Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Saturday 28th October 1939

After a fairly “cushy” morning – it was raining and the lance snakes at least, had a peaceful time, cleaning gear at BHQ and gossiping – there was a brief meeting for all NCO’s. The Major, who is leaving temporarily for a short course, addressed us regarding the move.

“The show really starts for us now,” he said. “Where we’re going (still no place named!) “we shall be brigaded with a regiment of cavalry (horses?) and you’ll find them pretty smart. But not as smart, I hope, as the Essex Yeomanry. As usual I want you to set an example to all the troops in the district” (Ye gods! The Essex Yeomanry showing the Cavalry how to do it!) “Things will be fairly strict up there; you’ll have a fairly warm time” (Phew, if the old man says so, it surely will be warm!) “To a large extent the duration of our stay there depends on ourselves. The better we get on, the sooner we’ll get away” (i.e. do your best and then you’ll stand a chance of being at the front for Xmas, what?)

Once again, his rather charming smile. “That’s all and – good luck on your move!”
“NCO’s – shun” snapped Sergt. Major Essler.

This being apparently the last weekend in Chelmsford, all those men whose homes were out of the district were granted leave. I naturally received a pass. This has been written beside a cosy fire in the lounge at the flat. A cup of “Ovaltine” is at my side. Mother sits opposite, knitting. Robin is reading.

The wireless is on and the BBC Theatre Orchestra is playing. Cosiness and comfort and home!

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