Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday 28th September 1943

Returning from Occupational Therapy just before noon, I encountered a magnificent party – the Colonel and his inspecting entourage of officers, matron and NCO's. They were making the weekly CO's tour of inspection. As they occupied all the road, I stepped onto the sand to give them room. Unfortunately, as I came abreast and humbly saluted, they all turned off the road towards me (presumably going to a ward which had no asphalt entry path, as is usually the case) I therefore edged away to my right a little and successfully got past without impeding the progress of the royal group.

Nevertheless, I was halted by one of the escorting sergeants; doubtless, this ambitious worthy was eager to reprimand someone whilst within earshot of the great Colonel. “Why don't you keep to the road?” he demanded in loud anger. “Can't you see the sand has been swept?”

This was literally true! When I looked closely, I could see that the desert sands, as far as one could see, had all been swept into straight lines with many brooms! The humour of that saved me from some hasty outburst which would have meant lots of trouble. So I ignored the injustice of the whole thing, ignored the fact that my bully was himself on the sand and that the whole Colonel's party was on the sand.
I just replied meekly, “I was only trying to get out of the Colonel's way” and hurried on to the sanctuary of the barbed wire.

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