Monday, August 04, 2008

Monday 19th February 1940

The ship is nearly there now. And “there” I think, will be Palestine!

When was it – in March 1933? – that I realised I was too weak and cowardly to go away and join the Colonial Police? Someday, I wrote then, I’d prove that my cowardice (then stated so) was a lie. i.e. I’d be vindicated. I felt I did that on October 16th 1935 when I joined RNVR. Well that was the start of a chain of circumstances that has led me here and I derive ironical satisfaction and amusement from the fact that I’m now within 12 hours of Palestine, one of the countries I might have served in and which I may serve in now, after all.

I’m the bombardier of the arms and ammo. guard for tonight and when we disembark.
I have just been lying on the upper deck with Samson, Keeble and Pitt, watching the mast and halyards swing against the clouds and moon. Lovely seclusion there.

(“I wonder if I’ll still be with you at the next full moon?” I said to Eileen, in Nottingham. “No, Stephen, no. You’ll be far-away” It is not quite at the full and I’m thousands of miles from Southwell.)

I felt very disgruntled when they “gave me a gun” at Southwell. “Bloody guards all the way” I’ve had no fatigues though and this is the first guard and our journey must be nearing it’s end!

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