Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday 22nd November 1941

We pounded steadily at the enemy in the south east (occasionally using super charge – over 12,000 yards distance, therefore) and at the Wadi Belgassem. Today there was
little response from Bellgassem except in the afternoon when they slung over a few shells – perhaps about 20 – and incidentally broke two of our lines.

This morning I washed, shaved and dhobied some socks. After lunch George went to Butch with some rations; unfortunately I had to stay behind. He said there were truck loads of dead around Butch.

Whilst I was smoking a ruminative cigar, the BSM and the Padre came along and asked if we had any spare bandages? We hadn't. “What for?” I asked. “We're burying Mr Yates, see? There 'ain't no safety pins and we want something' to 'old the blankets together.” “Would old signal wire do?” “Yes. I think it'll be alright,” said the BSM.
I cut a length. “That enough?” “Yes, that's just about enough to go round...”
“It's appropriate really,” I said, handing it across, “For it is good British wire, not Iti stuff.” (We use a good deal of captured Iti wire.) Neither of them replied and I felt ashamed for having made such a silly and sentimental remark.

This evening, Bob heard a rather interesting item of news from the OP's. “HORA reports they have arrived.” “Oh!” said the Intelligence Officer, “We didn't expect them until morning. I take it they mean the people we are hoping to meet?”
“Yes, I gather that's it.” “Righto, thanks.” HORA – for today at any rate – means the 2nd Leicesters. And who are “they”? Probably advance units of the South Africans, from Sollum.

Lion has now been taken. After many conflicting reports it is now known that the enemy still hold Tougan, however, away to the south east there have been clouds of battle smoke, all day. I reckon the 1st RHA are getting it pretty hot, out there.

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