Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Monday 30th December 1940

Went up to the OP this evening. Voluntary – wanted the experience. Groping along across a flat expanse holding a signal wire – that is the only guide around here and line signallers and the exchange (focal point of all the lines) have lately acquired more importance through this. One man walks in front, the lorry creeps behind. All dark and silent. Occasionally we are challenged by Australian patrols. Everything as I'd imagined it, except that tonight (and I was a wee bit disappointed!) there was absolutely no shell fire from either side. It was a very dark night with a drizzle of rain.

NB When we reached the slit trench that was the OP, we saw some papers lying there. “Ah, perhaps some special instructions!” said the OP officer, all eager. We cowered in the wet slit trench and the officer cautiously flashed a dim torch on the documents. A single exclamation : “Jungle Lindsay!” It was a “Penguin” book!

Leaving the OP officer and signaller up there, the driver and I returned with the truck. Got back about 10 o'clock. Wet and cold. Sid was doing my exchange shift (10p.m. - 1a.m.) but eventually I went in with him and we mashed enough tea (steaming hot and without the foul taste of issue tea) for three cups each. That warmed me up!

Nearly 1 o'clock now, still drizzling occasionally and Sidney is outside, making our bed. Going to be a trifle damp. I've suggested that I go on a scrounging expedition to Fort Capuzzo tomorrow to get some roofing materials from the Iti dugouts there. The Segt. Major and the NCO i/c Sigs. (L/Sgt Pond) both consider this a brain wave. So do I.

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