Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Saturday 18th January 1941

Ironically, there has been much more activity since my last entry, also ammo dumping parties and other indications of an early assault.

The other day, Vic Hammond went to hospital leaving an excellent trilogy (three novels in one book) in my care. “The Penhales” by Crosbie Garstin, composed of, “The Owls' House', “High Noon” and “The West Wind”. 1000 glorious pages! It is strange, when I reached the second book, I found I'd read it before – so many years ago that I'd forgotten everything except the title. Long ago! I got it from Leicester public library – Belgrave I think. Quite a good story it had seemed, although I couldn't appreciate a good story so well then as I can now. I was a little irritated that I could not get hold of the two corresponding novels, then! “High Noon!” Although it's so long ago that I can't remember for certain, it may be this books title that gave me the idea for giving each of my diaries a name – Dawn, Sunset etc.

How terribly short life seems! These sort of incidents and these sort of books, bring that fact tragically before one.

1982: I still have this book, tattered and scarred by 1942 shrapnel. Offered it back to Vic when I met him last year; he said I was now the owner!

As I read in “The Penhales” just now (squatting by the exchange on night shift, our guns roaring merrily):- “How sad it was that all soft and lovely things were so short-lived! Women, roses, rainbows – a year, a day, a second – then past! all gone. Very sad!

But God save us from such sentimental thoughts as these, in wartime, in the desert.


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