Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tuesday 21st May 1940

All normal routine for the signallers – ie. riding school, drill orders, buzzer reading and the monotonous maintenance period – has been suspended for a couple of days, in favour of ARP. Yes! We've been digging trenches! Trenches to protect men and trenches wherein our ammo (oh yes! We now have lots of shells!) may be stored.

Hard work yesterday, digging ammo pits. Today, however we were in the personnel trenches and this proved more of a steady old job. There was little room in the trench for swinging our tools, so one man would use a pick whilst his half-section, armed with a spade, would stand-easy. Then the spade man would throw out the dislodged earth whilst the pick worker stood-easy. And so on.

For the last hour this afternoon no one, from gunner to sergeant, was very keen. We leaned on our tools, talking and smoking, like typical British workmen, or scratched at the earth with only casual interest; the trench had become deep and we were pleasantly free from observation of an exterior and superior nature.

The Germans have over-run Holland and Belgium and for several days now have been pouring across France through a great gap in the French lines...

Less rumour of war with Italy. Rumours are more concentrated ie. less possible destinations are mentioned, now. It's Egypt – or else Syria! - and later on France – or Norway!

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