Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wednesday 26th February 1941

Came along the familiar but not-very-much-liked Road from Matruh, by Bagush, Sidihanaish, Fuka and to Daba, where we made bivouac – how slowly we travel! The aerodrome that used to be bombed near Sidihanaish, was gone now – but they'd left two good anti-aircraft guns there, to defend damn all! Rather amusing to see the guns there, elevated to a business like angle, with nothing and no one in sight for miles around!

Otherwise there was little sign of the once bristling defences of our “Bagbush Box”
There was a rumour that we might all be searched, further down the road, (for loot) so just as a precaution, we concealed a revolver in a drum of wire. I also emptied my camera and shall hang the two rolls of film inside my greatcoat sleeve. My AA shell case and bayonet are in my kit-bag, which is travelling separately.

There is a pukka NAAFI here! Now full of Yeomen, naturally! As I approach the NAAFI, I heard them roaring the chorus of a song. This was an obscene ditty about a lady named Lulu – somewhat of a nymphomaniac, one imagines. Inside, the Yeoman were in good spirits – on the last lap out of the wilderness! - and were scoffing at an alarming rumour, which was, nevertheless, spreading from table to table. We had been stopped by a DR and ordered not to move beyond Daba. If so, why and where next?

I sat with a Polish soldier, who was learning English, though he found the pronunciation “heavy” He was a serious sort of a bloke, formerly a teacher near Cracow, who had not seen or heard of his family since last spring. We parted with regrets, handshakes and “Auf Wiederschen”. He proposing to “look-me-up” in England, after the war.

I came away. The Yeomen were bawling, half-tight, “No friends in all the wide world”.

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