Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday 11th December 1939

Intervals in an orderly’s day:- Up at 6:30a.m. A cup of tea had been left in the pot for me, in the kitchen. Hot water for shaving was already in the kettle. Nice billets these, better than those at Chelmsford. That cup of tea before first parade; a cosy fire in the evenings and a warm bedroom at nights.

I lent BSM Carlos a few sheets of paper for writing down the names of hapless absentees. Inadvertently I gave him a sheet on the reverse side of which I’d scrawled the words to “The Rose of Tralee”. Later in the day, whilst in the battery office, he approached me. “This yours, Dawson?” he said curtly but with a faint smile, as he handed me “The Rose”. Unabashed, I read aloud the first line; “The pale moon was rising above the green mountain…”

Wangled meals nicely today. I fell-out with the orderlies when the battery set forth on the usual early morning march. So I was among the first dozen for breakfast. At dinner time, ignoring the queue, I walked around through the cookhouse and into the dining hall. As I carried a mail bag full of parcels, I was unchallenged. So I was first to be served and had a damn good meal in comfort. After my first course I got up and importantly distributed the parcels.

I was late for tea. There at first sight appeared to be no mugs or cups, no seats and no pickles. I wangled an extra portion of butter and cheese to compensate and then “won” a seat, a mug of hot tea and a large supply of pickled onions and piccalilli!

Owing to the large number of sick, there was more work to be done than normal. However it was work, not just messing about! I got back to the billets at about 3:15p.m., quite tired after tramping up and down the streets.

Took off my boots, tunic and belt and rolled between the blankets on my bed. I read a “thriller” for a few moments then felt sleepy and snuggled down. A cup of tea was brought to me. I sat up for a few minutes and read a half-dozen pages, then but the book down and pulled the blankets over me again. Slept until 4:45p.m.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home