Friday, July 11, 2008

Sunday 5th November 1939

Another weekend and we still linger in confounded Chelmsford with nothing to do. Canteen Orderly today but I joined the Battery Church parade, having nothing to do, nowhere to go (that desolate, dirty little attic at billets).

The first hymn began with the line: “Lead us heavenly Father, lead us,” as given out by the priest. “We need some bloody leading” grunted a man in the pew behind me.
I turned round and laughed. “There’s nothing funny about that, Dawson”, said Cartwright seriously. He sat palely beside the scoffer. “Oh, I thought it rather humorous, “ I told him. But I liked Cartwright for that!

Ye gods! When this gloomy winter war is over, won’t it be ripping to serve again in the Territorial Army (if TA is reorganised after the war, which everyone hopes. How aimless life would be without TA). Summer camps in ideal conditions and attractive surroundings, easy discipline, in the evenings, “civvies” and the car. Roll on, summer!

After closing the canteen at 2:p.m I went back to the lonely billets attic, threw off a few clothes and got into bed to read a humorous story of small ships – WW Jacobs. Closed my eyes presently for a doze. Awoke from vaguely pleasant dreams at 5 minutes to 5, when Mrs Davies came up to make the bed.

“Deep, drifting sleep”


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