Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday 22nd December 1941

5p.m. We are on the way to, but owing to Army muddling just as far as ever from, the frontier. Late last night we got the panic order “Be ready to move at 7a.m. breakfast will be at 5:30a.m.”

Well, we duly got up about 5a.m., lit the primus in our sariba and had a last excellent mug of sweet, milky cocoa each, and biscuit porridge with jam – disdaining the meagre fare offered by the cookhouse. Just before sunrise, essential kits packed and miscellaneous gear abandoned, we scrambled aboard some broken down lorries – 10 men and their kits in a 15cwt. Each lorry had an even weaker lorry in tow. (Out swords! The Essex Horse roars forward!)

Thus we left Tobruch and came south and unloaded ourselves and our kits above the first escarpment, near El Adem aerodrome, on the new Italian Bardia Road (built this year, out of range of Tobruch's patrols and guns). We waited hopefully for the RASC convoy which would take us down, but it did not appear. Eventually some lorries arrived, into which we loaded ourselves and our kits (20 men to each lorry) and they brought us about 5 miles south, to the foot of the second escarpment. And here the Regiment is now, in bivouac. There may be a convoy Egypt-wards tomorrow.


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