Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tuesday 1st September 1942

Yesterday morning we rehearsed – as I'd feared we should – the parachute alarm thing. We were dragged from our beds at about 4a.m. and glumly went to the appointed rendezvous. Here, eventually. I was appointed an infantry section commander and was duly given a rifle and some rounds. It was obviously only a rehearsal. After some time, we were all dismissed. In any case, it was about 6:30a.m. by then and we had to get our kits stacked for inspection. Everyone was slightly browned-off, but chiefly amused.

September the First! What an anniversary! Three years ago tonight I was called up...
I must have been prophetic when I made that last entry in my diary before proceeding to the drill hall:

“Tenderly, day that I have loved,
I close your eyes...
... Faint hands shall row you outwards,
Out beyond our sight...”

It was the end of all that I had loved, that night.

Out on a wireless scheme all morning. It was damn hot and the flies were ghastly. Still, we were able to return to hot tea and a (comparatively) decent lunch, followed by a three hour siesta in our tents. Not like those in the “Bluey”...

Tonight the evening paper says:-

“NAZIS RENEW HAMMER-BLOWS AGAINST STALINGRAD”

But the Desert has the headlines:-

“DESERT LULL BROKEN. GERMANS LAUNCH OFFENSIVE ON SOUTHERN SECTOR OF EL ALAMEIN FRONT”
“ALL ATTACKS REPULSED”

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