Friday, August 22, 2008

Tuesday 4th June 1940

Battery parade as usual, this morning. We were “shaken” when the OC was heard to say casually to BSM Essler, “We shall be packing this morning, Sergeant-Major”. A party of signallers fell-out for packing up the signals stores, the rest of us carried on with buzzer reading and what not. Bewildered, we rapidly absorbed the “straight up” rumour. The Regiment was splitting up; only 339 Battery was going away. It is possible that we may not be alongside 414 again for a long time. 339 is moving into the hills and will probably occupy the fort at Nablus. Moving this week!

Sorry to leave Nathanya Camp and especially regretful at leaving the beach. However – it'll break the monotony. Don't think we'll be at Nablus long, either.

5:30p.m. I was NCO i/c Stable Picquet, supposed to mount from 7p.m. tonight until tomorrow's reveille. I fell out with the duty men at 4p.m. and then learnt that all duties, including mine, were being taken over by 414, in consequence of our forthcoming move. Very nice!

I just saw Pond and Chenery. “Why aren't you ready for going on picquet?” demanded Pond.
“Fuck picquet,” I said, “Let's go for a walk along the beach tonight. Our last chance, maybe”
“But picquet...”
“Ah, bollicks to the picquet,” I said.
“You bloody fool, you'll be “run” for it,” cried Sidney
“Can't you see?” said the cynical Chenery, “He's been relieved. This big talk is just sham. A stand for freedom and all that – bah!”

Have just been notified that I'm in the advance party and leave tomorrow at midday. So I shall pack now and will put this book in my attache case. Shall later try and smuggle the case, somehow, into the signals stores. My case (the only one in possession of an OR in this Battery, I do believe!) usually travels with the signals stores.


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