Christmas Day 1941 – Kohat


Well, we know the name of this place we are supposed to be going to but it seems to be spelled differently on the map. It’s near Laskio and Mandalay, below the start of the Burma Road of ill fame. 60 squadron with Blenheims, operating from Burma, are supposed to have just four out of 13 left now. Still we go on peace establishment! Johnston has got himself posted to 20 squadron… How nice for them. I go down to Lahore with Sergeants Grey, Hilton and Deacon to collect four Lysanders. We go by car to Peshawar and cram into the Frontier Mail. We’re all in first class, and four soldiers join us as the train is stuffed full. Henry of 1st Squadron IAF lends me his greatcoat and half his berth and I get quite a good sleep.

On the tarmac from 8 until 1pm whilst they get the kites ready and take their time off for tea and buns etc. Yesterday Mann and I go to the signal sergeants mess on the invitation of Sgt Falconer, “B” flight’s boss. I do well and am back in bed at 12.30, having squashed a tomato on Sgt Sedgewick’s head, which he deserved. On returning, see Dickie’s light on and find him asleep in his clothes having puked on the floor. I suppose I was young and silly once. Or was I?

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