Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday 6th June 1939

Decent cooks here – give one hot water for shaving. The wash place is sheltered and screened off by sacking so the early morning wash is not such an ordeal as it usually is at camp. George is usually there a few minutes before me and waves his left arm as I approach whilst the lather brush keeps rubbing over his contorted face.

Stupid system at mealtimes. One rushes madly to the mess tents at “Cookhouse” and then has to stand in a queue for five or ten minutes, whilst the baffled gastric juices, groan with disappointment. In our tent (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) we ruthlessly “jump” the queue in order to keep together and avoid waiting. For instance if Ling is well up and sees George, Tiny and I strolling towards the queue, he opens a place for us and we slip in nonchalantly, as though we’d been there before.

Tiny, Jacko, George, Stan Ling and I returned from supper in Epping. Feigned drunken-ness as we approached the tent. We burst into song and fell over each guy rope. We lurched into the tent and saw the alarmed faces of Sammy and the two Cracknells. We kicked out both the candles – “Put blurry lights out, you sods” Jacko tried to kiss Alan: George said, “C’mon I’ll fight the whole blurry lot of you!” “We’re not drunk!” howled Tiny and Stan and laughed hideously. “All I want,” said I solemnly, kneeling on Jack Cracknell’s bed, “Is to have a spew right here. That’s all I want. Spew”. Becoming helpless with mirth we rolled on the floor and laughed hysterically (it must have sounded most sinister).

Our victims had maintained a terrified silence but then, out of the darkness came an anxious, thoroughly disturbed voice which said soothingly, “Now look here boys. Get into bed quietly and then we’ll have a nice sing-song”.

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