Monday, August 04, 2008

Saturday 2nd March 1940

Marvellous weather and we’re all sunburnt – but the Battery is fed-up. The signallers are the most fortunate. During the present course we get no duties but the rest of the Battery have two grievances: 1) they do no real training. 2) they get a duty (guard, piquet etc.) about every other day.

I can now read 10’s alright on a buzzer. My marks are usually 99% or 100% in tests. So at last I’m back in the first flight where I used to be before having to give instructions to others brought down my own standard of efficiency.

“Who is the senior NCO here?” asked the regimental signals officer. There were no sergeants present. “Bombardier Dawson, sir!” said a few voices. “Right!” said the officer to me, as I (surprised!) stepped smartly from the ranks in the approved manner, “March these men back to Camp”. I did, and thought – it was quite strange to be in charge again. I’ve had an easy time lately. What a change in my status in the last few weeks!

While George was away I was NCO Sigs., getting myself disliked (for strictness) by some; swaggering down High Street, Southwell with the squad; barking orders; planning and arranging things my own way; No.1 of the signals section in HQ Troop on parade. Now I’m NCO Sigs. for B Troop, yes, but we do no troop signalling at present. I’m not a No.1 on parade now as B Troop signallers are distributed among the gun sub-sections. Although senior man in the tent, Sid Pond is i/c tent. (I cunningly arranged that. I feel competent to take charge of a signalling squad because I’m interested in the work. The bullshit of arranging kits and in fact general tent discipline is exceedingly uninteresting to me and I’d be far from competent: Sid is the better man for that job.)

Altogether, I’ve had a pleasant time of late, lurking quietly in the background and not being too prominent!


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