Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday 18th April 1942

Even here, the finger of death makes it's occasional selections. Yesterday several men fainted in the heat, and one of the new draft later died. Since then the authorities have been very considerate of our health and comfort. The instructors pause in their lectures and ask if we all feel well? Would anyone care to step outside the tent for some fresh air? Finally we have been ordered a siesta between the hours of noon and 5p.m., when the classes assemble again until 7p.m. This is not so good as it sounds, because it means one cannot get into Cairo except on Wednesdays and Sundays.

It is now 5:30p.m. We paraded for classes at 5 o'clock and were told that as it was still too hot, we could fall out again until 6p.m. The signallers then hurried off parade with cries of “Pip Toc Beer!” The brew is nearly ready now. Thank God there is an unlimited supply of water! (I haven't forgotten the horrors of last summer, yet, waking each morning, knowing that you were going to be thirsty again – and then the long, torrid day.)

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