Sunday, August 24, 2008

Saturday 15th June 1940

Found another neat statement in “Chaos is come again” (that book is my only escape from reality, just now, I guess) when I was reading last night: “Nowadays the English have a pathetic faith in the past. Once, they used to believe in the future.”

Hell of a rush to get things glittering this morning. There was only Gayler and I left (Hadlow being on mess duty, Cartwright on guard) so we had to do all, between us. Reveille 5:15, Roll Call 6:05, Breakfast 6:20, Squad Parade (selves and room and kit all ashine) at 8:10a.m.

There have been several complaints lately about the food. It has deteriorated but this is due (as the OC resentfully explained in a special “hollow square” address) to the fact that the war is developing unhappily and also because we are now more or less isolated from home. The blokes were foolish to complain; as an inevitable result a pretext was found for cancelling today's half holiday. (This spoilt my plan for climbing Jebel Ebal with a few others, alas.) The pretext was that our billets were all in shit-order so everyone spent the afternoon in scrubbing the tiled floors, as a punishment. Sequel to our morning work!

(I wonder if the BEF in France, spent the first seven months of the war in bullshit? Probably. Hence they were not ready for the Germans. If so, it is our people at home who will pay the price now...)


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