Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thursday 5th November 1942

Our W/T netting this morning was amusingly interrupted by the BBC late night news Commentaries. Apparently our new frequency is close to that of the BBC. The news was all about us, too!

“Queen vic uncle, OK off”
“After twelve days of ceaseless battering by the 8th Army, the Axis forces are now in full retreat across Egypt...”
“Queen two, two, over,” “Two OK over” “Two OK off”
“To our boys at the front we say...”
“Four, four, message, over” “Four, pass your message, over”
“This is the British Broadcasting Corporation...”

In between their talks, the BBC staff sent us bursts of stirring, martial music. Patriotic tunes and all that!

At first light, we moved back to the snug dug out... And began to get breakfast ready – and were told to “prepare to move”. We are now sitting on the track ready and waiting. Anyhow, we had a rapid brew of tea. Vera Lynn was singing “I'll pray for you,” as we moved off this morning. After that the BBC faded out.

It was a rotten day for wireless, I had some annoying trouble with my set. There were many sudden halts and rapid moves and the interior of the truck was in chaos. Moved in desert formation all day – west and northward. Prisoners, dust, troops moving up, abandoned German guns, sand dunes and scrub, prisoners, stony desert, troops moving up.

At dusk we crossed the railway, fired a few rounds (registration I think) and settled down for the night. Managed to make a brew and have a hot supper in a deep hole we found. We are a long way beyond Daba now and there is a force of the enemy – either 300 or 5000 of them, I forget which – to our east. That is to say, we are sitting about three miles from them, between them and home.

And now – to bed! Let's hope that we don't move too early in the morning, then I'll be able to sort things out a bit.

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