Bill Robinson comes to see me in hospital and we have a few drinks. He is shortly moving out with his battalion to train in another ‘Wingate’ job of some sort. Yesterday I am discharged from hospital though still with a certain amount of catarrh. I go and book a room in the West End, and then ring up Hammerbeck to find out if G/C Farquahar and Tom Pierce are in town. Hammers says “Congratulations” – a pause, and I ask what on – and he says “your D.F.C.” And sure enough, a signal is in from 28 squadron to 225 Group dated 11/9 –
“Following received from A.O.C. Bengal Command. Warmest congratulations to F/L …. on award of D.F.C.”
Yesterday the A.O.C. throws a party for the two lodger squadrons in Yellahanka, despite the fact that S/L Proudfoot, O.C. of one of them, spins in and gets killed that afternoon. I gate crash successfully and am congratulated by all and sundry. I meet one Mrs Pat Stephenson (nee Strangham) whose sister I met in Ranchi, and get on shockingly. She used to bring books round in the hospital. Buffet supper with her and the A.O.C. and he gives me one of his cigars. In bed by 10.30, though much noise and disturbances all through the night.
This morning I spend about two hours searching the town for a D.F.C. medal ribbon, unsuccessfully until I go into a Gold and Silversmith of all places. No accommodation until 17th on the Trichinolopoly train, so here I shall stew I suppose. That ‘gong’ puts me one up on Jonah and Peter Petit I think as I have the Indian General Service medal, ‘Waziristan 1937-9’ on the bar as well.
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