Friday, October 03, 2008

Friday 27th June 1941

We've lost three men during the week – not through enemy action. Stan Gregory collapsed suddenly the other morning and was sent away with a bad dose of dysentery. (There will no doubt be more sickness now, with the heat and flies getting worse. I've noticed several cases of impetigo, desert sores and septic poisoning lately.)

The Darkie Hunter sustained many burns when some fool dropped a bag of Iti “cordite” on a fire in a dug-out. He's gone away. Finally Cliff Mafham left this morning. His Regiment had requested for his return. They are being reformed somewhere near Cairo. O lucky Mafham! He'll be travelling eastwards in state, aboard a destroyer, as I write this. Mafham was an AA LMG gunner with Newton (attached M1 for rations). Now that the working partner has gone, the Duke has been up to his gun, to clean it (for his first time) and study the mechanism!

Liverpool, the Duke tells me, is a place of strong religious feelings. If you go into a Catholic pub and say “King Billy was a bastard, Patrick was a hero” or something of that sort, people will rush to shake your hand. Yet if you make the same remark in a Protestant pub, someone will hit you with a bottle or a knuckle duster!

Queer place, Liverpool!

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