Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday 2nd April 1941

Out on the line before breakfast. The guns began firing – B Troop right behind me across a valley. A plane screamed down. I dropped flat. It curved and zig-zagged and banked beautifully, below the level of the hills. Hell broke loose, the air was full of red flashes from AA and tracers. I waited for something hot to hit my body. The plane did not fire but zoomed and climbed steeply out of sight beyond the hill. I got the break mended. Naden came running. Withdraw within 15 minutes. They saved some line whilst I reeled in the command post wires and had a hasty snack of breakfast (cold).

Bloody warm weather.

We dug-in, laid lines etc. to the east of Agedabia. Jack Pitt came to M1 as Grant was sick and couldn't do much. We were right in front of A Troop so got the blast, when they opened fire. “Ready to move at a moment's notice!” We began loading. “Move at once!” We abandoned all lines and left the position like a dose of salts. The road was packed with vehicles like Southend arterial road on a bank holiday. At last we swung off into the desert. After an hour or so, some vehicles halted to fill-up.

A brigadier came by, wrote his orders on slips of paper and threw them at us. Blazing vehicles along the track – anything that broke down was set on fire and abandoned. Two air raid scares.

Halted for bivouac at dusk. M1 brewed a pot of tea, with fried sausages. Eight hours sleep. 339 had seemed to come out of action in a much more orderly way than the infantry, with whom we were mixed up. On our flank, I saw 414 coming out magnificently. The Regiment hasn't done too badly, I think.

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