Friday, January 02, 2009

Wednesday 17th March 1943

Nothing much has happened since I last made entries here. N'Sonki – or Gasasini as I now find he is named – had an epileptic fit last night. He was quietly sleeping within a few minutes but I, who'd never seen an epileptic fit before, thought he was going to die.

This morning Paras was a bit sulky as he hadn't enjoyed his tea the previous evening. After a little scrimmage he was carried out by three orderlies and put to bed in the keteer magdnoon tent,with the two crazy sergeants. I now hear that Paras was quite a lad just before he came here, and killed his friend. All the same, I still think he's not mad. A little temperamental perhaps!

Nothing very amusing has occurred today. Ghandi has been in good form, though. This morning he gave us a dramatic re-enactment of his fight with Jock (Ed Din obligingly played the part of the Scotsman). Then, at dinner time, the MO tried to take Ghandi's photograph. They coaxed the old scoundrel out into the open with drinks of grapefruit, but as soon as he saw the camera, he scuttled back and hid his head in his greatcoat. The old reprobate knows enough not to get a photograph taken while he's got mass plaster on his face!

MacAdam moved into the select ward. Good! There are plenty of typical soldiers in the Army without living with one here. If they put me next door I'd soon be in trouble and get demoted direct to the super-acute ward. There's a Regular BSM of Artillery in the next ward. He's a patient himself but he rules the lives of the men in his tent. He's a Coast Defence man; probably hasn't been in action yet. He and I would rapidly fall out. He's a typical specimen of the people I hate. I'd take orders from the lowest orderly here but not from that ignorant old bastard. He skulks in the kitchen most of the time but emerges now and then to detail men for fatigues. He calls Hamad - “'Amad”, of course. I can't write about him, he makes me feel ill.

Tonight, Taffy received a letter from his Mother with one cryptic sentence: “as I've told you before, please write no more to ....” (The town where his girl lives) I think the lad cried when he'd digested this, for it seemed too mean his girl had finished with him. The letter was addressed to this place, too. His Mother knew he was ill, when she wrote. Some people are pretty bright and tactful!

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