Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Saturday 8th February 1941

Awoke very early and heard rain falling. “Rain!,” I thought, “The one misery we have not endured during the last few weeks!” The rest of the night and the forenoon were somewhat gloomy. Although it was very cold there was no rain in the afternoon however and we managed to get our clothes and blankets more or less dry. Move tomorrow to a place called Solluch, which is on a road – A ROAD!

Apparently the Army is not penetrating beyond Benghazi so maybe the Libyan campaign is over. Maybe we'll go back to Cairo again. Not for too long though, I hope - “bullshit” soldiering and that dismal routine of guards, parades, fatigues and inspections would be awful after this! “Isn't it strange?” said the Signals Officer to Gayler, “A year ago today we left England, and now we've finished our first campaign.” “And the last, I hope,” responded Gayler!

Yes! It was about this time a year ago today, that I took a last, almost casual look at the English shore before I went below, dull, wooden and apathetic. (Well, since then I've inevitably become a good deal more rough and tough and dirty – yet, somehow, I don't quite know, cleaner, too!)

At present the main thing is the question of that DAMNED wind. Will it fall now, at sunset? If so we'll be able to gather snugly around our fire, toasting bread and cheese, later on smoking and singing. We did last night; even after it became dark, flames were leaping up. As we sat around, the last vehicle (barring the one we abandoned in the dust-storm!) came in from the desert. We cheered ironically as they passed us – a gun tower, towing a 30 cwt, a 15cwt, and a 15cwt towing an Iti lorry.
Gayler became a commentator, “The Essex Horse is roaring into action. They're coming past me now, coming into action, towed in...”

However! We got here! (Most of us) And not too late to have been useful, if the occasion for which they wanted us had arisen. A credit to the MT and the drivers. This was an MT show only. It was just a case of being in certain places at a given time. But as it happened, we weren't needed.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home