Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Friday 13th September 1940

I'm writing this, also by moonlight at 10:15p.m. sitting on my bed – it should be snug tonight too, for I've dug hip and thigh holes.

Well I've just heard bombs fall; the first real sign of enemy activity that I've noticed since this war became a khaki bloody life for me, over a year ago. I was sitting in “L” with Stevens looking at some of his snaps. We'd got a light on, the truck being blacked-out and I was discussing a snap of Tiberias whilst a plane droned somewhere. Suddenly, Whoof! whoof! whoof! whoof! whoof! M1 personnel dashed past towards our slit trench. There we were stuck like buggers in a lighted truck! Eventually we got out and Stevens went round to the drivers seat and found the switch which extinguished that horrific light, thank goodness.

Then, with Smith, who was still scrambling out of bed, we snaked across to the slit trench. Keeble, Hignall, Naden, Goodwin and Grant had arrived there in that order. There were no more bombs. The five appeared to have fallen just beyond the hill, probably near Sidihanaish railway station. We'll know all the details tomorrow. The all clear sounded after about 20 minutes.

11p.m. Another one! I'd just finished the preceding notes when I heard distant grim booms and rumbles. The warning whistles sounded; we all dashed into the trench. I paused to make sure that Grant was aware of things. “They're here again, Grant” I said sourly. “Fuckin' 'ell” he grumbled bitterly. The all clear hasn't been sounded yet but we're all back at our beds, browned off. Nothing is happening.

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