Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday 5th August 1942

At last we have definite news of the 104th, for today I met BSM (“Gorey”) Hunter of “C” Troop, at the Base. He has come down for an OCTU course. Actually he only left the Regiment yesterday. They were then having a rest and re-fit,near Alexandria.

Many changes. Captain Gardener is now RHQ. Captain Pip Beale is dead, he trod on a landmine. Major Gosling is 2 i/c at RHQ (and I'm a bombardier, at the Base!) Hignall is BSM “C” Troop, Pounds is BQMS of 519 and Ken White is NCO i/c Sigs. 339 Battery is alright of course, in fact they had far fewer casualties than 519. That's why so few 339 men have been seen down here, I guess. One of their gunners arrived today, though 339 is now with 519 near Alex. Major Strutt (“Pigs – I'll break you!” fame) has been badly wounded. Jack Chenery is alright. “A steady old file, Jack,” said the gunner.

Re my old section, “Gorey” said that Vic Naden was now i/c and a lance/Sgt. with lance/Bdr. Richardson. Jock Fleming was on wireless, also little Bert Pond, formerly of HQ Troop. Ernie Quick had gone back to the guns and was a lance/ Bdr. now.
But there are many new officers! I have never before heard the names of more than half of them! Ah! It's deadly. And so is this bloody Base. The flies are pretty ghastly here.

Herewith copy of a letter handed to me by Frank Brookes who is now at the Base – (and the only person whom I know here)

It is from one Jock and tells of the successful execution of a scheme planned at no. 2 Con. Depot:-

“ To Sgt. Dorson. 23/7/42

Dear Stev,
By the time you get this I should be in the 204 Coast Defence some where near Alex, so far everything has gone alright, hopping it will keep up, I am now on draft leaving sometime this afternoon. When I get to my unit and things settle down a bit I shall write and let you know how things are, hopping you shall get this... Alf”

Yes, the flies are a torture today. Dozens of them around me. I must start walking else I'll go bloody mad.

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