October 29th 1944


We progress on the air firing with cine-cameras, but much hazy weather with visibility two-thirds of the long runway prevent our doing much flying, and we have to stay an extra week.

I go in on Friday and stay the night with the Pauls, a similar scene taking place on the sofa as before. The next day Barbara and I go shopping in the pouring rain and after lunch to visit the birds in the museum, though I don’t see much of them what with one thing and another. Last night we go to Quaintways but I am not in very good form, presumably being worn out from the previous evening. I sleep there and return on the Vickers factory workers bus at 7.30.

No flying today and more football, but I strain a muscle and cannot cope. I visit Andy McCoy as a patient and find my sinuses are OK. He gives me some nose drops. John Aitkin, ex-28 squadron, turns up here on the next course.

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October 22nd 1944


I go with the Pauls and Elsie Dobbie to “Quaintways” for dinner and dance at a doctor’s thrash. I spend the night at the Pauls as I have the next day off, and Barbara and I get together on the sofa before going to bed (1.45am) and I sort of get busy, the result being another “Papist trick”. Next day I buy her a pair of wings (17/6) and we go for a walk in Eaton Park after lunch and there comes about a bit of fiddle-de-de under a tree out of the rain.

That evening we go to a sherry party given by one Dr Wigley, but it turns out to be Pimms and caviar on toast. Everyone gets a bit tight and I am dragged away by Barbara after the rest of her family have left. I just manage to recover in time for dinner.

I do alot of washing today, which is drying now I hope before the fire, after a game of football against the other course.

 

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October 19th 1944


David and I go out drinking with Reg at the Trevor Arms and meet some half Italian ATS Sergeant whom Reg likes, plus her fat friend, and we all have to go to a shocking troops dance in a gymnasium with nothing to drink there. I telephone Bill Robinson but he is off to Salisbury and I cannot get over to see him.

Sunday I go to London and spend the night with the Farlows, Peggy being at home. Next morning to the India Office where I see several Civil Servants of various ages and eventually Colonel Erskine, Deputy Military Secretary. I am advised to return to Army duty – as “out of sight, out of mind” – and I may lose my commission after the war. I then try on a new uniform at Flights and return to Chester, spending the night at the Pauls as the train was too late for the buses. I see W/C Plumtree yesterday, (JDW: Chief Flying Instructor, 41 OTU, later Air Vice Marshal), and he reckons I shall not get a permanent commission in the RAF as my flying is bad, or rather, not ‘above average’. I already hold a regular commission in the Indian Army, and my application was a bit too late and no one would recommend it – only forward it on. Also as David Crook says, the medical will be raised, and I shall be chucked out on my eyesight.

So what to do? Return to India on a fearful trooper as a lieutenant again??

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October 13th 1944


I go night flying in a Hurry. The last two landings are OK after I have dived into the ground at 120 (JDW: degrees or mph?) on the first. Thank God there is is a starlit sky, no cloud, searchlights and flares and Chester all lit up! A fearful night of wind and rain and Norman, David and I pile into Reg’s car for a “night out”. We go to “Barlow’s” and do the rounds and back again, and eventually collect two A.T.S. dames, Jean and Milly, and return to camp where there is an all ranks dance. Someone has eaten our dinner and we get most annoyed. However Reg and Norman take them home, so that’s that. Barbara has had a wisdom tooth removed, and I haven’t been in for four days.

 

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October 12th 1944


I am now more or less on the spot. Having found that there is nothing doing with Barbara, I can’t very well give up going there and start off from scratch again in Chester. It would be nice to organise something out here, but as we shall be leaving shortly for Hawarden that seems improbable, so in the expressive words of the RAF, “I have had it”.

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October 11th 1944


I hear from Bill, back home again. Reg and I go and have a few drinks at the Trevor Arms, very nice, nearby. No flying for some days due to bad visibility and fog. I go in and take B. shopping yesterday afternoon and then we go in the car into Wales and have tea at the Queen Hotel, whilst her father goes on for a consultation. Damn cold on the way home, and Mrs Paul produces whisky macs, and I swallow three and then take B. to dinner at the Grosvenor. We get a bit “warm”, what with fun and games under the rug in the back of the car, and one thing and another, and I don’t want to cycle home at all.

£1 less pay this month for some reason – must be more income tax.

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October 6th 1944


I see much more of young Barbara (24), and am glad to say I don’t think I am in love, after all, (JDW: make up your mind!), and so hope I shall not make a fool of myself in any way before it’s all over. At present I go in a few times a week, cinema or dancing or just to dinner, and get excellent food and beer in a most comfortable house, and a charming girl to play with (and that’s about all.)

Harris and I go to the Isle of Man at zero feet and fail to find it, ending up over Holyhead on the homeward leg. I have the afternoon off and tomorrow, but am Orderly Officer of all things. I go for a walk in the fields behind, endeavouring to identify what birdlife there is, which is not much.

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