August 5th 1941

Sunday afternoon I go to the Boat Club with a book, and in comes a stomach, surmounted by moustache and eyeglass, which could only be Bernard Ferguson, a major, and so it was. He invites me to dinner at the Bristol and introduces me to his travelling companion, Brigadier Bruce. Badly shaken, I beat it to Drigh Road and change into tunic and slacks and off to dinner. He came out with Wavell, on the Intellgence staff, and is off back to the Middle East on a flying boat the next day. He produces a bottle of wine and we discus the lads on No 1 Company.

He was in Syria with Bruce and is very interested in my stories of Iraq. Coming back, the first time in my life driving a car whilst under the “affluence of incohol”, I run out of petrol by Doc Ritchie’s bungalow and have to walk the last half mile.

Next day I go front gunning, damn bad, but still get 11, the top score. Sergeant Baldwin got 16 but is disqualified for going too low. I get the afternoon off and go into town to swim at the Boat Club, and meet Horse Evans (later Major Harry K. Evans, USAF). I arrange to pick him up at the Gym at 6.30 and go to the flicks. The car breaks down again by the B.M.H., petrol again, and I have to get the mechanic out of his hotel and go through the drill of filling the autovac once more. I arrive at 7.30 to find Evans playing bridge and just about to finish, but by nine he hadn’t finished so I call on the Simonsons a get dinner, bringing Braithwaite home afterwards.

Today another very bad front gun exercise, clouds at 1000′ and a No. 4 stoppage which I fail to clear, after 74 rounds. I go into town after breakfast and buy a clock for Allan’s wedding present (28/-). The climate is good here with that breeze I like so much, and reminiscent of Tiree. Met Langford James here, who is an observer in a Blenheim squadron, and greets me like a long lost friend.


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