Thursday, August 21, 2008

Saturday 25th May 1940

Today it was confirmed, on the radio, that Boulogne was now occupied by the German troops. It was also announced that no further war news would be given until the present battles was concluded...

In Palestine, the Essex Yeomanry had a strict inspection of the men's KD shorts and of the tent floor mattings. With one form of bullshit and another, I've worn four different uniforms today. First, riding kit, secondly KD shorts, shirt, and puttees, thirdly battle dress blouse, slacks and gaiters, fourthly shirt and canvas.

Air raid alarm rehearsal this morning. The whole Regiment – and NAAFI staff and native (“Wog”) tradesmen etc doubled to their allotted trenches.

On guard tonight. All signallers – we only do regimental duties at weekends now. I felt as though I were far in the depths of apathetic misery as I spent the afternoon in preparing for the ordeal of guard mounting. One consolation – being a signals guard, George Hignall was NCO i/c Guard and two of my tent companions were also gloomily cleaning-up all the afternoon. (Cracknell and Naden)

Guard Mounting went OK. The bloody old rigmarole, far more complicated than at Southwell, passed slowly - “104th Essex Yeomanry Regiment RHA Guard Picquet and Other Duties 'Shun!” There was a prisoner! Fitton was found asleep on sentry-go the other night and is now under close arrest in the guard tent, awaiting removal to “the glasshouse” at Jerusalem, where he'll spend 14 days. Resigned to his fate. The first man in the battery to have an award of detention. I was supposed to be awake all night, watching Fitton when I wasn't marching the reliefs; however I got fed-up with this and eventually, in between the reliefs, got a total of about 3 1/2 hours sleep.

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