Friday, July 11, 2008

Sunday 12th November 1939

No impressive farewell to Chelmsford. I came through empty, misty streets at 8 a.m. gear and kit piled all around, in the rear of a wireless truck. Headphones on, I sat at the set intent rather than imaginative. “…339 calling 414. Can you hear me, 414? Can you hear me? Over”.

Bishops Stortford. The 414 Battery set failed, so I had an easy time from then, lounging by the set doing nothing, with a blanket over my legs. I attempted to contact Dean and Cartwright on key (working on 4.4 in/c about 30 miles or more in rear) but could not get through.

We travelled fast, for a convoy. Stamford. Wansford (near Peterboro), Grantham, Newark on Trent. Southwell. Not much sign of chaos! I was taken to my billets (the only soldier, alas!) and left my stuff there.

Had tea at a café. Unloaded wireless stores with Dean, when he arrived. We were all taken to 414 HQ, at Farnesfield for supper. Ride in a lorry, singing, through the night.

Nice to be in Southwell. The familiar Midlanders’ brogue and easy-going, homely ways!


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