Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Monday 2nd October 1939

My financial position will be quite satisfactory for the time being as my old firm have notified me that, for the present at any rate, they will make me an allowance of £2 per month. By the time that ceases, I shall perhaps have taken another stripe – and pay. All the same, I’m beginning to be very dubious about that second stripe, which people were once insistent I should have.

Things seem to be so disorganised. It may be that rumour is right and that the Essex Yeomanry will be gradually disintergrated as men are withdrawn for instructors’ courses or sent off as replacements to other, more efficient units. This will be rather a blow to me as I’ve always felt that comradeship is the great compensation for wars’ horrors and general unpleasantness. I want to go into battle – if that is necessary – among old friends. The best, - George and Jacko – have gone and Sergeant Quayle is going soon. But there still remain Ling, Pond, Dean and several others. Sergeant Quayle goes on Wednesday. Instead of a sergeant being posted in his stead, Hignall – still a bombardier – is to be NCO Sigs.

This also supports the sinister theory that, whatever fate is in store for us, we shall not be sent into action as a unit. Pond and Dean are both depressed and think about requesting a transfer to some other unit.

Lamp and buzzer morse tests this afternoon, at 8 and 10 words a minute respectively. Did well at the buzzer test – only one mistake in each message (first time I’d taken a test at more than 6, too!) I felt fed-up during the lamp test. There was a bit of interference, my eyes blinked, the sending seemed too fast. I got 20 mistakes in the first and 21 in the second. Sid Pond and the Sergeant, very concerned, rechecked the messages but it was no good. “Make it two wash-outs, Sergeant,” I said ruefully.
“Aye, maybe your eyes weren’t so good this afternoon,” he said sympathetically. “Well let’s go and have a cup of tea.”

So the three of us went across to the café for ten minutes. Sergeant was rather sad to be going, especially as it was a long distance – Edinburgh! Sid and I are collecting for a present for him. Oh dear! We shall miss Sergeant Quayle! I’m not so keen as I was – perhaps because I have less responsibility now – and am more inclined to do the minimum of work necessary to remain on the right side of the authorities.

Went to the flicks with Ron Dean tonight. Saw Bisley just after “God save the King” (strange to have to put on a cap for that) and went to the Milk Bar with him. And there, dammit, we met Carter and Bradbury, who were both still at no 5 Queens Road! We all had supper together – quite a reunion!

And, to crown it all, when I reached the digs, Tiny said that Jacko had come home for a couple of days leave and would be seeing me tomorrow. Funny that I was writing of old friends only this evening!


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home