September 3rd 1943


I go across to the Sappers and Miners Mess for a few drinks, stay to dinner, and then remain on to compete with the jackals at singing. The next day drive over to Bangalore to see the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist as I have had a cold for three weeks. He says it is sinusitis and I must come into hospital. I go back and pack my kit, returning the next day with the remains of my beer ration as well. The road from Kolar is lined with trees and troops of monkeys playing at the side. Two accidents – Bhuller’s aircraft gets a glycol leak whilst doing a slow roll at Trichinopoly and the engine catches fire. He bales out at 5000′ and lands softly in a paddy swamp with two fingers burnt. Sahibzada does a steep turn near the deck on a low level recce, and manages to crash land somehow in a clear space – rather confused. Long range tanks catch fire and he is badly burnt. So now I am in Bangalore 38 B.G.H. sniffing a solution of boiling water and menthol every four hours, or when the staff remember. Every few days I go to the specialist, one Major Philip Scott, who dopes my nostrils with cocaine and then shoves 5″ or so of steel tube up my nostrils and through the bone, to siphon the cells out – a horrid business.

A lot of the orderlies are Italian prisoners of war. I lie on my bed and read books and very pleasant it is too in this climate. One of the patients, an observer, knew Hugh in RAF Watton. Food is excellent, much better than I get in 2 Sqn Mess, and I occasionally have a swig from my ‘Canadian Club’ bottle. Last issue I was given two bottles extra by the Mess secretary.

The old hospital routine of getting you awake at 0545 for tea of all things – I turn over and sleep until 0700 then up and shave.

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