Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday 4th April 1942

Fatigues all day. It's getting pretty warm now and the voracious Egyptian flies are putting in an appearance,though in small numbers as yet.

Basil Grant returned from Base today. He wearily staggered into the tent, puffing nervously at a cigarette, blowing smoke in all directions, and coughing. “One lung gone – you know how it is.” “Waste!” we greeted him jubilantly, “Where've you been whilst we've been fighting for our lives in the bluey? We've got a bar to the medal now, you know!” “Yeah, Tobruch '42!” “Dahn at the Base for a month,” panted Basil, “Steady job. Had to go to roll-calls though. Bit of a fag!”

Now, I guess, we maybe have four days leave each. Then. perhaps, a couple of hundred reinforcements. Enough to make another battery. And a little training probably. Then – Syria? Or India? Or back to the Bluey again?

It's a grisly business of slow elimination. The faces around one gradually change. You come back each time with a few men missing, get some reinforcements and go back again. And a few more of the original crowd disappear and their places are filled by fresh men again. But the Battery remains.

Somewhat somberly, I end 1942's Morning Mists.


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