Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tuesday 26th October 1943

Paced 20 furlongs.

There are rumours of a boat, in fact a hospital ship. The first whisper came from a Negro. (A whole boat-load of magdnoon blacks is starting off for Africa tomorrow; probably my old ward mates, Rampeli M'swani and Joe Louis are in the party.) The darkie said he was going tomorrow and hinted consolingly that another draft was shortly going to England. Jock interpreted this statement as, “Big ship take plenty white man over mighty ocean bimeby.”

The second rumour was more authentic and came from Bill Lias, who now works in the hospital office as a “runner.” He overheard a phone call requesting the names of 12 British patients awaiting hospital ship – who had the earliest board dates. “That doesn't mean you or I, Steve. Some people were boarded nearly a year ago!” added Bill gloomily.

The third story was collected by Jock himself, to the effect that “50 British Officers and Other Ranks are to leave for UK on Thursday.”

So at any rate, we now have rumours with which to buoy up our drooping spirits!

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