February 29th 1944

Old Pinsen turns out to be saner than I expected and we have a most interesting chat over my whisky last night. A big flap on just now on just now and Jap fleet expected in the Bay of Bengal – Pinsen has to go down as station master at Tanjore. G/C George Howard suggested I go, missing boat and catch the next one! Bill Beaman stops it and AOC tries again today saying “We can fly him back in three hours.” Beaman wins again, but if the situation deteriorates perhaps I shall have to go, and miss my boat.

A letter from Mhairi out of the blue, and I go for a walk in the evening dreaming of a “rosy future”. I write to Daphne, Babs, the Mad Aunt, Mhairi and Bill’s father, who sent me 2oz of Gold Block, so I am more or less up to date.

That dance was some show, as Briggs and I spent all our time doing ‘pincer movements’ on pongoes (JDW: Army types) who kept coming up and trying to steal a dance from the girls, in particular Mary Kinloch, a blonde with protruding teeth and two eighteen inch guns. She can’t dance but waggles her bottom round the floor like a duck and very comfortably – and Marcie House, in the mornings a F/Sgt in our ops room. No light weights. There seems to be something about me that makes these women – girls, rather – giggle and never stop. Must be my inane grin.

A fearful picture developed for the Public Lavatories Officer (JDW: I suppose he means PR Officer). Pinsen is a bird fancier like myself.

Four years today I left Madras with the regiment for the “frontiah”. I have arranged for Albert to transfer his allegiance to F/L Peter Lewer, Group photo officer. I hand in my mauser and ammunition for transport by air to Octavius Steel Company, Calcutta, and onward transmission to Uncle Stan – God knows if it will ever reach.

I haven’t got that boat yet, whatever they say. Feeling rather turgid through lack of exercise and concentrating on doing nothing for so long in the office, as AOC is back and I now cannot arrive half an hour late and depart two hours early. “Just going to the Admin buildings (Racecourse) old boy! If anyone wants me…


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