Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saturday 27th June 1942

Dawson went this morning. Two Italians came in with a stretcher; he was put on it and covered with a blanket. Ervine walked across to the gramophone. Out came a tinkling tune - “In the Moonlight.” A gay song of 1933 (“The Kid from Spain,” seen alone in a Staines cinema) and Dawson's favourite record. “Good-bye boys!” he cried excitedly and we went over and shook hands. “Best of luck, sib. God help you, in the London fogs!”

The two prisoners, grinning in friendly fashion, picked up the stretcher and carried Dawson, aged 24, towards his wife and England.

“I was strolling along
In the moonlight when
I met somebody
On the way and then...”

He was carried away down the path, pale but happy, waving a handkerchief in his right hand (the left being twisted through rheumatism) “Good-bye, everybody! Good-bye!”

Ervine stopped the gramophone. There was a gloomy silence.

NEWS: Enemy forces were, at last light yesterday, about 30 miles west of Mersa Matruh. The main British force has not been engaged yet.

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