September 26th 1944

I go into town and take Barbara to “Quaintways”. We get some beer in from the pub across the road having had dinner first at her house. I spend the night there and B. gets quite affectionate curled up in a chair with me. In the morning I take her to her office and then meet Ma at the Grosvenor – she tries on a hat in a shop and I get hysterics for some reason or other, to the amusement of the (shop) madams.

I get back to Hawarden for lunch and have now moved over to Poulton for phase two. It seems to me that I have fallen in love (JDW: finally!), for the first time to the best of my knowledge, and am due for an awful shock and much pain when I leave her with my proposals unrequited, or when something occurs that breaks up my whole house of cards. “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” In the near future I will be able to comment on the truth of this question – until then “roll on Friday”, and I must remember to keep my mind on business when I am flying!

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September 25th 1944

At El Dobbie’s (Elsie Dobbie’s) there is quite a nice looking girl, one Barbara Paul, and I ring up Andy later and find out where she lives and take her out to “Quaintways” dancing on Saturday night. Despite a third of a bottle of Canadian Club I don’t do very well, and the vibrations seem a bit out of tune. I spend the night on a camp bed at the McCoy’s, and having the weekend of in between phases of the course, have lunch and tea at Paul’s, which is just next door to the McCoy’s. In between Barbara and I walk to the zoo and back and the air gets a little more clear.

I have a gloomy supper or two with Ma in her digs, and today I go and buy pyjamas and visit the Cathedral with her.

Henry Larsen is back here from France for a week before returning to India. He did an Op or two with Burt in 268 Squadron. I do a low level cross-country to Great Malvern and back, and some cloud flying, without upsetting myself – so am improving.

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September 23rd 1944

I go into town again last night and take Sergeant Joan out to a few pubs. We are thrown out somewhere at 10pm and she takes me to some dark corner of Chester under a tree and we sit on a raincoat and she kisses me – or I suppose I initiate it. Then a policeman turns us out at 10.40pm or so and we go and sit on some dark steps and carry on. This is too much for me and I try baseball but she won’t play. Eventually, all my own work and no help from her, I score a home base, and cycle home getting to bed at 00.10. I was to take a friend and meet her friend tonight but no one would come, so I ring up and leave a message cancelling it.

Today we go and see tanks and guns at Rhyll, damn boring. No flying due to “clamp” (JDW: ??) and if it keeps up it means no 48  this weekend (JDW: 48 hours leave?) – though what matter, as where the hell have I to go?

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September 20th 1944

Whilst in the “Monk’s Retreat” last Thursday, drinking Guiness through necessity, not through choice, I see  two Waaf NCOs with two Yanks. As I leave I say to one of them “Whose country is this?” (her Yank is out powdering his nose) and we get talking and she gives me her phone number, and we arrange to meet on Monday outside “Blossoms”. I ring up over the weekend and meet her in town last night. She is one Joan Hoffman, a Sergeant in the Waaf police in Chester. We sit in “Bollands” and then the “Pied Bull” – she looks into the office to see if the D.A.P.M. is out of the way, then we repair to a dark corner of the “Rows” for a cigarette and a natter. She gets playful, so I kiss her good and hearty and return her to her patrol at about 10.45.

A wire from Ma that she is coming on Wednesday if I can get accommodation, so that will cramp my style. I go to Elsie Dobbie that was – now Mrs McCoy – for supper tonight. An A.M.O. (JDW: Air Ministry Order?) advising regular army officers to return to the army if they want to keep their commissions after the War, so it looks as though I may fall between two stools – no permanent commission in the RAF and not taken back into the Indian Army.


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September 18th 1944

This is awful. We have today off, so I duly go in last night to do our worst. Bob Martin and I go to a dance at the Castle but it is damn grim and costs me 4/-. I get home about 1am having seen some very grim women home on the way back here. Grim and as cold as icicles.

We do no flying the last two days due to bad weather, I have a cold in the nose, and am feeling damned depressed. This never bothered me in India, as there was nothing ton bother about, but here it’s pretty bad, especially with Chester having the reputation that it has. However, to quote Pelmanism – “The day will dawn.”


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September 17th 1944

I take Jill to the Grosvenor and “pay off ship”. She is the wife of some Canadian W/C and refuses to tell me her name. A pity. Next day I go into Barlow’s with Denys Collier, but nothing doing.

Last night Reg, David, Collier and self go to Pulton in Reg’s car to an all ranks dance there, but too many vested interests at work there and everyone organised. We drink much beer in the Mess and I dance around with the odd Waaf, ending up in the back slums of the Mess consuming coffee with Denys and his friend “Loo”. We have to wait around for Reg who is seeing some Waaf home, and the S.D.O. gets damned annoyed as he wants to close the joint up and go to bed. We creep out at last, and I lead the way down a lane of white stones, the others having bad night vision, saying “follow me chaps” and crash heavily over a bicycle as these ‘stones’ are concrete stands. I see it the next morning with its (wheel) rim bent and it turns out to be Scottie’s.

I have nothing in my hand right now and am damned annoyed to see everyone else around me organised.


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September 10th 1944

I get flying again at Poulton. I do the pinpointing exercise in 15 and 20 minutes, much to everyone’s amazement, but fail to find Welshpool on a dual cross-country in a Harvard and will be allowed another try tomorrow. If I fail again, then off the course I go, damn it, and there’s nothing left.

I go and meet Jill again last night and stop on the way home for a bit of kissing – she has even let her hair down in my honour – but find she is leading me up the garden path and then shutting the gate. She is 23 and married five years. I say I won’t meet her again, but then arrange to ‘close my account’ tomorrow, foolish perhaps, as she may not turn up, and it’s damn cold cycling home these nights. It seems to hurt more than I expected, as she really is a nice (no – charming may be the word) girl. So now I am no better off than when I arrived a week ago. However “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I play some squash with David Crook and read his book “Spitfire Pilot“.

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