Friday, July 11, 2008

Saturday 11th November 1939

Fatigues until 3p.m, when I came home to clean and pack, ready for the start tomorrow morning. At 11 o’clock, Remembrance. This year, “Owing to the circumstances” – there was no official Silence but the Battery had a little ceremony on its’ own.

Eleven o’clock in the garden behind headquarters. Three ranks of men; rain dripping sadly from bare trees and dark evergreen bushes; traffic rumbling by beyond the wall; silence; the unfamiliar Cavalry “Last Post”; and “Reiveille”. In a sad autumn garden behind an old house in Chelmsford.

Said good-bye to Mary this evening in between packing and cleaning (personal fatigue!) All the people I’ve known and do know in Essex! And when I went away, there was only Mary to say good-bye. Strange, the effect of Army life on me. Unemotionalising! Well, I, at least, am glad to be going. I never have grown very fond of Essex. Now, for a while at least, I’ll be in the Midlands. I’ve lived in so many different places but really I suppose I am a Midlander. So I should feel less homesick than the rest.

Eleven o’clock now – and the alarm is set for 5:30. I’ll turn in now; perhaps read for a few minutes – I’m alone here again – before going to sleep.


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