Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thursday 5th February 1942

The leave party began returning today, in dribs and drabs. Rail travel is very difficult. Ling and Co. are among those that came in this morning all very gay on their arrival and all very depressed by evening. Typical of leaves end!

This morning's papers laconically mentioned that Derna had been evacuated by our troops last Monday. Our light forward elements in the desert were still in the M'Soos area.

Today was to have been the occasion of a big inspection by the GOC 10th Armoured Division and we've been preparing for it some while. Mass webbing-scrubbing, inspections, brass polishment, kit stacking and rehearsals. However, it was all cancelled about an hour before the parade – and maybe our membership of the 10th AD terminated about the same time, for the reason for this cancellation is that we are now under 6 hours notice to move.

We gloomily discussed this latest development, whilst our universal kit bags were taken away. The “bluey” was the general opinion. That bloody desert again. Probably Sollum Escarpment. If they were in Derna last Monday they must be near Tobruch now.

Yes, every damn thing suggests the “bluey.” We hoped we'd seen the last of the desert – and Egypt. 414 were lucky; they have left the Middle East. An even hotter climate?

On fatigues most of the day, loading officer's mess and cook stores etc. onto the few lorries at present at our disposal.


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