Monday, August 04, 2008

Tuesday 6th February 1940

Men were detailed for fatigues today but the more fortunate (including myself!) were dismissed at 2:30p.m.! So I was able to get warm and dry in billets. I packed my Universal (“Not wanted on voyage”) kit bag and took it down to the mess hall for loading. Shall not see that again until we get - there.

Tea at a café with Sidney Pond and Stan. Stan had once blundered, in the same aimless way as myself in 1933, around Snowdonia. We talked of familiar places – Llyn Ogwen, Idwal Cottage, Tryfan, The Pyg Track and Miner’s Path; the precipice above Llyn Glaslyn; the screes. And our adventures there! He went to these places alone. We must go back there together – after this war is over and England is peaceful and prosperous again.

When we went into the shop, we found that Pond, leaving earlier, had said that “the other two gentlemen” would pay for his tea. The old bugger!
Dance at The Saracens’ Head, with Eileen. Stan and his Doris were there and like us, more pensive than gay.

Strange, I’d always visualised the going-to-war as highly thrilling and stirring; drums-in-the-blood. Well this is the eve of going-to-war for me – not for a character in a book. It is now in orders that we move tomorrow night. Yet there is no thrill, pleasant or unpleasant about it. Perhaps that will come later; but the only thrill I’ve known yet was the actual calling-up, in September.

Regarding the move my chief concern is the equipment. I hope I shall not lose any, that it won’t prove too heavy; and that my section will be alright. Oh! And I do hope we shall not have orders to clean the equipment. A days work!

I stayed at Eileen’s until three o’clock. Both low in spirits, as though we felt the hand of fate moving.

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