Monday, July 28, 2008

Saturday 16th December 1939

George Hignall having gone away on a signals course, I shall be NCO Signals for the next four weeks. The first batch of men for Christmas (and Embarkation?) leave left yesterday, Stan Ling amongst them.

It hasn’t been the cushy, duty-free week I’d expected. There was an artillery demonstration on Thursday, for the benefit of all the officers in the Brigade. So on Tuesday we went to the site and laid the lines. On Wednesday we rehearsed going into action. On Thursday we performed the demonstration. M2 and M3 with Sid and Ron, laid their imaginary cable at about 40 miles an hour! I took M1 and the command post signallers. We had six lines already down (the vital ends hidden in the grass) and laid two more, very rapidly and efficiently, making a total of eight. Everyone was keen and all went well.

On Friday, greatly depleted owing to 2/3 of the men being on duty or on leave, we did a scheme in the same position, watched by some big shot from the War Office. So on four days this week I’ve been carrying out normal duties – with a little surplus Orderly work to do in the afternoon! I was a pukka Orderly on Sunday, but that was a holiday in any case. And today I finished my sick orderly duties early (it is not quite midday yet) but again, this is a half holiday in any event and I’ve still to deliver the afternoon post.

Typical Dawsonic luck, what? Ah well, I’m not grumbling! It’s been an interesting week and a change from routine. Now, that the first batch of men on leave has gone we all begin to look forward, with excitement, to Christmas! And – Seven Days Leave!

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