Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tuesday 6th October 1942

7:45p.m. at the “Beacon” - well lighted, static and secure. An hour ago, I sat here peacefully, writing a letter, having had tea here, and read a few chapters of “Q”.

Then Bob came in, urgently. “Steve,” he said, “I've just heard there's been a muster parade – drafts going out. There was a list for the 104th and your name was called.” “And yours?” I asked, hastily re-reading the letter I'd just finished. “No. Come on, let's go to the office.” “OK” We went. Nothing was said about being absent from parade. My name was marked with a tick. Bob's name was not on the list! At his request it was put on. (The draft goes, not tonight, but tomorrow morning.)

“Fancy you volunteering!” I said, “Damned if I would!” “Ah!” said Bob, “I'm relying on you to give me some tips about this ruddy desert!” I only hope old Bob and I don't get put into different batteries! Well, there's nothing to be done tonight so I'm back at the Beacon, to enjoy the sense of detachment it gives me, for the last time.

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