Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday 19th March 1941

Moved into our positions here (somewhere in the Sidra Desert) at about midnight – all very dark and mysterious – and took over from the battery we were relieving. Took over their wire and dug-in positions; they showed us around and moved out. It was much more like an arrival at the front than any of my previous experiences. Quite as described in war books, except that there was no sign of action. This is actually a very quiet front just now; apparently both sides are dug in, well apart, waiting for the other side to attack. Guns don't often fire, if at all. Jerry planes come over every day but this position is so well concealed that they have not found it yet.

When everything was done, we all got about four hours sleep last night. Not bad! The exchange is in a large hole, so large that there is room for three men to sleep in it. We have now roofed-in this hole. It's furniture includes a spring bed which is to be used by whoever has the middle turn of night duty. Needless to say, we've been pretty busy all day! It's already becoming hot, thirsty weather and flies are appearing... The Sidra Desert – what I have seen of it – seems about as mish qwise a place as one could expect to find!

Tonight I revived an old ideal and kept Vigil as I did nine, eight, seven and six years ago. It was as sincere and important a Vigil as any I've kept, I think. I had to walk on a star bearing to get to the spot I intended to find; and I got to it alright. And after I'd sat there smoking and thinking things over for some time, I got down on my knees and prayed pretty hard. There seemed quite a lot of things to pray about.

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