Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday 8th December 1940

On guard tonight – Bombardier i/c the dump guard, just outside the camp. We've been into Cairo two or three times during the past week (gathering rosebuds while we may). My first Agfa photographs are quite successful and the camera is pronounced to be a good one, by Ling and Stevens, both photographic enthusiasts. Several “angle” snaps of the pyramids have printed very well; I notice that the distant background is remarkably clear as well as the foreground.

Stan and I, with two others, went to a dance in town, one evening. Not too bad, but rather quiet. My dancing has become rusty, too!

Jack Chenery having become very depressed has done what seems to most of his friends, a foolish thing. He saw the BC, stated he was not happy and was disappointed at not being promoted and requested reversion to the rank of gunner and posting to another troop. The latter was sensible enough, but reversion seemed pointless. Anyhow he appears to have insisted and eventually the BC (It is Major Puckle; after all, he was promoted and stayed in command of 339!) partially granted his request. In orders tonight: “... Chenery AJ reverts to the rank of lance-bombardier at his own request and not to avoid court-martial... and is posted to B Troop”. At present Jack seems more gloomy and beaten than ever. Silly ass!

My tent (which includes Denny Search) is quite a happy one. I've kept a couple of boxes for storing kit and so far this has not been frowned-upon by the gods of Olympus. Most mornings the tea-wallah comes around the camp at reveille or just before. We awaken to a faint cry of “Chi – tea! Lovely, lovely!” and at once become afraid lest they pass us by or don't reach the tent in time. None of us moves until suddenly the strain becomes too much and then an apparently sleeping man roars “Ishmah! Chi! Come here you black bastards!” Then we all lie there and bawl lustily until success crowns our efforts and we get our cups of tea at half an akka each. (Except Grant, he never speaks or stirs!)

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