Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday 10th July 1940

Went to Nazareth today (far away in the hills of northern Palestine) to see the Medical Specialist at the new Base Hospital. I was with him for a long time. He was a real expert – 100% Harley Street and 0% Sandhurst. Dozens of odd questions after he'd examined me. (“Have you any worries?” “Are you happy out here?” “Do you sleep well?”) One was “Are you engaged to be married?” “No sir, not now.” “Not now - ?” “It was broken off.” “When?” “Just after the war began...” (I suppose it is broken off, I thought dismally, Oh the chaos!) “Ah! That upset you I suppose?” “Well, I broke it off sir.” “Yes?” “And I feel rotten about it. Wish I'd never got engaged.” “I see.”

When he'd finished and read through various reports, he still seemed doubtful how to grade me! More or less left it to me! “The units moving soon sir.” “And you want to go with it?” “Yes! I've been training with it all this time – the men are mostly from my own county – I want to see theory put into practice, too.” “You are in “D” now.” - “I can't go if I'm “D” sir.” (Secretly nearly weeping, to my horror!) “What category can they have in your unit?” “Only “A”.” “A? Well, you're sure you don't want a transfer?” “I'd hate to write home and say that my address was now RASC, sir” (nearly a faux-pas! I almost said RAMC instead of RASC!) He laughed, for the first time. “We'll see what can be done! And if you're still in this part of the world in a month's time, I'd like to see you again”

(If!)

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