Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Friday 6th October 1939

Up at 5:30. Roll call and breakfast in the twilight at the skating rink, 6:30. I was unlucky here. Sergt. Major Essler made me act as NCO Meals during breakfast. Ill fortune of being tall. Perhaps I was the only lance-jack he recognised in the darkness. Therefore I only had about ten minutes after breakfast in which to get things ready – greatcoat, canvas, belt, tin hat, respirator at alert, haversack, water bottle etc – before parade.

In charge of M1 again. Orrin was with me and Gilbert and Shead and three others; we’re short of men now. All went well, but Shead seems different in my eyes now! He really is a little sod, as Dean said. And being a lance-jack himself I really have little authority over him. Lazy, slow and awkward!

Back to the mess hall by 5:30p.m. I was lucky, being in the withdrawal group, to return so soon. Many vehicles did not get back until 6:30p.m. owing to some “hitch” – the inevitable error. By that time I’d had dinner, washed, and reported at BHQ for duty. I’m Orderly Bombardier again and stay here until tomorrow morning.

Now ten o’clock so I’ll turn in – kipping on the floor of the MT Office this time – and perhaps read a bit before going to sleep.


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