’d bought in Epping.

Back to camp at about 7:30, M1 was last to leave. Having only one pair of pliers we are handicapped when dealing with line. As M1 rolled out of the field I noticed that a gun and two men had been left behind. They made a funny picture, sitting there in the greyness, waiting for someone to come and take them home. We all dozed in the lorry, fell over and awoke and dozed again.

Breakfast and a wash. Rebelliously we slept from 9:30 until 11, although we should have paraded for fatigues at 10 o’clock. (“That’s right Steve, lace it up tight, so that we can’t hear anything!”)

Afternoon. I had to take stores into Chelmsford by lorry. Jacko and Tiny went with me. We sat in the back – a drizzle of rain – with our capes on and sang.

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