Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thursday 2nd April 1942

Moved on at daybreak, before breakfast – but not before M1 personnel had had a rapid brew. We pulled in off the road about 10 miles beyond Matruh, and had breakfast.

The incident of the short burst of explosive bullets is already becoming a bit of a joke. “Owd Luka” Peachey, the HQ cook, (who is rumoured to have once rushed into a Cairo brothel shouting “A hey there gel! Wakay, waho! M'hiddicks, m'hoddicks!”) summed up the affair this morning, blue eyes a-twinkle, long chin waggling. ”There he come, awhoo, awhoo,” said Luka, “Wahay, waho there bhoy, a heap o' they! Then he come, latta-tatta-tat! Drumpa, drumpa drump. Ahay there!”

9:30p.m. We must be within about 15 miles of Alex, in the oasis country of fig trees and date palms. The bivouac is just behind the white sandhills; we can hear the sea murmuring.

We have been discussing the news, heard second-hand. Japs steadily advancing in Burma, Russians at last being pushed back a bit by the Germans. Mass air raids by the RAF over Europe, patrol and air activity in Libya. English women being called up. They are to take over searchlight and some of the ack-ack battery work. The last item, is, of course, what shakes us most! Women being conscripted into khaki!

And there's mass immorality in the ATS and WAAFA, the new draft assures us. What about our women, who we haven't seen for over two years?


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