Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday 15th December 1941

Dust storm today. It is cold and dusty and miserable outside but fairly bearable in this tent. The BSM told us all to parade at 8 o'clock this morning, at about 10 minutes notice. Our hopes were high as we staggered across through the biting wind. (“Get your kits packed, we're going down!”?)

But BSM Carlos (ex-bricklayer, almost illiterate) only wanted to give a typical and ridiculous address on avoidance of booby-traps etc. “Now, listen together. You 'aint got to drive trucks through no minefields (we have no trucks) an' you 'aint got to go muckin' round any enemy positions. They bin left full o' booby traps, see? It says so in this 'ere paper I've got 'ere...”

There seems to be a good chance of our going down, at present. It's about time, so far as the Regiment is concerned. We've now been in the field for twelve months and have had 250 casualties in the Regiment – killed, missing and wounded. Of these 72 are prisoners of war. Out of the original Essex Yeomanry that left Chelmsford in November 1939, only 153 officers and men now remain in this Regiment.


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