Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Saturday 21st September 1940

At 12.30a.m. a crowd of us were still hard at work, digging in and sandbagging the battery command post. We'd been at the job since 8:30p.m. and were definitely unenthusiastic. A plane, flying high, came in from the sea; we took cover. It passed above us (we were quite near the beach at the command post) and suddenly the bombs fell. About a dozen, altogether. A horrid clattering, swishing noise, a flash, then WHAM! each time. (We heard this morning that they fell around the Road, some within 100 yards of Stan Ling who was gloomily engaged on a similar digging job. All fell between “A” gun position and “B” bivouac. No damage or casualties.)

Back to bed, half an hour's sleep, then Gayler awoke me, at 2:15a.m. “Air raid! The whistle's gone!” He and I – there was no none else about – crouched in the slit trench whilst they bombed Sidihanaish Station. Again, no damage or casualties.
Most of the boys have bomb fragments as souvenirs, today!

A note in tonight's “Orders” referred to the pathetic stream of Arab refugees which has appeared on the Road during the last two days. (Trudging drearily on, with all their possessions, their camels and their herds of goat.) “Orders” said:- “It is known that several hundred refugees are moving eastwards... The GOC requests all ranks to be as kind and considerate as possible...”

I tragically shaved off the beloved beard tonight – but left a moustache. MO's orders. My face is nearly better.

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