Friday, October 03, 2008

Wednesday 18th June 1941

It is pleasant – and (as yet) quiet – in these rocky wadis. Sunny and very hot but there is no zift wind and no dust. I don't like dust either when the air is full of it or when I have to lie in it. I do like rocks! There are some greenish shrubs around here too!

The exchange is very busy nowadays. Situation reports keep coming through and from these it is obvious that major operations have begun. There have been engagements around Capuzzo, Sollum and on this side of Bardia. A good deal of aerial activity too, and generally intense mobile warfare. I think I now have a pretty fair idea of the scheme which is being worked out to trap the enemy in Eastern Libya and relieve Tobruch. I won't say any more here, now, however.

At least four old friends who were posted from Base to another unit (under Captain Dawnay) took part in the Crete operations. Fred Langley writing to his brother Frank, said that he and nine others from the 1st Light Troop were safe and sound at Base. Ron Hadlow was wounded and somewhere in Egypt; John Goodwin wounded but his whereabouts not known; and “I think Vic Hammick is dead”.

Well, I'm glad Hadlow the Merry is alright but I shall be extremely sorry if the news about helpless, whimsical, gentle Hammick is correct. He gave me that fine book, “The Penhales” when he left M1 at Tobruch, to go to hospital. “If I do not return, it is yours,” he drawled. But I wouldn't like to gain possession of it this way!

Later on I heard that our old battery commander, Major Cumberlege, had died off the shores of Crete. He was machine gunned from the air whilst trying to get away in a dinghy.

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