Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Friday 3rd July 1942

Haven't seen a newspaper lately but from bits of wireless news, we gather that the situation is pretty serious. A battle is being fought at some place I've never heard of before, presumably in the Alex area. Mass criticisms and shocking admissions in the House of Commons.

Local information. Base Depots etc. such as RA Base Depot, are being moved eastwards from Cairo. There will be no more intakes or discharges at this hospital for the time being, owing to transport difficulties. Ships – including Naval vessels – are continually passing along the Canal near here. All are going the same way – away from the Med. Signs of the war coming nearer: there was a good deal of aerial activity around here last night and we heard the familiar crashes of bombs nearby.

The Regiment: Rogers has gone (to no.5 Con. Depot) but Lance Sgt. Hancox has arrived. He left the desert about three days after me. There were about a dozen casualties on the Friday and Saturday. Frank Brooks was evacuated with shell shock. Hank confirmed that Newby and Morgan were dead. He thinks 339 went into Tobruch, whilst 519 withdrew eastwards with the 8th Army.

Summary: Things are rather disordered here and everyone is in low spirits. There is a good deal of cynical sneering and defeatist talk.

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