Monday, July 07, 2008

Friday 15th September 1939

Orderly Bombardier today, at the new London Road BHQ. Not much to do, apart from running trivial errands. I have to sleep on the premises – should have done so last Friday but just buggered off at 5:30p.m. in my blissful ignorance – and received no slightest reprimand or admonition for doing so. Surely a providence was caring for me on that occasion!

Petrol rationing begins tomorrow. Only one petrol –“Pool” – on the market then, and a car like mine will be allowed only 6 gallons a month. After making two vain calls on garages whose supplies were exhausted, I found a small filling station where business was proceeding as usual, and had Slinky’s tank filled to the brim.

Lois was worrying yesterday and upset some of my peaceful fatalism regarding things civilian. She almost made me start worrying about things which are really unimportant now – my job (as a representative for Paripan Ltd) disposal of the car, hire purchase payments etc. It’s obvious that I can’t run the car much longer on my pay of 3/3d a day. Insurance falls due next week, too. Anyhow, Slinky B would be an encumbrance if the Battery were suddenly moved to an intensive training camp – not that that is likely yet. So I’ll have to find some sheltered place where it could be left – a few years if necessary.

Today’s pay was 32/9d, there being a 10/- grant for producing my kit in good order. I now have altogether 52/6d in cash and must shortly get used to living within my income – the previously mentioned 3/3d per day!

Night at BHQ. A rather gloomy atmosphere this evening. Sorrell and Shead in the telephonists’ room, the Orderly Officer, even an old man in a café where I had supper – all seemed apprehensive. I suppose these people at BHQ get more time for brooding about unpleasant possibilities than we in the squad. Everyone’s outlook just now is swayed also by the fact that Russia (with a total manpower of 30 millions!) is mobilising and seems likely to ultimately side with Germany.

Played cards in the telephonists’ room with Sorrell (Ron) and a despatch rider. Pontoon – won 2d I think.

Went to kip at about 11p.m. Sergeant Merton, the Orderly Sergt. and I slept on the floor in the orderlies room. I had six blankets and was quite comfortable.

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