Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Monday 30th October 1939

When I arise, at 6:30a.m, and even when I’m preparing to leave billets at about 7:20a.m., it is too dark for me to see the Church clock, once discernable a short distance off across the roof tops. Winter’s setting in now. Oh damn the winter! If only we could be sent to a warm country – not to dodge fighting but to dodge the winters’ cold.

Evening: Borrowed Alec Stripes’ cycle and rode to Stock for a last call at the Cock Inn. Many soldiers about – several billeted at the dear old pub. (That attractive, old-beamed passageway to my bedroom that I’ve stealthily crept along as it grew light, with Slinky B cooling down in the yard below!) I left a few superfluous articles there and collected a few things that might be useful – a suitcase, (very ancient) a pair of old, comfortable shoes, two notebooks…

The Allens are awfully kind. I felt guilty at having to leave so many things there for an indefinite period but they were very glad to do it. Mrs Allen made me have a hot rum and milk before leaving.

I sat on the cycle and saw quiet old Stock, in the faint moonlight, straggling before me – it never did have any lights. Then I rode back to Chelmsford.


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